International Space Station cooling system shuts down with six astronauts aboard

Nasa said crew are safe and experts are working to troubleshoot the problem

6-year-old boy from US starts petition to save Nasa

Connor Johnson has been obsessed with space since the age of 3, and his petition to the president to save NASA needs some help

Peter Higgs is to be honoured with a new £11m space technology centre named after him

The Nobel Prize for Peter Higgs recognises truth in an ancient Greek idea

The old system was familiar, the modern one somewhat more intimidating

Science Minister David Willetts: Britain can help send astronaut to Mars within 30 years

An astronaut could be walking on Mars within the next 30 years, the minister for universities and science predicted yesterday, as he pledged Britain’s support for a new “collaborative space race”.

Nasa's Hubble telescope finds signs of water on five distant planets

The water signatures are hazy due to atmospheric conditions, but scientists are 'very confident' that it exists

Nasa to grow plants on the moon by 2015: 'If they can thrive, we probably can too'

A 1kg "self-contained habitat" will be transported on a commercial spaceflight; on-board sensors and cameras will send back images and data to Earth

Comet ISON enters the field of view of the European Space Agency/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory

Comet Ison: Blow for stargazers as 'comet of the century' destroyed by the Sun

It was hoped that the comet would provide a spectacular sight in the sky next month - but the signs indicate that it had been burned up on its journey

Japanese engineers plan to turn the moon into a giant solar panel station

Engineering firm plans to install a 6,800 mile 'solar belt' around the moon's equator

In this composition image from Nasa, Comet Ison (bottom right) moves towards the sun

Comet Ison: Hope for 'comet of the century' after encounter with the Sun

Astronomers tracking the “comet of the century” believed it had flown too close to the Sun and had broken up, but hopes have now been reignited that part of it may have survived its close encounter.

A model of the Chinese solar-powered lunar rover Jade Rabbit

Chinese and American space agencies butt heads over competing moon landers

Nasa is worried that a new Chinese moon mission will jeopardise one of its major ongoing missions

Comet ISON shows off its tail

Will Comet Ison survive its close encounter with the sun?

All eyes will be firmly on the skies this Thursday as the 'star-grazer' brushes the sun's corona

Paperback review: Nothing, Edited by Jeremy Webb

This book starts with a bang, a very big one 13.82 billion years ago, when an object “roughly the size of a pea” transformed nothing into something.

The monster: Nasa telescopes have captured the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed.

'Monster' cosmic explosion capable of destroying Earth captured in distant galaxy

Scientists record the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, luckily it was in a far-off galaxy

The IceCube Laboratory at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica

A new age of astronomy? Discovery promises fresh insight into black holes and exploding stars

Researchers confirm first detection of sub-atomic particles from beyond the Solar System

TV Review - Light and Dark, BBC 4

Jim Al-Khalili's new two-part physics documentary Light and Dark had a scope that seemed just a little ambitious for two hours of television. "Light and Dark is essentially the story of everything we know and everything we don't know about our universe." So that's pretty much everything, then, Jim? Yet rather than the confusion of ideas you might expect, Al-Khalili's documentary illuminated a scientific story with its own, rather beautiful, internal logic.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there