Venus data warns against geoengineering, says ESA

ESA scientists reckon they've explained a mysterious high-altitude layer of sulphur dioxide discovered by Venus Express - and it provides a stark warning for geoengineers suggesting seeding Earth's atmosphere with sulphur droplets to combat climate change.

Scientist explains away UFO sightings

An Australian physicist says he's solved the mystery of a series of UFO sightings over South-East Queensland in May 2006.

Secret spaceplane set to land next weekend

The US Air Force's top-secret X-37B spacecraft is set to land sometime in the next few days at the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Scientist finds evidence of pre-Big Bang events

A leading Oxford University cosmologist says he has been able to observe the effects of cosmic events that preceded the Big Bang.

Cassini finds oxygen atmosphere around Saturnian moon

The Cassini-Huygens mission has identified an oxygen-carbon dioxide atmosphere around Saturn's second-biggest moon, Rhea - the first time a spacecraft has captured an oxygen atmosphere from a world other than Earth.

Astronauts back safely from ISS

Two Americans and a Russian returned safely last night from the International Space station, touching down last night on the Kazakhstan steppe.

Russia eyes nuclear-powered spaceships

Russian space contractor RSC Energia has confirmed plans for the design of advanced space modules that will be powered by nuclear-based propulsion systems.

Discovery launch may be postponed to next year

The last flight for space shuttle Discovery is looking increasingly likely to be pushed back to next year, as engineers battle to carry out a series of repairs.

SpaceX wins approval for first commercial spacecraft re-entry

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded SpaceX the first-ever commercial license to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit.

ESA extends 11 missions until 2014

The European Space Agency has decided to give a new lease of life to 11 of its operating space science missions. All are coming to the end of their funding - but still delivering important scientific results.

US Air Force launches biggest ever spy satellite

The US Air Force launched a massive spy satellite yesterday for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

Lockheed wants to build a Space Fence

Lockheed Martin recently submitted a detailed proposal for the development of a sophisticated "Space Fence."

NASA observes cometary snowstorm

Rather appropriately for the time of year, NASA's EPOXI team says that the mission's recent encounter with comet Hartley 2 observed a flurry of snow streaming out from the comet.

First extra-galactic planet discovered

Astronomers have for the first time discovered a planet which originated outside our galaxy.

Scientists eye radioactive Martian hoppers

Scientists are examining the feasibility of constructing hopping vehicles powered by radioactive material to more effectively explore the rugged surface of Mars.

Astronomers discover supernovae brewing

While looking for something else entirely, Harvard-Smithsonian astronomers have discovered several double-star systems which are merging, and which may explode as supernovae in the astronomically near future.

Japan confirms Hayabusa probe contained asteroid dust

Japanese scientists say they're certain that particles captured by the Hayabusa spacecraft are indeed from the Itokawa asteroid.

NASA sees birth of black hole

NASA's Chandra telescope has found evidence of the youngest black hole in our area of the universe - just 30 years old at the point of observation.

SETI embarks on biggest-ever search for extraterrestrials

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is turning its focus once again on some of the stars that were its very first targets back in 1960.

Solar blast on its way towards Earth

A large sunspot has erupted, sending a coronal mass ejection hurtling towards Earth.