Meet NASA’s Susan Finley, still exploring ‘the final frontier’ at 81

By Lauren Monsen At NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Susan Finley is accustomed to pushing boundaries — “to boldly go where no one has gone before,” as the Star Trek TV show might say. In 1958, Finley was
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Rosetta Watches Comet Fire Its Jets

In a montage of four new photos of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a region of jet activity can be seen at the neck of the comet. These jets, originating from several locations, are a product of ices sublimating and gases escaping from inside the nucleus. The images were captured by the (more...)

NASA Satellite Eyes Sochi Olympic Sites

It’s not often that the Winter Olympic Games come with an ocean view, but that’s what we are getting this year at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. Sochi is the warmest city ever to host the Winter Games, which officially run February 7–23. Two images of (more...)

NASA’s Kepler Provides Insights on Enigmatic Planets

More than three-quarters of the planet candidates discovered by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft have sizes ranging from that of Earth to that of Neptune, which is nearly four times as big as Earth. Such planets dominate the galactic census but are not represented in our own solar (more...)

NASA’s Juno Gives Starship-Like View of Earth Flyby

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on October 9, it received a boost in speed of more than 7.3 kilometers per second, which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. One of Juno’s sensors, (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’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...)

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...)

Rover Heads for New Destination in Mars Exploration

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer The rover Curiosity and the scientific instruments of the Mars Space Laboratory (MSL) have been tested and proven in the last nine months. Now NASA points the rover in a new direction, heading for a mountain about 8 kilometers away. Scientists think there’s a lot (more...)

GRAIL Mission Solves Mystery of Moon’s Surface Gravity

NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission has uncovered the origin of massive invisible regions that make the moon's gravity uneven, phenomenon that affects the operations of lunar-orbiting spacecraft. Because of GRAIL’s findings, spacecraft on missions to other celestial bodies can navigate with greater precision in (more...)

Curiosity Radiation Data Guides Planning for Astronaut Safety

By Charlene Porter Staff Writer An astronaut crew aboard the space voyage that took the rover Curiosity to Mars would have been exposed to an excessive level of radiation, NASA scientists announced May 30. Analysis of data collected by a Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on board the flight is (more...)

NASA Invites Public to Fly Along with Voyager

A gauge on the Voyager home page tracks levels of two of the three key signs scientists believe will appear when the spacecraft leave our solar neighborhood and enter interstellar space. When the three signs are verified, scientists will know that one of the Voyagers has (more...)

Saturn Is Like an Antiques Shop, Cassini Suggests

A new analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that Saturn’s moons and rings are gently worn vintage goods from around the time of the solar system’s birth. Though they are tinted on the surface from recent “pollution,” these bodies date back more than 4 billion years. (more...)

Martian Crater May Have Held Groundwater-Fed Lake

A NASA spacecraft is providing new evidence of a wet underground environment on Mars that adds to a complex picture of the red planet’s early evolution. The new information comes from researchers analyzing spectrometer data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which looked down on the floor of (more...)

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