CubeSat becomes first craft to fly with ESA’s standardized “space brain”

On June 26, ESA's OPS-SAT space lab went into Earth orbit with a computer running the European Ground System – Common Core (EGS-CC) "space brain" software that will be common to all European space missions from 2025.

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The Apollo 11 Ascent Stage may still be orbiting the Moon

A new mathematical study suggests that the abandoned Ascent Stage of the Apollo 11 mission's Eagle Lunar Module, long believed to have crashed on the Moon in 1969, may be circling our largest natural satellite in a stable orbit.

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Mars InSight reveals first crust-to-core snapshot of Red Planet

NASA's InSight has provided … well, insight, into the inner workings of the Red Planet. By monitoring marsquakes over the past two years, the instrument measured the thickness and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle and core, revealing some surprises.

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Blue Origin’s New Shepard flies passengers to space and back

Blue Origin has nailed the first human flight of New Shepard, taking company founder Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, 82-year-old Mary Wallace "Wally" Funk and 18-year-old Oliver Daemen on a brief jaunt to space.

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Bizarre star may have been forged in a gigantic “hypernova”

A bizarre star may have its origins in an extremely energetic event. Astronomers have found that a star with an unusual composition may have formed in the wake of a new type of hypernova – a stellar explosion with 10 times the energy of a supernova.

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Magnetism, not cataclysm may be the cause of Mercury’s giant iron core

Mercury’s disproportionately massive core may be the result of the Sun’s powerful magnetic influence rather than the consequence of a cataclysmic collision with another body in the ancient past, according to the results of a new study.

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CRISPR gene-editing tested in space for first time in DNA damage study

The CRISPR gene-editing tool has been successfully used in space for the first time. Researchers onboard the International Space Station have edited colonies of yeast to study how they repair DNA damage, which could one day help protect astronauts.

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Earth-like planets may be lurking in the glare of binary star systems

Double star systems may be hiding masses of potentially habitable Earth-sized planets in their combined glare. Roughly half of all stars are thought to exist in binary systems, in which two massive stellar bodies orbit around a common centre of mass.

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