Virgin spaceship makes first free flight

Sir Richard Branson's VSS Enterprise spaceship made its first manned free flight yesterday, gliding from 45,000 feet to a textbook landing at Mojave Air and Spaceport.

Ex-spy watches as Soyuz blasts off for ISS

The Soyuz TMA-01M spacecraft blasted off successfully from Kazakhstan last night, taking three astronauts to the International Space Station.

ESA battles against illegal radio broadcasts

The European Space Agency (ESA) has embarked on a crusade to get rid of illicit radio broadcasts that are interfering with its observations.

NASA approves mission to investigate Martian atmosphere

NASA has given the green light to the development and 2013 launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (Maven) mission, which aims to investigate how Mars lost so much of its atmosphere.

Amateur moon-flight teams meet to discuss plans

Competing teams of amateur spaceship-builders are meeting on the Isle of Man this week to discuss their entries for the Google Lunar X Prize competition.

Solar system's cosmic ray shield weakens faster than expected

The 'force field' shielding our solar system from cosmic rays has declined in intensity by 10 to 15 percent over the last six months.

Second Chinese lunar probe set for launch tonight

The Chinese National Space Administration says its Chang'e-2 lunar probe is ready for launch tonight from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) in Sichuan province.

House approves new direction for spaceflight

The US Congress has approved NASA's budget for 2011, funding plans to develop commercial rockets and add one more shuttle flight to the two already scheduled.

Russian firms plan commercial space station

Two Russian companies have announced plans to build the first commercial space station, offering trips to private individuals as well as laboratory space for corporate researchers.

First truly habitable exoplanet found

Astronomers believe they may have found a habitable planet at last, in the widely-studied Gliese 581 system 20 light years away in the constellation of Libra.

Junk-tracking satellite sends back first signals

Boeing has received the first signals from its Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS) satellite following its launch on Saturday night from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Astronauts stuck on ISS as undocking manoeuvre fails

An attempt to undock a Russian Soyuz capsule from the International Space Station failed this morning, leaving two Russian and one American astronauts stuck there for another day.

Nvidia GPUs track solar changes

Lockheed Martin (LM) astrophysicists are using Nvidia-powered GPUs to help track ongoing changes in the Sun.

Martian moon Phobos created by huge blast

Mars' largest moon, Phobos, may have been blasted off into space by some catastrophe on the planet's surface, say two different scientific studies.

Northern lights to be streamed nightly online

Most of us never get a chance to see the northern lights for real, as they only tend to be visible in the far north - but now there's an alternative.

Discovery prepares for last spaceflight

Space shuttle Discovery is now at the launch pad in preparation for its final flight.

Solar sails could power future planetary missions

'Data clippers' powered by solar sails could be exploring the outer planets within twenty years, shipping vast quantities of scientific data back to Earth.

New moon map sheds light on Earth's early history

The moon was blitzed by two different sets of asteroids or comets in its youth, according to new results from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft.

Habitable exoplanet could be identified next year

The odds are that a habitable exoplanet will be found by the middle of next year if the rate of discovery continues at its current pace, two scientists say.

Boeing wants you to vacation in space

Forget about traveling to another country for vacation! Boeing and Space Adventures have a much more interesting destination in mind for you: the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit (LEO).