On Wednesday, November 12th, an unmanned spacecraft made history by landing perfectly on its target - a speeding comet that lies at a distance of 310 million miles from earth. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), the brainchild behind this audacious project, the Rosetta space probe that housed the 220-pound washing machine-sized Philae lander, released its passenger to its destination perfectly - not an easy feat given that the Comet 67P was hurtling through space at a speed of 41,000 mph.
Kids News - Space Articles
Each year around this time, stargazers anxiously await nature's finest fireworks show - the Perseid meteors. The 'fireball' champions of all annual meteor showers have already been streaming through our skies at the rate of about a dozen an hour, for the last few weeks. However, things will really heat up from early August 11th to the 13th, when between ninety to a hundred meteors will come zooming across the skies, making them easy to spot, even with the naked eye.
Usually when NASA scientists report on new planets, they talk about one or two. However, on February 26th, the US Space Agency stunned space lovers when they announced the discovery of 715 new worlds, almost doubling the size the galaxy, which had previously been thought to have comprised of 961 planets.
On November 20th, 1998, a Russian rocket launched off with an unusual piece of cargo - Zarya ('sunrise' in Russian), the module that became the first piece of the largest manmade structure every built in space - The International Space Station (ISS). Designed to be the power source for the ISS, it orbited earth for two weeks, before being joined by Unity.
We are all familiar with the rocky, red surface of present day Mars - After all, that is why it is nicknamed the 'Red Planet'. And while It's definitely not a place most of us would want to live on in its present state, what if it had been filled with huge lakes, lush green fields and giant cliffs? Just like . . . Earth?
In 2008, Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of Companies shook up the travel industry by announcing plans to build a special spacecraft to take tourists for a quick jaunt to space. Now a new Arizona-based startup has joined the fray. But instead of zipping up at supersonic speeds, they envision a leisurely excursion.
On October 14th 2012, over eight million people worldwide tuned in to YouTube to watch Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner leap from the edge of space - 128,000 feet (24 miles) above sea level - and break the sound barrier as he came zooming down to earth.
We have heard of the occasional fish, tadpole and even spider raining down from the skies, but diamonds? That is definitely a first! Unfortunately, this miracle is not happening anywhere on earth but over 830 million miles (1.2 billion km) away, on Saturn and Jupiter.