Kids News - Space Articles
On May 18, 1969, NASA astronauts Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Eugene Cernan blasted off from Cape Canaveral aboard the Apollo 10 lunar module, the fourth manned mission in the US Apollo Space program and only the second after Apollo 8 to orbit the moon. Its mission was to circle the moon and thoroughly test the components and procedures to pave the way for the first lunar landing. The mission went flawlessly and without incident — At least that's what everyone believed.
When humans began Space exploration about 55 years ago, they had no intention of leaving behind equipment that had served its purpose. It could after all, easily fall to Earth and harm innocent people. But that fear subsided in 1964 when American research satellite Vanguard 1 continued to rotate in orbit even after it had lost all contact with ground scientists. Since then researchers have become increasingly comfortable about leaving trash behind.
When Pluto was demoted to dwarf status in 2006 we were left with a mere eight planets in our solar system. Now Planetary Astronomy Professor Mike Brown, the researcher responsible for 'killing' Pluto may have redeemed himself with the discovery of a massive ninth planet - One he believes is worthy of being added to the elite group of eight.
Space travel has come a long way since Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth in 1961. However, the one thing that has eluded scientists thus far is a rocket that can be used multiple times. Though that may not sound like a big deal, it is for companies that want to make sub-orbital travel available to everyone. That's because a large proportion of the cost goes towards building the rocket which only flies once. It is therefore no wonder that Blue Origin's successful launch and landing of the world's first reusable rocket is causing such excitement.
Thanks to its carved topography, researchers have always suspected that Mars was once home to several rivers, lakes, and perhaps even oceans. There has even been some speculation about the existence of frozen water deep beneath the ground. However, finding evidence of liquid water in the present day, has been a little elusive. That is why NASA's September 28th announcement that confirmed the detection of liquid brine on the Red Planet caused so much excitement.
On August 28, six researchers who barely know each other made their way to the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii's Big Island for a year-long "vacation." However, the crew of three men and three women that includes a soil scientist, a doctor, a post-grad architect student, and an astrobiologist, did not check into a fancy resort. Instead, they locked themselves up inside a solar-powered dome without fresh air, fresh food, or privacy.
Space food has come a long way since John Glenn orbited Earth in 1962. He and other members of Project Mercury, the first American human spaceflight program, had to endure unappetizing foods that came in the form of bite-sized cubes, freeze-dried powders, and semi-liquids stuffed in aluminum tubes. Today astronauts can select from an extensive menu of over 70 foods and 20 beverages. The one thing they still can't get? Fresh fruits and vegetables!