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SpaceX Rocket Lands on Ocean Drone Ship in Historic First

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~~~~NBCNews1

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida with a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station on Friday, and its reusable main-stage booster landed itself on an ocean platform in a dramatic spaceflight first.

The liftoff at 4:43 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral marked the resumption of resupply flights by privately owned Space Exploration Technologies for NASA following a launch accident in June 2015 that destroyed a different cargo payload for the space station.

About 2 and a half minutes after Friday’s launch, the main part of the two-stage SpaceX rocket separated, turned around and headed toward a landing platform floating in the Atlantic about 185 miles of Cape Canaveral.

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!!!!!BN2016-4-12SpaceXSuccessfulLanding1

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http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/spacex-launches-first-space-station-re-supply-accident-n553241

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WELCOME HOME: Astronaut Scott Kelly Safe On Earth After Year In Space (UPDATE)

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For the first time in 340 days, American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are back on solid ground.

At 11:26 p.m. EST Tuesday, the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft safely touched down southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

“They did it! They’re home after a year in space and they stuck the landing,” NASA spokesman Rob Navias said during a live webcast.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/astronaut-scott-kelly-returns-from-year-in-space_us_56d3a32be4b03260bf77413f

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Solar Filament Collapses In Stunning New NASA Sun Video

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A hypnotic new NASA video shows a solar filament erupt, causing explosions and then forming a series of giant magnetic arches of solar material, all of which ultimately collapse into the sun. 

“The arches of solar material appear to glow as they emit light in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, highlighting the charged particles spinning along the sun’s magnetic field lines,” the space agency said in a news release. 

Solar filaments are arcs of plasma in the sun’s atmosphere, which appear as dark lines because they’re not as hot as the rest of the sun, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

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!!!!!SolarFilement1Solar Filament Collapses

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/solar-filament-collapse-nasa_us_569dd1d8e4b0cd99679b37bf?utm_hp_ref=tw

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Why Humanity’s Survival May Depend on Colonizing Mars

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~~~~NBCNews1

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After decades of space exploration and countless movies on the subject, why exactly does Mars continue to inspire such high levels of cultural and scientific fascination?

Both the red planet and NASA are coasting on a wave of newfound popularity, taking center stage in big-budget Hollywood productions. Whether by coincidence or design, the favorable treatment of NASA by Tinseltown comes at a time when the space agency recently discovered evidence for flowing water on Mars, and last week openly declared colonizing the planet within the next 20 years “an achievable goal.” And at least a few scientists think the survival of humanity may hinge on finding a new, hospitable planet to colonize.

Just a few years ago, NASA critics and even some supporters were openly questioning whether the Mars science laboratory was worth its $2.5 billion price tag.

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http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation/why-humanitys-survival-may-depend-colonizing-mars-n446196

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Liquid Water Found On Mars

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Mars has water on its surface, and it’s in liquid form at least some of the time.

NASA on Monday announced the results of a new study showing that salty liquid water flows seasonally on Mars, giving the red planet one of the essential ingredients for life.

The study, published online by Nature Geoscience, focuses on the mysterious recurring slope lineae, or “RSL” — narrow, streaky features on the planet’s surface spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

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!!!!!BN2015-9-28WaterOnMars!                                                                          NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

The dark streaks are known as recurring slope lineae and are believed to be evidence of flowing water. The blue color seen upslope of the dark streaks is thought not to be related to the streaks but to the presence of the mineral pyroxene.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/liquid-water-mars_5608c70be4b0768126fdfd44

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NASA’s New Horizons Images Of Pluto Reveal Its ‘Surprisingly Earth-Like’ Features

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The latest images taken by a wide-angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera reveal a panoramic view of Pluto, backlit by the sun, which show off some ‘surprisingly earth-like’ features.

 According to NASA, the images were taken 11,000 miles from Pluto, 15 minutes after the craft was at its closet approach to the dwarf planet in July.

“This image really makes you feel you are there, at Pluto, surveying the landscape for yourself,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

“But this image is also a scientific bonanza, revealing new details about Pluto’s atmosphere, mountains, glaciers and plains.”

Aside from giving researchers astonishing views, the images also show, what NASA call, a low-lying haze rising from near the ground to at least 60 miles above the surface.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/09/17/nasa-new-horizons-images-of-pluto-reveal-its-surprisingly-earth-like-features_n_8153484.html

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What The Heck Is This Thing On Mars?

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A NASA image of Mars being passed around on social media over the weekend has imaginations running wild.

The photo shows a stone formation in front of what may be a kind of cave. Some say it looks a bit like a crab monster straight out of a science fiction tale. 

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                                           What is it?                                                    NASA

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mars-crab-monster_55bef689e4b0d4f33a0333e9?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

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Kepler-452b: NASA Mission Discovers ‘Older, Bigger Cousin’ to Earth

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~~~~NBCNews1

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NASA on Thursday announced the discovery of Kepler-452b, the most Earth-like planet ever found. Located 1,400 light-years from our planet, NASA called it “Earth 2.0,” because it’s the first small, rocky planet discovered in the habitable zone of a G star similar to our sun.

“We can think of Kepler-452b as an older, bigger cousin to Earth, providing an opportunity to understand and reflect upon Earth’s evolving environment,” said Jon Jenkins, the Kepler data analysis lead at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The planet is 5 percent farther away from its star than Earth is to the sun, making for a slightly longer year of 385 days, but gets similar light because its sun is 20 percent brighter than our own.

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!!!!!EarthsCousin1An artist’s concept compares Earth (left) to the new planet, called Kepler-452b, which is about 60 percent larger in diameter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

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Click link below for article and videos:

http://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/nasas-kepler-space-telescope-discovers-new-planet-n397141

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Former Top NASA Scientist Predicts Catastrophic Rise In Sea Levels

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One of the nation’s most recognizable names in climate science, Dr. James Hansen, released a new paper this week warning that even 2 degrees Celsius of global warming may be “highly dangerous” for humanity.

The paper, which will be published online in the European Geosciences Union journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion later this week, projects sea levels rising as much as 10 feet in the next 50 years.

The paper notes there is evidence indicating that average temperatures just 1 degree Celsius warmer than today caused sea levels to rise 16 to 30 feet and fed extreme storms thousands of years ago.

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Dr. James Hansen has been described as "alarmist and also right."

Dr. James Hansen

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-hansen-sea-level-rise_55aecb02e4b0a9b94852e7f5?

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Dazzling New Pluto Photos Are The Best Ever Taken Of The Icy Dwarf Planet

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One day after its historic flyby of Pluto and almost a decade since its launch, NASA’s New Horizons space probe has delivered what we’ve all been waiting for: eye-popping photos of the dwarf planet and its moons.

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!!!!!Charon1Most detailed map yet of Pluto’s biggest moon, Charon. The New Horizons craft found that it has a canyon four to six miles deep, along with cliffs and troughs, according to Cathy Olkin, deputy project scientist with the New Horizons mission.

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Click link below for story and photos:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/15/pluto-photos-dwarf-planet-nasa_n_7803364.html

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