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A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. (AP Photo / John Raoux)

A rocket ship built by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company thundered away from Earth with two Americans on Saturday, ushering in a new era in commercial space travel.

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NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken, during a launch rehearsal. (NASA HQ Photo / Flickr)

It’s a big day for NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX as they send humans into space Wednesday, the first crewed launch from American soil since 2011 and the first by a private firm.

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“Chicago Tonight” viewer J. Scott Sykora shared this photo of a harvest supermoon eclipse on Sept. 27, 2015.

There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about in 2020, but one bright spot has been the moon, specifically the string of supermoons we’ve enjoyed this spring. 

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Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders’ photograph of the first earthrise witnessed by humans. (NASA)

Apollo 8 astronauts were the first to ever witness an earthrise, a view of the planet that put its fragility into perspective and helped propel the environmental movement.

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In this April 15, 1970 photo made available by NASA, a group of flight controllers gather around the console of Glenn S. Lunney, foreground seated, Shift 4 flight director, in the Mission Operations Control Room of Mission Control Center in Houston. (NASA via AP)

Apollo 13’s astronauts never gave a thought to their mission number as they blasted off for the moon 50 years ago. Even when their oxygen tank ruptured two days later — on April 13.

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Pollution density over China in January 2020 (left) and dramatically less in February. (NASA Earth Observatory)

Satellites show a dramatic drop in pollution over China, which scientists say can be partially attributed to quarantines and an economic slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

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An artist’s impression of Solar Orbiter. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

It may not seem like it lately, but the sun does indeed still exist. And NASA is sending a spacecraft to our friendly neighborhood star to get some answers.

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Prior to its August 2018 launch, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is packed safely inside the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket payload fairing. (Credit: NASA / Bill Ingalls)

An update on the mission and findings of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, named after pioneering University of Chicago astrophysicist Eugene Parker, who first proposed the existence of the solar wind in 1958.

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A unique view of Earth from the vantage point of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA / Goddard / Arizona State University)

Adler Planetarium astronomer Mark Hammergren explains how a space-based sentry can help detect asteroids that will pass near Earth.

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An artist’s concept of an O’Neill cylinder. (Courtesy Blue Origin)

Could Jeff Bezos’ vision of giant rotating habitats one day support millions of people in space? We speak with two experts about humankind’s future in space. 

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In this July 20, 1969 photo made available by NASA, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lunar module pilot, walks on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity. (Neil Armstrong / NASA via AP)

A moonstruck nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s “giant leap” by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin at parties, races, ball games and concerts Saturday, toasting with Tang and gobbling MoonPies.

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This July 21, 1969 photo made available by NASA shows the U.S. flag planted at Tranquility Base on the surface of the moon, and a silhouette of a thruster at right, seen from a window in the Lunar Module. (NASA via AP)

Fifty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, some people insist it never happened and was all a big hoax by the U.S. government. Here’s a look at some of the most common claims and how they're explained away.

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(Credit: Noa Vigny Billick)

Meet Dr. Mika Tosca, a scientist who traded a job at NASA’s renowned Jet Propulsion Lab to teach climate science to art and design students in Chicago.

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This image made from a composite of September 2003 - January 2004 photos captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows nearly 10,000 galaxies in the deepest visible-light image of the cosmos, cutting across billions of light-years. (NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), HUDF Team via AP)

In research released on Friday, Nobel winning astronomer Adam Riess calculates the cosmos is between 12.5 and 13.0 billion years old - about 1 billion years younger than previous estimates.

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Identical twin brothers retired astronaut Mark Kelly, left, and Scott Kelly (Robert Markowitz / NASA)

A groundbreaking study concludes that human health can be “mostly sustained” for a year in space, a key finding that figures to help NASA with its mission of sending humans to Mars within two decades.

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NASA has sent a group of laboratory mice into orbit to study the physiological effects of living in space. (Courtesy NASA)

An ongoing NASA study aided by Northwestern researchers sent mice into orbit with the goal of learning more about the physiological effects of living in space. 

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