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Spotting Asterix: France Marks 50 Years of Space Exploration

The launch of a French Diamant rocket, circa late 1960s. All images credit and copyright of CNES unless otherwise noted.

They’re Back! Win a Copy of the 2016 Year in Space Wall Calendar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: when the new Year In Space Wall Calendars become available!

Do Comets Explain Mystery Star’s Bizarre Behavior?

This illustration shows a star behind a shattered comet. Observations of the star KIC 8462852 by NASA’s Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes suggest that its unusual light signals are likely from dusty comet fragments, which blocked the light of the star as they passed in front of it in 2011 and 2013.

NASA Awards Contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne to Restart RS-25 Engine Production for SLS Mars Rocket

The first RS-25 flight engine, No. 2059, is placed on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Carnival Of Space #434

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major. This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Joe Latrell at his Photos To Space blog.

Blue Origin Completes Successful Test Flight and Nails the Landing of New Shepard Rocket

The launch of the New Shepard rocket from Blue Origin’s launch site in Texas on Nov. 23, 2015. Credit: Blue Origin.

Astronomy Cast Ep. 394: The Standard Model – Baryons

Last week we talked about the fundamental particles that make up all matter – quarks. This week we’re going to talk about baryons, the particles made up of quarks.

Comet Catalina Grows Two Tails, Soars at Dawn

Like a soaring eagle. Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina shows off a compact green coma and two tails in this photo taken this morning (Nov.

NASA Orders First Commercial Crew Mission to Space Station from SpaceX

SpaceX Crew Dragon will blast off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for missions to the International Space Station.

See Daytime Views of Pluto and Charon’s Rotation

On approach in July 2015, the cameras on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured Pluto rotating over the course of a full “Pluto day.” The best available images of each side of Pluto taken during approach have been combined to create this view of a full rotation.

Weekly Space Hangout – Nov. 20, 2015: Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Director of Sky Line

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Director of the new documentary, Sky Line, The Space Elevator Documentary.

It’s Finally Here! Comet Catalina Greets Dawn Skywatchers

Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina photographed from high atop the Himalayas by Ajay Talwar with a 200mm lens on a tracking mount earlier this morning, Nov.

Carnival of Space #432

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major. The tent is up! This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Pamela Hoffman at the Everyday Spacer blog.

Curiosity Mars Rover Nears First Study Site of Active Sand Dunes Beyond Earth

The dark band in the lower portion of this Martian scene is part of the “Bagnold Dunes” dune field lining the northwestern edge of Mount Sharp.

Hunting Unicorns: Is an Alpha Monocerotid Outburst Due in 2015?

NOT an Alpha Moncerotid… but a fine capture of a comparable Perseid over a bristlecone pine. Image Credit: Kenneth Brandon What’s rarer than a unicorn?

Astronomy Cast Ep. 393: The Standard Model – Leptons & Quarks

Physicists are getting a handle on the structure of the Universe, how everything is made of something else.

ULA Skips Competitive Bid for Air Force GPS Launch Contract, Door Opens to SpaceX

File photo of Atlas V rocket – powered by Russian made RD-180 engines – and Super Secret NROL-67 intelligence gathering payload following rollout to Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL, on March 24, 2014.

Astronomy Cast Ep. 393: The Standard Model – Leptons & Quarks

Physicists are getting a handle on the structure of the Universe, how everything is made of something else.

NASA vs. Cigarettes: A Numbers Game

A photo of the full moon, taken from Apollo 11 on its way home to Earth, from about 18,520 km (10,000 nm) away.

Cosmologist Thinks a Strange Signal May Be Evidence of a Parallel Universe

A simulation of the early Universe. Credit: M. Alvarez, R. Kaehler, and T. Abel In the beginning, there was chaos.