A comprehensive study of hundreds of galaxies observed by the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed an unexpected pattern of change that extends back 8 billion years, or more than half the age of the universe.
Researchers say the distant blue galaxies they studied are gradually transforming into rotating disk galaxies like our own Milky Way.
Taking the guess work out of long-duration exploration is one of the benefits of the International Space Station. This orbiting laboratory serves as a test bed for technology and helps researchers understand how to prepare for extended trips in space.
Other benefits of this on-orbit testing include greater efficiency, design improvements to reduce equipment mass, and accelerated technology developments thanks to longer trial periods in microgravity.
NASA's commercial partner Blue Origin has successfully fired the thrust chamber assembly for its new 100,000 pound thrust BE-3 liquid oxygen, liquid hydrogen rocket engine.
The test was part of the Commercial Crew Development Round 2, developing a U.S. commercial crew space transportation capability that ultimately could become available for the government and other customers.
Since launching on Oct. 15, 1997, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has logged more than 3.8 billion miles of exploration -- enough to circle Earth more than 152,000 times. After flying by Venus twice, Earth, and then Jupiter on its way to Saturn, Cassini pulled into orbit around the ringed planet in 2004 and has been spending its last eight years weaving around Saturn, its glittering rings and intriguing moons.