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chemical bonds Chemistry covalent bonds Featured Guide to Space ionic bonds matter molecules 

What are Molecules?

For millennia, scientists have pondered the mystery of life – namely, what goes into making it? According to most ancient cultures, life and all existence was made up of the basic elements of nature – i.e. Earth, Air, Wind, Water, and Fire. However, in time, many philosophers began to put forth the notion that all things were composed of tiny, indivisible things that could neither be created nor destroyed (i.e. particles). However, this was a largely philosophical notion, and it was not until the emergence of atomic theory and modern…

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Antares 230 Antares rocket commercial cargo commercial resupply services (CRS) Commercial Space CRS Cygnus cargo vessel Cygnus CRS-5 Cygnus OA-5 Earth Featured International Space Station International Space Station (ISS) ISS Missions NASA NASA Wallops OA-5 Science Solar System Space Exploration Space Station Wallops Flight Facility 

First Cygnus Cargo Ship from Virginia in Two Years Docks at Space Station

Installation complete! Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft was attached to the International Space_Station at 10:53 a.m. EDT on 23 Oct. 2016 after launching atop Antares rocket on 17 Oct. 2016 from NASA Wallops in Virginia. Credit: NASA After a two year gap, the first Cygnus cargo freight train from Virginia bound for the International Space Station (ISS) arrived earlier this morning – restoring this critical supply route to full operation today, Sunday, Oct. 23. The Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft packed with over 2.5 tons of supplies was berthed to…

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Earth electricity electromagnetism Featured Guide to Space magnetic field magnetosphere magnets Physics 

What is a Magnetic Field?

Everyone knows just how fun magnets can be. As a child, who among us didn’t love to see if we could make our silverware stick together? And how about those little magnetic rocks that we could arrange to form just about any shape because they stuck together? Well, magnetism is not just an endless source of fun or good for scientific experiments; it’s also one of basic physical laws upon which the universe is based. The attraction known as magnetism occurs when a magnetic field is present, which is a…

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DARPA Featured Missions NASA NASA Centennial Challenges Program robotics space robotics Space Robotics Challenge Technology 

MIT Claims they are Programming Humanoid Robots to help Explore Mars. But we all Know It’s Cylons!

For over a decade, robots have been exploring Mars in advance of the crewed missions that are being planned for the coming decades. And when it comes time for astronauts to set foot on the Red Planet, they will be looking for robots to help them with some of the legwork. After all, exploring Mars is tough, laborious, and dangerous work, so some robotic assistance will probably be necessary. For this reason, back in November of 2015, NASA gave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology one of their R5 “Valkyrie” humanoid…

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Astronomy Breaking News esa ExoMars Featured lander Mars Schiaparelli lander 

Schiaparelli is Gone. Smashed on the surface of Mars

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter view of Schiaparelli landing site before and after the lander arrived. The images have a resolution of 6 meters per pixel and shows two new features on the surface when compared to an image from the same camera taken in May this year. The black dot appears to be the lander impact site and the smaller white dot below the paw-shaped cluster of craters, the parachute. Credit: NASA Instead of a controlled descent to the surface using its thrusters, ESA’s Schiaparelli lander hit the ground hard and may very…

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Asteroids Featured Late Heavy Bombardment Mare Imbrium Moon protoplanets 

The Moon’s Mare Imbrium Was Hit By Protoplanetary Size Impactor

The asteroid that punched an “eye” in the Moon is about 10 times more massive than originally thought. Researchers say a protoplanet-sized body slammed into the Moon about 3.8 billion years ago, creating the area called Imbrium Basin that forms the right eye of the so-called “Man in the Moon.” Additionally, this large body also indicates that protoplanet-sized asteroids may have been common in the early solar system, putting the “heavy” into the Late Heavy Bombardment. “We show that Imbrium was likely formed by an absolutely enormous object, large…

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Astronauts canadarm Canadarm2 Canadian Space Agency Dextre Featured History International Space Station NASA 

Looking for Canada’s Next Generation of Space Explorers

For decades, Canada has made many contributions to the field of space exploration. These include the development of sophisticated robotics, optics, participation in important research, and sending astronauts into space as part of NASA missions. And who can forget Chris Hadfield, Mr. “Space Oddity” himself? In addition to being the first Canadian to command the ISS, he is also known worldwide as the man who made space exploration fun and accessible through social media. And in recent statement, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has announced that it is looking…

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Astronomy Dragon 2 Elon Musk Falcon 9 Falcon Heavy Featured Mars News red dragon capsule Saturn V SpaceX 

Uh, We’re Going To Need A Bigger Landing Pad

Since 2000, Elon Musk been moving forward with his vision of a fleet of reusable rockets, ones that will restore domestic launch capability to the US and drastically reduce the cost of space launches. The largest rocket in this fleet is the Falcon Heavy, a variant of the Falcon 9 that uses the same rocket core, with two additional boosters that derived from the Falcon 9 first stage. When it lifts off later this year, it will be the most operational powerful rocket in the world. …

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Featured Great Red Spot Guide to Space Juno Jupiter Oval BA 

How Big is the Great Red Spot?

When we used to do the Virtual Star Party (and I really need to start those up again, they were super fun), I had the worst luck with Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Whenever Jupiter was in the sky, the Great Red Spot always eluded us. Even though we should have had a 50/50 shot at seeing the massive storm on Jupiter, it was always hiding. Why so shy Jovian storm? Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is an enormous swirling storm located on a band of clouds just south of the planet’s…

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Book Reviews Featured Mercury Sci-Fi science fiction Silicon-based life 

Book Review: The Caloris Network

Thinking of taking a vacation this summer? Maybe you want to distract yourself with a bit of light science fiction fun. How about a deadly alien life form harbored within our solar system? That’s what Nick Kanas presents in his scientific novel “The Caloris Network.” Being placed not too far into the future, this novel lets the reader enjoy a believable taste of first contact that’s hopefully just as good as the contact from their first summer kiss. A pleasant novel has an intriguing plot that’s embellished…

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