Galileo satellite checks in (orbit)

The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved: Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place – the world’s first civil-owned and operated satnav system. In 2011 and 2012 the first four satellites were launched into orbit. Four is the minimum number needed to perform navigation fixes.

Pluto spacecraft may have to dodge orbiting rocks

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft - now just two years away from Pluto - is on a riskier mission than previously realized, thanks to the threat posed bty the planet's moons and possible rings.

Fast-moving star could help test relativity

A star has been discovered orbiting tightly round the massive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, making its circuit in just eleven and a half years.

ISS moves to dodge space junk

The International Space Station will tomorrow be forced to change orbit to dodge a piece of space junk, Russian news agencies are reporting.

Weird exoplanets could harbor weird life

New research indicates that life might be able to survive on some of the odder exoplanets discovered so far - from scorching hot worlds with molten surfaces to freezing balls of ice.

Pair of planets found orbiting twin suns

NASA's Kepler mission has for the first time discovered multiple planets orbiting a pair of stars, showing it's possible for more than one planet to be formed and survive in such a chaotic environment.

Team spots 'impossible' binary stars

A team of astronomers has discovered four pairs of stars that they thought couldn't exist, with the stars in each pair orbiting one another in less than four hours.

Twin planets orbit distant star together

Astronomers have discovered two neighboring planets - one a bigger version of Earth - orbiting closer to each other than any planets discovered before.

Why the Earth isn't an ice ball

By rights, the much fainter sun two billion years ago should have left Earth as a giant snowball, incapable of developing life.

Maglev inventor proposes train to space

One of the inventors of the superconducting maglev train is proposing building a bigger, better version than ever before - that could fire out payloads into orbit.

Moon probes in place after successful burn

NASA's two GRAIL probes have now successfully been placed in orbit around the moon.

Moon probes to go into orbit this weekend

NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft will be placed into orbit around the moon over the New Year weekend, in preparation for their mission to study its composition and gravity field.

Russian Mars probe veers off course after launch

A Russian Mars probe, its first interplanetary mission in 15 years, failed to take the correct course after launch, the Russian space agency has reported.

Dawn probe sends back images of asteroid

NASA's Dawn probe is beginning the first of four science orbits, and has sent back its first close-up images.

Trojan asteroid shares Earth's orbit

It's two and a half thousand years since the Greek philosopher Philolaus suggested the existence of a 'counter-Earth' - another planet sharing Earth's orbit.

'Wrong way' planetary orbits explained

Scientists believe they've worked out why some extrasolar planets orbit in the opposite direction to their star's rotation.

Messenger moves into orbit around Mercury

NASA's Messenger spacecraft is poised to go into orbit around Mercury tonight, after a six-year, five billion-mile journey.

Spacecraft fails to enter Venus orbit

Japan's Akatsuki probe has failed to go into orbit around Venus as planned, meaning a six-year wait until another attempt can be made.

Lockheed wants to build a Space Fence

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

Duck, everybody: two asteroids to zip close by Earth today

Later today, two asteroids will swing so close to the Earth that they pass between us and the orbit of the moon.