The paper raises the question of whether alien races could have used the gravity of stars to “slingshot” probes in order to gain speed: a technique humans already use for probes, such as the Voyager.

Self-replicating alien space probes could already be in our solar system, say mathematicians

Mathematicians analysed the possibility that probes could travel through space in a study published in the Journal of Astrobiology

Gas cloud 'stretched like spaghetti' by supermassive black hole

Through studying the cloud's death throes, scientists hope to learn more about the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

The UK Space Agency, based in Swindon, aims to capture 10 per cent of the space industry

From Swindon to the Solar System: UK Space Agency aims to capture 10 per cent of the industry

It’s easy to laugh, but Britain is making steady progress in the space race. And with £40bn up for grabs, we should take it seriously

<b>Astronauts repairing the Hubble Space Telescope </b>
<p>Endeavour space shuttle, 1993 </p>
<p>The Hubble Space Telescope was sent into space in 1990. Orbiting outside the distorting effects of the Earth’s atmosphere, it has taken the most breath-taking images of our universe. This photograph shows astronauts F. Story Musgrave (on the robotic arm) and Jeffrey Hoffman (inside the shuttle) during the first servicing mission, which repaired a flaw in the telescope's primary mirror. </p>

Update: NASA aborts live-streamed space walk after helmet leak

Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Luca Parmitano will be carrying out routine maintenance on the ISS

Government to spend £60m on revolutionary Sabre rocket engine that will be used on spaceplane Skylon

Skylon will be capable of reaching Earth's stratosphere in just 15 minutes

Video: Chinese astronaut shares her top moments of time in space

A Chinese astronaut who taught schoolchildren about the wonders of science from space, jokes that one of the highlights of her cosmic trip was chasing pieces of chocolates around in zero gravity.

NASA have successfully tested the first-ever 3D printed rocket component.

Nasa successfully tests first ever 3D-printed rocket component

Additive printing could lead to cheaper and quicker production of rockets

The other blue planet: HD 189733b's stunning azure hue revealed by Hubble telescope for first time

Deep cobalt colouring comes from drops of liquid gas raining horizontally in 7,000 km/h winds

Jodrell Bank Observatory: The giant Lovell Telescope - used for listening to radio signals from space - was completed in 1957

UK scientists petition government for £1m to search for alien life

Newly created UK Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research Network would use new array of radio telescopes dubbed eMerlin

Russian rocket crashes in Kazakhstan seconds after launch

A Russian rocket carrying three satellites has crashed in Kazakhstan shortly after launch.

Flagging interest: Derek Draper’s successor as LTA chief executive will be ‘good with money’ but what’s needed is an understanding of the sport’s culture

The Last Word: Sorry Andy, we're not a tennis nation

The LTA are not fit for purpose but a different, independent system could get us more involved

Chinese space capsule returns safely from 15-day trip to prototype space station

A Chinese space capsule with three astronauts has landed safely on the country’s northern grasslands after a 15-day trip to a prototype space station, marking the latest success for China’s manned space programme as it enters its second decade.

An artist's concept shows NASA's Dawn spacecraft orbiting the giant asteroid Vesta, as released by NASA December 12, 2011. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout

Nasa identifies 10,000th Near-Earth object, MZ5: Apocalypse still on hold

The new discovery is thankfully only 300 metres across and orbits at a safe distance from Earth

Yvonne Brill: Rocket scientist who developed a system to keep satellites in their orbits

Yvonne Brill was a pioneering rocket scientist, who, after an eight-year break to raise a family, went on to develop a propulsion system to help keep satellites from slipping out of their orbits. The system, invented in the early 1970s, remains the industry standard for unmanned spacecraft and earned her recognition in 2011 when she received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama, who cited the US Patent and Trademark Office: "Satellites using her invention form the backbone of the worldwide communication network."

An image provided by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) shows an artists impression of the view from the exoplanet Gliese 667Cd looking towards the planet's parent star (Gliese 667C). In the background to the right, the more distant stars in this triple system (Gliese 667A and Gliese 667B) are visible

Three 'super-Earths' discovered: Are planets found orbiting Gliese 667C in nearby solar system capable of supporting human life?

They orbit Gliese 667C, one of three stars 22 light years away in the constellation of Scorpius

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