A Tour of Spaceport America, New Planets in Space and Curiosity Goes to Mars
From the discovery of 18 new planets to a tour of Spaceport America, it was a busy week in space.
Vote for your favorite space story of the week.
Next Stop Mars! Huge NASA Rover Launches Toward Red Planet
NASA launched a huge new Mars rover from Florida Saturday in a $2.5 billion mission to explore the Red Planet. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13738-nasa-mars-rover-curiosity-msl-launch.html">Read More</a>]
NASA's Curiosity Rover Flying to Mars with Obama & Others' Autographs Aboard
President Obama, Vice President Biden, and many science team leaders signed a plaque affixed to NASA's Mars rover Curiosity for its journey to Mars. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13742-curiosity-mars-rover-signatures-plaque.html">Read More</a>]
Pluto's Moons Could Spell Danger for New Horizons Spacecraft
The recent rash of new moons found around Pluto raise questions about how safe NASA’s New Horizons craft might be as it enters the system. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13752-pluto-moons-horizons-spacecraft-danger.html">Read More</a>]
Secretive Air Force Space Plane Nears Orbital Record
The Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane is about to set a record for the time its spent in space, reaching the maximum orbital lifetime predicted for it originally. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13763-x37b-sercret-air-force-space-plane-record-time.html">Read More</a>]
Hunting for Space Rocks: Q&A with Geoff Notkin of 'Meteorite Men'
The third season of the TV show Meteorite Men premieres tonight at 9pm on the Science Channel. SPACE.com chatted with Geoff Notkin, one of the hosts of the show, about the upcoming season and the art of hunting for meteorites. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13753-meteorite-men-geoff-notkin-interview.html">Read More</a>]
New Study Throws Dark Matter Finding Into Question
With assistance from Earth’s magnetic field, the Fermi Gamma-ray Telescope confirmed a cosmic excess of antimatter positrons, but not an expected drop off, which means the result is inconclusive as evidence of dark matter. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13775-dark-matter-results-cast-doubt.html">Read More</a>]
NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity Had Planetary Protection Slip-Up
A step was missed in procedures to make sure NASA's new Mars rover didn't carry biological contamination to Mars. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13783-nasa-msl-curiosity-mars-rover-planetary-protection.html">Read More</a>]
Space Artifacts at Auctions Draw High Bids and Higher Scrutiny
A checklist that flew on NASA's 1970 Apollo 13 moon mission sold for a huge price, while other items on offer were seized by NASA because they were still property of the space agency. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13786-space-artifacts-auction-nasa-ownership.html">Read More</a>]
Could Natural Nuclear Reactors Have Boosted Life on This and Other Planets?
NASA's far-off Voyager spacecraft have observed a signal from the Milky Way galaxy usually only seen in distant galaxies outside our own. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13795-natural-nuclear-reactors-planets-spark-life.html">Read More</a>]
Spaceport America Showcases Private Space Industry's Half-Built Dream
SPACE.com reporter Clara Moskowitz visits the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, a half-built dream to transform a desolate stretch of scrub brush into the worldwide capital of the commercial space industry. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13802-spaceport-america-private-space-industry.html">Read More</a>]
Astronomers Discover 18 Huge New Alien Planets
Astronomers have discovered 18 huge new alien planets, using Hawaii's Keck telescope. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13810-eighteen-huge-alien-planets-keck-telescope.html">Read More</a>]
Is Phobos-Grunt Dead? Troubled Russian Probe Still Unresponsive
The European Space Agency announced today (Dec. 2) that it will stop trying to contact the beleaguered Russian Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, which has been stuck in the wrong orbit for almost a month now. [<a href="http://www.space.com/13810-eighteen-huge-alien-planets-keck-telescope.html">Read More</a>]