Space-mad businessman announces manned trip to Mars

The world's first space tourist, Dennis Tito, has announced plans for a manned fly-by of Mars - crewed, he suggests, by a married couple.

Video: Google Nexus One orbits the Earth inside phonesat

Phonesat STRaND-1 -  a nanosatellite carrying a Google Nexus One smartphone - was launched into orbit from India earlier this week. 

Source of Russian meteorite found

Astronomers say they've tracked down the source of the meteorite that burned up over Russia earlier this month, injuring more than 1,000 people.

Dying stars' planets can still host life

Life may well exist on planets orbiting dying stars - and, if it does, there's a good chance we'll find it within the next decade, say astrophysicists.

Mercury once had vast lava ocean

Mercury may once have had a large ocean of magma, Messenger data shows, shortly after its formation about 4.5 billion years ago.

Moon-sized planet found orbiting sun-like star

NASA's Kepler mission has found the smallest planet yet around a star similar to our sun.

Curiosity collects first Martian rock sample

NASA's Curiosity rover has successfully extracted a sample from a Martian rock - the first ever to be collected from a planet beyond Earth.

Higgs data indicates our universe is unstable

Our universe could one day be wiped out by a new one that bubbles up inside it and replaces it, a Fermilab scientist says.

New find of water challenges lunar formation theory

New evidence of water in moon rock samples brought back by the Apollo mission is challenging the accepted view of how the moon formed.

Sun's energy could be used to zap dangerous asteroids

Two US scientists say they've come up with a method of deflecting or destroying asteroids that could have dealt with last Friday's in less than an hour.

Scientists beat treasure-hunters to meteorite fragments

Russian scientists say they've managed to recover pieces of the meteorite that exploded over the Ural Mountains on Friday, but that much of it fell to Earth in Lake Chebarkul.

Clue to origin of cosmic rays

Astronomers believe they've now worked out the details of how supernova remnants can form cosmic rays.

Ion thruster improvements show promise for deep space missions

A big problem with the use of electric rocket engines known as Hall thrusters has been erosion of their discharge channel walls, limiting their use to the inner solar system.

Asteroid to buzz Earth on Friday

An asteroid the size of a small office block is due to whizz past Earth on Friday, traveling at over 28,000 miles per hour.

Two moons need names - and SETI wants your help

By tradition, the moons of Pluto have names associated with Hades and the underworld. But there's plenty of possibilities to choose from - and the discoverers of the planet's two tiniest moons are inviting the public to name them.

Next-generation Earth satellite lifts off

NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) made a textbook launch at 1:02 pm EST yesterday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Governments should prepare for solar superstorm

UK engineers have carried out a detailed assessment of the risks from solar superstorms, and say governments need to do more to protect against them.

Curiosity drills into Martian rock

NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used the drill on its robotic arm to bore into a rock on Mars and extract a sample for analysis.

Cosmic strobe may be pair of baby stars

An odd star that flashes like a strobe light may actually be a pair of young stars just a few thousand years old, says a team using the Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes.

Earthlike planets could be close at hand

There's probably an Earth-sized planet with a comfortable temperature as little as 13 light years away, data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope implies.