In first, Perseverance Mars rover makes oxygen on another planet

United States (AFP) — NASA’s Perseverance rover keeps making history. The six-wheeled robot has converted some carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere into oxygen, the first time this has happened on another planet, the space agency said Wednesday. “This is a critical first step at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen on Mars,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s space technology mission directorate. The technology demonstration took place on April 20, and it’s hoped future […]

Russia to launch own space station in 2025

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia’s space agency said Tuesday it hoped to launch its own orbital station in 2025 as Moscow considers withdrawing from the International Space Station programme to go it alone. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said work had begun on the fist module of a new station, after officials warned that Russia was considering pulling out of the ISS, one of the few successful examples of cooperation with the West. The announcement came […]

SpaceX set to take four astronauts to ISS Thursday

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — SpaceX is preparing to carry four astronauts to a crowded International Space Station on Thursday, in the second routine mission since the United States resumed crewed space flight, and the first with a European. Liftoff is planned for 6:11 am Eastern Time (1011 GMT) on April 22, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission, called Crew-2, involves US astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with the Japan […]

Xbox cloud game world extends to Apple gadgets

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Microsoft on Monday began a trial run of letting people play Xbox cloud games using Apple mobile devices as well as Windows-powered computers. The small test spread across 22 countries is a step by the Xbox maker to allow games typically confined to consoles to be played using smartphones, tablets or personal computers. The list of countries included the Britain, France and the United States. “This is an exciting […]

NASA aims for historic helicopter flight on Mars

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA is hoping to make history early Monday when the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter attempts the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The space agency had originally planned the flight for April 11 but postponed it over a software issue that was identified during a planned high-speed test of the aircraft’s rotors. The issue has since been resolved, and the four-pound (1.8 kilograms) drone could achieve its feat by around […]

NASA delays Mars copter flight for tech check

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA has delayed by at least several days the first flight of its mini-helicopter on Mars after a possible tech issue emerged while testing its rotors, the US space agency said Saturday. Ingenuity’s trip, which is to be the first-ever powered, controlled flight on another planet, was set for Sunday but is now on hold until at least April 14. A high-speed test of the four-pound (1.8 kilogram) helicopter’s […]

Comet ‘most pristine’ object from outer space seen in Solar System

    by Marlowe HOOD / Patrick GALEY Agence France Presse A newly observed interstellar comet is the most pristine visitor from outer space ever seen in our Solar System, according to a pair of studies released Tuesday detailing its unique characteristics. Pristine, in astronomical terms, describes a comet that has never passed close enough to a star to be transformed by its searing heat. 2I/Borisov was discovered in 2019 by Ukrainian astrophysicist Gennady Borisov […]

A ‘starter kit’ for supermassive black holes?

by Marlowe HOOD PARIS, France (AFP) — Scientists have reported the discovery of a rare, medium-sized black hole that may help answer one of the more tantalising questions in astronomy: how do their supermassive counterparts come into being? There are two well-known sizes of black hole — at one end, so-called stellar-class ones which are typically three to ten times the mass of our Sun — and at the other, supermassive ones, found at the […]

Russia puts 38 foreign satellites into orbit

  MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Russia on Monday put 38 foreign satellites into orbit after a succesful launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan following delays due to technical issues. Video published by the Russian space agency Roscosmos showed its Soyuz rocket launching against grey and cloudy skies at 0607 GMT. “The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft from 18 countries took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome,” Roscosmos said on […]

No threat to Earth as huge asteroid zooms past

  by Qasim Nauman Agence France Presse SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — The largest asteroid to pass by Earth this year has made its closest approach, posing no threat of a cataclysmic collision but giving astronomers a rare chance to study a rock formed during the beginning of our solar system. The asteroid was two million kilometers (1.25 million miles) away at its nearest, according to NASA — more than five times the distance between […]

Successful test for NASA’s giant Moon rocket

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA successfully carried out a key static test of its troubled Space Launch System rocket on Thursday, a win for the agency as it prepares to return to the Moon. The second “hot fire” test saw all four of the rocket’s RS-25 engines fire simultaneously at 4:40 pm Eastern time (1940 GMT) for the full duration of eight minutes, producing a maximum of 1.6 million pounds of thrust (7.1 million […]

Large asteroid to pass by Earth on March 21: NASA

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The largest asteroid to pass by Earth this year will approach within some 1.25 million miles (two million kilometers) of our planet on March 21, NASA said Thursday. The US space agency said it will allow astronomers to get a rare close look at an asteroid. The asteroid, 2001 FO32, is estimated to be about 3,000 feet in diameter and was discovered 20 years ago, NASA said. “We know the […]