For the first time, scientists have measured rapidly varying temperatures in hot gas emanating from around a black hole. These ultrafast "winds" are created by disks of matter surrounding black holes. The winds, according to new measurements of a nearby supermassive black hole obtained with NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) telescope, can heat up and cool down in the span of just a few hours. The black hole is located in the active galaxy IRAS 13224-3809 in the constellation Centaurus.

NASA’s goals for human deep space exploration are complex and ambitious. To maximize resources as it pushes the boundaries of exploration, the agency is exploring opportunities to take advantage of emerging private sector space capabilities. NASA released a request for information Monday regarding possible commercial sources to fly limited payloads on planned, non-NASA missions to Mars.

WASHINGTON — SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk announced Feb. 27 that the company is pursuing plans to launch two people on a Dragon spacecraft around the moon in late 2018. In a call with reporters, Musk announced that SpaceX had been approached by two private individuals to fly on a Dragon 2 spacecraft, launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket, to fly around the moon and back in the fourth quarter of 2018. “I think this should be a really exciting mission that gets the world really excited about sending people into deep space again,” Musk said.

NASA is assessing the feasibility of adding a crew to the first integrated flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft,Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). NASA is building new deep space capabilities to take humans farther into the solar system than we have ever traveled, and ultimately to Mars. Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot announced Feb.

The test of the engine, lasting 380 seconds, is part of a broader effort to qualify the engines for use on the core stage of the SLS and to test design tweaks.

Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. "Looking for life elsewhere, this system is probably our best bet as of today," study co-author Brice-Olivier Demory, a professor at the Center for Space and Habitability at the University of Bern in Switzerland, said in a statement.

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