NASA’s Spitzer Telescope Celebrates 10 Years in Space

Ten years after its launch, NASA"s Spitzer Space Telescope, the fourth of the agency"s four Great Observatories, continues to illuminate the dark side of the cosmos with its infrared eyes. The telescope, launched August 25, 2003, studied comets and asteroids, counted
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Cassini Releases Image of Earth Waving at Saturn

People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA’s Cassini mission on July 19 — the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a (more...)

NASA Spacecraft Reactivated to Hunt for Asteroids

A NASA spacecraft that discovered tens of thousands of asteroids throughout the solar system before being placed in hibernation will return to service for three more years starting in September, helping the agency identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, as well as those suitable (more...)

NASA Rover Gets Movie as a Mars Moon Passes Another

The NASA illustration above provides a comparison for how big the moons of Mars appear to be, as seen from the surface of the red planet, in relation to the size that Earth's moon appears to be when seen from the surface of Earth. Earth's moon actually (more...)

Opportunity Explores New Martian Landscape

The Mars rover Curiosity has become an international celebrity since landing on the planet in August 2012. In the meantime, the senior NASA rover on the Martian surface, Opportunity, is quietly preparing to tuck in for its fifth winter on the Red Planet. Opportunity is studying an area (more...)

Cosmonauts Set Russian Spacewalk Record with Space Station Work

Two cosmonauts, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Alexander Misurkin, set a new record for the longest Russian spacewalk August 16, spending a total of seven hours and 29 minutes outside the International Space Station. The cosmonauts installed power and data cables for a new Russian laboratory module expected (more...)

NASA’s Juno Is Halfway to Jupiter

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is halfway to Jupiter. The spacecraft reached the milestone August 12 at 12:25 UTC. “Juno’s odometer just clicked over to 9.464 astronomical units,” said Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “The team is looking forward, preparing for the (more...)

If We Landed on Europa, What Would We Want to Know?

Most of what scientists know of Jupiter’s moon Europa they have gleaned from a dozen or so close flybys from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1979 and NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in the mid-to-late 1990s. In these fleeting, paparazzi-like encounters, scientists have seen a fractured, ice-covered world (more...)

Sun’s Magnetic Field About to Flip

Something big is about to happen on the sun (seen above in ultraviolet). According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun’s vast magnetic field is about to flip. “It looks like we’re no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal,” said solar (more...)

NASA Marks First Anniversary of Curiosity Mars Landing

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer One year since landing on Mars, the rover Curiosity and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) on board have answered the big question the craft was sent there to investigate: Have Martian environmental conditions ever been conducive to life? Yes, is Curiosity’s answer. What (more...)

How Did Earth’s Primitive Chemistry Get Kick-Started?

How did life on Earth get started? Three new papers co-authored by Mike Russell, a NASA research scientist, strengthen the case that Earth’s first life began at alkaline hydrothermal vents at the bottom of oceans. Scientists are interested in understanding early life on Earth because if humankind (more...)

Scientist Wins Food Prize for Key Agricultural Discovery

By Kathryn McConnell Staff Writer While in school in Hinsdale, Illinois, Mary-Dell Chilton took a series of standardized academic aptitude tests. After the tests, an evaluator told Chilton she did so well on the science portion that some examiners thought perhaps she had cheated. She had not. In fact, the (more...)

Cassini to Take a Picture of You

The Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn is maneuvering into place to take pictures of Earth. The picture taking will occur between 21:27 and 21:42 UTC on July 19. Cassini will be nearly 1.5 billion kilometers away from Earth. NASA is encouraging the public to look and wave in the direction (more...)

Artist Envisions Next Mars Rover

Planning for NASA’s 2020 Mars rover envisions a basic structure that capitalizes on the design and engineering work done for the NASA rover Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, but with new science instruments selected through competition for accomplishing different science objectives. Above is an artist’s (more...)

Mars Rover Opportunity Keeps Moving, Nine Years On

NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity has driven more than half of the distance needed to get from a site where it spent 22 months to its next destination. The rover has 800 meters to go to finish a 2-kilometer dash from one crater-rim segment, where it had worked since (more...)

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