With the successful flight test of NASA's Orion spacecraft on Dec. 5, a new space era for has started for America and its aerospace industry. Companies engaged in space exploration like Lockheed Martin, which built the Orion spacecraft, learn a valuable lesson from this first and crucial step on a long journey to Mars.

Artistic rendering of the Square Kilometre Array at night. SKA Organisation

By Yves Wiaux, Heriot Watt University and Jason McEwen, University College London

"Dark matter" is a blanket term for inferred matter that is undetected but must exist in order for gravity at very large scales to make any sense at all.

Based on inference, 27 percent of the universe is generally acknowledged to be dark matter, even though it is not visible and eludes direct detection and measurement. Whatever dark energy might turn out to be gets a number of about 68 percent of the universe. The rest of the universe, what we can detect and feel, is what we know to be matter. 

Hang on? Oh, there you are… ESA, Author provided

By Monica Grady, The Open University

Phew, what a day it was yesterday. Ended up having a quiet drink at the hotel. Last drink of the day – a nice cup of tea!