The moon, Mars and beyond… the space race in 2020

Not since the 1960s have we witnessed such appetite for space missions. Here’s what to expect in the year ahead, from commercial launches to Chinese ambitions. Space missions of a startling variety and ambition are scheduled for launch this year. Indeed, space engineers have not planned so much activity – for both manned and robot […]

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International Space Station astronauts play with fire for research

Tests to study behaviour of flames in zero gravity suggest fires could be more dangerous on moon than Earth. Playing with fire can be dangerous and never more so than when confined in a space capsule floating 250 miles above the Earth. But in the past week astronauts onboard the International Space Station have intentionally lit a […]

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Europe’s Mars lander passes parachute test

Previous problems appear to have been ironed out in craft’s essential landing equipment. Ground tests designed to validate the deployment of the parachutes that will be used on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars lander next year have started well at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. ESA’s ExoMars 2020 mission consists of the UK-built […]

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Boeing’s Starliner capsule lands safely in New Mexico after failed mission

Boeing safely landed its crew capsule in the New Mexico desert Sunday after an aborted flight to the international space station that threatened to derail the company’s effort to launch astronauts on behalf of Nasa next year. The Starliner un-manned spacecraft descended into the US army’s White Sands Missile Range in the predawn darkness, ending a two-day demonstration that should […]

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