Articles about nasa

Ceres' bright spots  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Geoboffins baffled as Ceres is crawling with carbon organics

Ceres contains more carbon-based compounds - the chemical building blocks for life - than previously thought, according to a new study. Last year, scientists discovered that not only was Ceres’ surface peppered with patches of organic material, but that it is rich in water ice and its crust contains ice, salts and hydrated …
Katyanna Quach, 14 Jun 2018
NASA's Opportunity Rover

Da rude sand storm seizes the Opportunity, threatens to KO rover

Video Time may be up for America's plucky Opportunity rover that has trundled across the surface of Mars for more than 14 years. During a press conference on Wednesday, NASA officials said that the robot had been caught in a massive dust storm encircling a quarter of the planet, and this had blocked the probe's solar cells from …
Iain Thomson, 14 Jun 2018
moondust

Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

A woman has sued NASA, claiming to be the rightful owner of a small vial of moon dust supposedly given to her by Neil Armstrong. The lawsuit was filed under the US District Court of Kansas last week by Laura Murray Cicco. She claims that when she was ten, her mother handed her a glass vial with a rubber stopper containing …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Jun 2018
Martian Dust Storm

Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

As NASA's Opportunity rover nears its 15th birthday, engineers are worried the plucky little robot may not survive a worsening Martian dust storm. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spotted the approaching storm on 1 June, giving the Opportunity team notice to kick off their contingency plans. The storm now covers more than …
Richard Speed, 11 Jun 2018
alien

NASA finds more stuff suggesting Mars could have hosted life, maybe

NASA’s Curiosity rover has again found evidence that Mars was potentially capable of hosting life. As detailed in a new Science paper, “Organic matter preserved in 3-billion-year-old mudstones at Gale crater, Mars”, some of the soil samples Curiosity took from the bottom of Gale Crater turned up molecules of “thiophenes, …
NASA logo

USA! USA! We're No.1! And we want to keep it that way – in spaaaace

A study published today by the Pew Research Center has found that a majority of Americans reckon that staying on top of the space pile should be a US priority, with NASA still attracting a lot of love. However, party poppers are unlikely to be fired within NASA's scattered spaceflight centres since the idea of putting boots …
Richard Speed, 6 Jun 2018
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

NASA makes the James Webb Telescope a looker with a heart of gold

While the spaceship name Heart of Gold was taken by the late, great Douglas Adams, NASA has come up with something similar for its forthcoming space telescope. To capture incoming radiation, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will need to fend off outgoing radiation. The telescope, scheduled to launch in 2020 following several …
Curiosity's drill over the laboratory intake

DIYers rejoice: Hitting stuff to make it work even works in space

The percussive maintenance NASA carried out on the Curiosity Rover's drilling machinery has worked, and the robot has started analysing Martian rock samples again. In mid-May, NASA announced its plan to restart the drill, which had been out of action since a motor failed in October 2016. Agency boffins first tried “Feed …
asteroid

NASA spots asteroid on crash course with Earth – with just hours to go

Video Scientists at NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office have made a rare sighting – an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. The rock, dubbed 2018 LA, was picked up by the Catalina Sky Survey on Saturday morning, just hours before it piled into our home world at a speed of 10 miles per second, or 0.5368 per cent of the …
Iain Thomson, 4 Jun 2018
ceres

Dawn spacecraft to get up-close and personal with dwarf planet Ceres

The Dawn spacecraft orbiting dwarf planet Ceres will soon make its final course change as NASA boffins set it up for a closest-ever flyby yet to get a warts-and-all look. Ceres is the largest body in the Asteroid Belt and orbits between Mars and Jupiter. Dawn's been there since 2015, mapping the surface from hundreds of miles …
Iain Thomson, 1 Jun 2018
Alan Bean (pic: NASA)

RIP to two 'naut legends: A moonwalker and a spacewalker

Obit The world lost two astronauts this past weekend – one a moonwalker that you've likely heard of, the other a pioneering spacewalker you might not know about. Bye-bye, Alan Bean Alan Bean, the fourth man on the Moon, passed away on 26 May, aged 86. He is perhaps most famous for being the lunar module pilot (LMP) on the Apollo 12 …
Richard Speed, 30 May 2018
NASA tech inspects MOMA

Toaster oven-sized boffin box bound for Mars to search for life

A team from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center gathered last week to bid farewell to a mass spectrometer as it began its journey to the red planet via an assembly plant in Italy. The instrument is a key component of a toaster oven-sized lab, called the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA), which will detect evidence of …
Richard Speed, 25 May 2018

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

The "impossible" EmDrive may be just that, though don't count it out just yet. A group of German physicists at TU Dresden has tested two proposed means of propellantless propulsion – the EmDrive and Mach Effect Thrusters – and found the act of testing is what makes these arguably physics-flouting technologies appear to work. …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2018
Falcon 9 on the launchpad (pic: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Through many dangers, toils and snares.... SpaceX to send amazing GRACE to spaaaaace

Because ride-sharing is caring, SpaceX will send the next batch of Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit along with a pair of NASA gravity monitoring orbiters, GRACE-FO. The launch, scheduled for 1947 UTC (1247 PT) from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base today, will reuse the outdated Falcon block 4 rocket that flung mystery- …
Richard Speed, 22 May 2018
Curiosity

NASA fix for Curiosity rovers's damaged drill: hitting it, repeatedly

NASA's top engineers think they've figured out a way to get the Curiosity rover's drill back to work holing the rock faces of Mars. Back in 2016 the nuclear-powered rover's rock-sampling drill broke down after a motor failed. As 225 million km (140 million miles) is too far to make an on-site visit, the men and women of NASA …
Iain Thomson, 18 May 2018
Skylab (pic: NASA)

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

Two NASA anniversaries rolled around this week, but you would be forgiven for missing them. The first was the 45th anniversary of the launch of the United States' only solo Space Station, Skylab, designed to host astronauts for months at a time. The second big day, yesterday, marked 55 years since the space agency launched the …
Richard Speed, 16 May 2018
europa

Decades-old data reveals shows Jupiter’s moon sprayed alien juice over Galileo probe

Space scientists have just figured out that an unusual anomaly from over 20 years ago was the equivalent of a space probe being squirted in the face. Back in 1997 the Galileo Jupiter probe skimmed the watery moon of Europa and now it appears it got a faceful from a water plume 1,000km (621 miles) wide. Flying at 6km (3.7 …
Iain Thomson, 14 May 2018
NASA depiction of the helicopter to travel on the Mars 2020 mission

NASA will send tiny helicopter to Mars

NASA has announced that its Mars 2020 mission will include a small helicopter. The appeal of a ‘copter is obvious: it’ll be faster than a crawling robot, see further and should be less likely to be stuck in sand. While Bernoulli’s Principle holds on Mars, the red planet’s atmosphere is vastly thinner than Earth’s so a copter …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2018

Create a news alert about nasa, or find more stories about nasa.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018