Articles about nasa

New Horizons mission control

New Horizons probe awakens to receive software upgrade

The New Horizons probe has successfully ended its five-month hibernation and resumed chats with its mission controllers. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab received the “I'm okay” message via NASA's Deep Space Network station in Madrid. Once the probe's back in “Active” state, it's got a busy schedule before a December 9 …

Cassini probe's death dive to send data at just 27 kilobits per second

Space is nasty and sending data across 83 light-minutes of it isn't easy, so the Cassini probe's death dive into the clouds of Saturn will be an instruments-only affair undocumented by photographs. Cassini has surveyed Saturn since 2004 but is out of fuel, so will be crashed into Saturn instead of leaving it an an orbit that …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Sep 2017
NASA New Horizons artist's impression

Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

If we're not all too hungover when New Year's Day 2019 rolls around, NASA will hopefully have a fun set of photos to show us because on that day New Horizons probe has been told to go within just 3,500km of Kuiper Belt Object MU69. Having nominated MU69 as next on New Horizons' itinerary in 2015, it's already pointed the probe …
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Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

Incoming Hurricane Irma is menacing Florida, USA, prompting mandatory evacuations – and threatening to ruin Elon Musk's week too. On Wednesday, SpaceX is due to deliver the US Air Force's secretive X-37B pocket space shuttle into orbit, using a Falcon 9 rocket blasting off from Cape Canaveral in the usually Sunshine State. The …
Iain Thomson, 5 Sep 2017
James Bridenstine

Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

President Donald Trump this month nominated US House Rep James Bridenstine (R-OK) to be the next NASA administrator. America's space agency has been without a top boss since Charles Bolden resigned on January 20, and the organization has had to deal with proposed major cuts to its funding since then. While Bridenstine is a …
Iain Thomson, 5 Sep 2017
NASA impression of asteroid Florence

Asteroid Florence buzzes Earth, brings two moons along for the ride

Be glad that the asteroid dubbed “Florence” won't revisit Earth for many, many years: observations during its weekend fly-by revealed that the space-rock is so big it's captured two moons. Sky-watchers have been waiting for Florence (officially 3122 Florence) for some time: it was first spotted in 1981 by astronomer Schelte …

James Webb Telescope will be infatuated with Europa and Enceladus

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will be focused on Europa and Enceladus, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, in efforts to uncover the secrets of how life began in the Solar System. Europa and Enceladus have captivated scientists with rising plumes of water cracking beneath their icy surfaces. The moons have been described as “ …
Katyanna Quach, 26 Aug 2017
Hurricane

US focuses eyes in the sky as Hurricane Harvey starts to slam into Texas

As Hurricane Harvey bears down on the Texas coast, American satellites have provided vital monitoring data to give Texans the best information about the incoming terror tempest. The space agency has three orbital platforms providing data on the mega-storms, which has now been upgraded to a category-three hurricane, meaning …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2017
Voyager mission logo

Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

When Richard Stephenson drives to work, there's a chance that later that day he'll become the first human to see new details of Mars, a moon of Saturn, or the far reaches of the solar system. Again. Stephenson's seen plenty of such firsts because his job as an Operations Supervisor at the Canberra Deep Space Tracking Complex …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Aug 2017
Solar storm - Shutterstock

Ten spacecraft – from Venus Express to Voyager 2 – all tracked same solar flare

On October 14th, 2014, the Sun decided it was time for a coronal mass ejection, the irregular hiccups that see it belch out astounding quantities of magnetised plasma. And after careful analysis, we've now fingerprinted the plasma's passing using no fewer than ten spacecraft. The event and subsequent analysis are detailed in a …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Aug 2017

NASA delivers CREAM-y load to ISS to improve cosmic ray detection

Hitching a ride on SpaceX's 12th commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station is NASA's latest tech for studying the origins of cosmic rays, the high-energy particles that bombard Earth from deep space. Victor Hess, an Austrian physicist, is credited with discovering cosmic rays during a balloon flight in …
Andrew Silver, 15 Aug 2017
China's robot space truck Tianzhou-1 lifts off

NASA short-lists six candidates for future missions

NASA has published a shortlist of six missions its considering for launch from the year 2022. All are part of the space agency's “Explorers Program”, which aims to do heliophysics and astrophysics on modest budgets. The program runs “Medium-Class” missions with a budget cap of US$250m and “Missions of Opportunity” that get …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2017
NASA artist’s concept of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker

Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

The New Horizons probe's next destination, Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, looks a bit like a duck. That's NASA's best guess after the amazing effort to fly a plane through the space rock's shadow in early July 2017, plus observations from earthly telescopes in Argentina. After examining the results of those observations, NASA …

Are you a clean freak? Are you a keen geek? Do you think space is neat?

Here’s a job title you can dazzle people with at boring dinner parties: Planetary Protection Officer. NASA is looking for someone to prevent germs from being exchanged between Earth and the Moons, comets, asteroids, and planets in our Solar System during space missions. “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of …
NASA image solar wave modes

Sun's core in a real spin, but you wouldn't know just by looking at it

Our Sun's core is rotating four times faster than its surface. That's the conclusion boffins have reached after peering at data from the joint NASA-ESA SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) mission, first launched in 1995 and still turning in the science. What SOHO found is something solar scientists have been trying to …
2012 TC4 - NASA impression

Scary news: Asteroid may pass Earth by just 6,880km in October

NASA's preparing another round asteroid defence tests, thanks to the October fly-by of a rock that may come within a cosmic whisker of the Earth. Update: The figures below were later revised by scientists. See our followup story, here. The original article continues below. Asteroid 2012 TC4 is said rock, and is between ten …
NASA RS-25 with controller

NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

Vid If you have a hankering to watch eight minutes of billowing clouds of rocket exhaust, NASA's posted the video of the latest test of its RS-25 engine. The RS-25 is, as NASA-watchers know, the power-plant the agency is developing to shove its planned Space Launch System skywards. Yesterday's test was the third time NASA's run …
Saturn

Cassini captures pieces of Saturn’s rings

The soon-to-die Cassini probe has captured tiny fragments of Saturn’s rings. Cassini’s was launched in 1997, made it to Saturn in 2004 and has been there ever since. But the probe is running out of fuel and will be crashed into the gas giant in September 2017, in order to avoid possible contamination of potentially-life-bearing …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Jul 2017

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