Vote Now! Best Space Stories of the Week – July 20, 2014

Meteorite on Mars, A New World View by Balloon & More

NASA

Last week NASA's Curiosity rover discovered a huge meteorite on Mars and a 'rubber ducky' was seen in space. See the best stories from the week here.

FIRST STOP: Huge Space Telescope Needed to Seek Life on Alien Planets

Huge Space Telescope Needed to Seek Life on Alien Planets

NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

While NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will be capable of finding signs of life on nearby exoplanets after its 2018 launch, a bona fide hunt for aliens beyond Earth's neighborhood will require even bigger instruments, experts say.

[Full Story]

NEXT: SpaceX Reusable Rocket Test Returns Booster to Earth, then 'Kaboom'

Experimental Space Plane Designs Wanted by US Military

DARPA

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded initial design contracts for its Experimental Spaceplane project, known as XS-1, to three different companies: Boeing, Masten Space Systems and Northrop Grumman. hotos of a huge iron meteorite on Mars.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Amazing World View Balloon Flight Video Reveals Stunning Look at Earth

Huge Meteorite on Mars Discovered by NASA's Curiosity Rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/IRAP/LPGNantes/CNRS/IAS/MSSS

NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars has made its first meteorite discoveries on the Red Planet. See Curiosity's photos of a huge iron meteorite on Mars.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Experimental Space Plane Designs Wanted by US Military

SpaceX Reusable Rocket Test Returns Booster to Earth, then 'Kaboom'

SpaceX

The commercial spaceflight company SpaceX returned part of its Falcon 9 rocket back to Earth after a successful satellite launch Monday (July 14) in a reusability test that did not go entirely as planned. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote that the booster lost integrity after splashdown, “aka kaboom.”

[Full Story]

NEXT: Huge Meteorite on Mars Discovered by NASA's Curiosity Rover

Amazing World View Balloon Flight Video Reveals Stunning Look at Earth

World View

A new video gives an extended look at the record-breaking first test flight by a company that aims to begin lofting passengers on near-space balloon cruises by 2016.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Private US Cargo Ship Blasts Off on Space Station Delivery

Private US Cargo Ship Blasts Off on Space Station Delivery

NASA/Bill Ingalls

The private spaceflight company Orbital Sciences launched their Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station for the second robotic mission to the orbiting outpost.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Take That, Jupiter! Planet's Great Comet Crash of 1994 Recalled

Take That, Jupiter! Planet's Great Comet Crash of 1994 Recalled

JPL/NASA/STScI

Twenty years ago this week, humans for the first time witnessed a collision between two bodies in the solar system. From July 16 to 22, 1994, more than 20 fragments of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 pelted Jupiter's atmosphere.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Gullies on Mars Carved by Dry Ice, Not Water

Gullies on Mars Carved by Dry Ice, Not Water

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

New observations suggest that the gullies formed on Mars were created by dry ice rather than running water.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Ideas Wanted for NASA Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa

Ideas Wanted for NASA Mission to Jupiter's Icy Moon Europa

NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute

NASA has announced a call for scientific instruments that will be sent on the next Europa mission to search for signs of life.

[Full Story]

NEXT: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Raised the Bar for Humanity, Astronauts Say

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Raised the Bar for Humanity, Astronauts Say

NASA

It goes without saying that NASA's historic launch of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission 45 years ago today changed the face of humanity, and nowhere does that resonate more than in orbit, where astronauts live and work on the largest manmade structure off planet Earth: the International Space Station.

[Full Story]

NEXT: US Too Dependent on Russian Rocket Engines, Experts Tell Lawmakers

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