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In a move that throws cold water into the dreams of some billionaire space explorers, the United States has toughened its definition of the word "astronaut."The new rules of the FAA (the agency that regulates civil aviation in the United States) say that astronauts must be part of the crew and contribute to the safety of space flights.This means that Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson cannot...


Black holes are astronomical objects that have a gravity so strong that not even light can escape. Neutron stars are incredibly dense dead stars. It is estimated that a teaspoon of material from a neutron star weighs about 4 billion tons.Both objects are cosmic monsters, but black holes are considerably more massive than neutron stars.In the first collision, which was detected on January 5,...


The forward view shows the landscape ahead of the robot as it sits on its landing platform; the rear-looking image reveals Zhurong's solar panels.The rover touched down on the Red Planet early on Sunday, Beijing time.In doing so, it made China only the second nation - after America - to successfully put a probe on the surface of Mars and operate it for a significant length of time.Chinese...


The Tianhe module - which contains living quarters for crew members - was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on a Long March-5B rocket.China hopes to have the new station operational by 2022.The only space station currently in orbit is the International Space Station, from which China is excluded.China has been a late starter when it comes to space exploration. It was only in 2003...


The asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs gave birth to our planet's tropical rainforests, a study suggests.Researchers used fossil pollen and leaves from Colombia to investigate how the impact changed South American tropical forests.After the 12km-wide space rock struck Earth 66 million years ago, the type of vegetation that made up these forests changed drastically.The team has...