The exact moment the 1-year crew arrived at the International Space Station

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An astronaut and cosmonaut launched on the first yearlong mission to the International Space Station in March, and a new video released by NASA shows the very moment they safely attach to the ISS.

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko’s historic mission started on March 27, when they launched to space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. The Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying the three crewmembers docked to the Space Station about six hours after it left Earth — less time than it takes to fly from Paris to New York.

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A rock is teetering on a comet’s surface, but how it got there is a mystery

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A probe orbiting a comet speeding through deep space may have spied something a little odd: a huge, balancing rock on the comet’s surface.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft snapped a photo of a boulder that appears to be balancing on Comet 67P. The large boulder is about 98 feet in diameter, a little longer than an NBA basketball court.

“How the potential balancing rock on the comet was formed, is not clear at this point,” Holger Sierks, the principal investigator on Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera instrument, said in a statement. Read more…

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Astronauts may suffer brain damage during a Mars mission, study suggests

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Astronauts exploring the solar system on a Mars mission might experience brain damage because of exposure to space radiation, a new study suggests.

If the results are confirmed by other research, they could have implications for the feasibility of NASA’s planned Mars mission, set to take place sometime in the 2030s.

In the study, published Friday in the journal Science Advances, scientists bombarded mice with doses of charged particles that simulate those that astronauts would be exposed to on a trip to Mars. The researchers’ goal was to see how the brains of the rodents changed afterward, and the results weren’t exactly heartening for future space explorers Read more…

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New satellite with wind-measuring lasers may improve weather forecasts

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A complicated set of space lasers designed to track Earth’s winds are now another step closer to launching next year.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Aeolus mission is expected to use these wind-measuring lasers to help craft better weather forecasts, learn more about how the atmosphere works and gather more data about clouds, among other uses. It could also lead to more precise visualizations of the planet’s winds

The lasers are part of a LIDAR system called Aladin. The system works by beaming ultraviolet (UV) light to Earth, and then measuring how much of that light is scattered back to the satellite where Aladin’s telescope measures it, according to ESA. Read more…

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