Articles about jpl

Voyager probe illustration

Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!

NASA's announced that Voyager 1's already-amazingly-long mission will probably be extended for an extra two or three years, thanks to a successful attempt to use thrusters that haven't fired up since the year 1980. As NASA announced last Friday, Voyager 1's been using its “attitude control thrusters” (ACMs) for decades, to …
EARTHQUAKE!

California enormo-quake prediction: Cracks form between US boffins

NASA and the US Geological Survey (USGS) experts are arguing over the likelihood of a major earthquake hitting southern California in the near future. The debate began earlier this week when eggheads at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) posted a study suggesting that the chances of an earthquake magnitude five or greater …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2015
Opportunity in clean room

Marathon race ace FOUND ON MARS – NASA boffins overjoyed

Diagasm NASA celebrated a milestone in space exploration on Tuesday when the Opportunity Mars rover's odometer clicked past 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometres) – marking the first time a man-made object has completed a marathon's distance on the surface of another planet. "This mission isn't about setting distance records, of course; it' …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

Update - Boffins: COMETS are like FRIED ICE CREAM. Mmm

Boffins working for Caltech and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have created comet-like stuff in a cryostat. Along the way, they've decided that your average comet is kind of like fried ice-cream: squishy on the inside, crusty on the outside, with organic chemicals dusted on top. Both the ESA's Rosetta and NASA's Deep Impact …
Artist's conception of a watery asteroid being torn apart white dwarf GD 61

ATTACK of the FLYING MOUNTAIN: 2004 BL86 goes by like a BULLET

NASA has warned skywatchers that a huge asteroid will pass over European and North American skies on Monday and that it will be the biggest space rock to do a fly-by of our planet until 2027. Most asteroids that pass us are smallish, between 50 and 100 meters wide. This latest visitor, asteroid 2004 BL86, is half a kilometer ( …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jan 2015
Opportunity's View from Atop 'Cape Tribulation': Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA closing on fix for Opportunity rover's 'amnesia'

NASA says it's close to a fix for the flash memory problems plaguing the plucky Opportunity rover, which is now nearing its eleventh year of Martian trundling. The problems surfaced last year and created a form of amnesia that NASA boffins decided was caused by one of seven memory banks aboard the rover. The good news is that …
Darren Pauli, 9 Jan 2015
Artist's concept of Curiosity

Mars was a WET mistress: Curiosity probes once-moist bottom

NASA's nuclear-powered Curiosity rover has found evidence the three-mile-high Mount Sharp on Mars was once under a large lake. Mount Sharp lake A few billion years earlier and Curiosity would have needed water wings "We are making headway in solving the mystery of Mount Sharp," said Curiosity Project Scientist John …
Iain Thomson, 8 Dec 2014
NASA's new Europa photo

NASA revisits Europa with modern image-processing software

NASA has re-issued a famous image of Jovian moon Europa, after subjecting it to “modern image processing techniques” for the first time. The 1.6km-per-pixel, 2300x1700 image is actually a composite of several captured by the Galileo probe during the craft's first and fourteenth orbits through the Jupiter system, in 1995 and …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2014
Curiosity self-portrait at Rocknest in the Gale Crater

NASA on Curiosity bot: Mission accomplished (for now at least)

Pics NASA and JPL scientists have declared the first stage of Curiosity's ongoing mission to explore strange new places on Mars a success, after the laser-equipped space tank reached the foothills of Mount Sharp. The road ahead for Curiosity The winding road ahead for Curiosity (click to enlarge) "Curiosity now will begin a …
Iain Thomson, 11 Sep 2014
Artist's image of asteroids and Mars

NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away

IT administrators at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are preparing to perform an interplanetary remote wipe and reboot on its Martian Opportunity rover after the decade-old explorer began to get a bit senile. The latest view from Mars sent by Opportunity The latest view from Mars sent by Opportunity Opportunity's …
Iain Thomson, 30 Aug 2014
Mars jelly doughnut

'The Mystery of the Martian Doughnut' solved by NASA sleuths

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says it has solved the mystery of a doughnut-shaped rock that appeared in front of its Opportunity Mars rover in January. Mars doughnut Before and after doughnut delivery (click to enlarge) The 1.5-inch rock, dubbed Pinnacle Island, appeared on Opportunity's cameras on January 8, and NASA …
Iain Thomson, 15 Feb 2014
Artist's concept of Curiosity

NASA quandary: Should Curiosity channel Fast and Furious for Martian dune-buggy jump?

NASA scientists are preparing to put Curiosity through its toughest challenge yet, scaling a meter-high sand dune that could leave the Mars rover stranded, immobilized. Dingo Gap Let's go off-road! The boffins behind Curiosity are looking for the best possible route to the rover's next goal, Mount Sharp, but the two routes …
Iain Thomson, 5 Feb 2014
Opportunity rock

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are puzzled by a mysterious rock that has appeared in front of the Opportunity rover, Curiosity's never-say-die older sibling. Opportunity rock Is someone – or something – screwing with NASA? "Mars keeps throwing new stuff at us!" NASA Mars Exploration Rover lead scientist …
Iain Thomson, 21 Jan 2014
Artist's concept of Curiosity

Curiosity rover: While you humans were busy being hungover, this bot hit its 500th Martian day

While here on Earth we humans were recovering from celebrating another solar orbit with the usual fireworks, drunkenness, and canoodling, the Curiosity rover yesterday ticked over its 500th Martian day on the surface of the Red Planet. Mount Sharp on Mars Mount Sharp, Curiosity's next target "Goals for 2014: Finish driving …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jan 2014
Cubesat drive fuel storage container

Cubesats to go interplanetary with tiny plasma drives

Cube satellites – the current craze among space researchers with more ideas than money – could take a step farther out into deep space, if the University of Michigan has its way. UoM researcher Benjamin Longmier, assistant professor of aerospace engineering and a propulsion specialist in the university's Plasmadynamics and …
Four patterns available from the laser: single point, line, cross and dots

JPL wants to fire a laser at MARS!

A group of JPL scientists, working on improving space-scale laser ranging, believe they could one day measure the distance from Earth to Mars with millimetre accuracy. If their scheme were adopted, it would have to wait until a new Mars mission takes place to put a laser on the red planet. That's because, unlike Earth-Moon …
The Register breaking news

Curiosity prepares for year-long road trip to Mount Sharp

Ever since landing on Mars, the Curiosity rover hasn't moved around that much – just 733 meters to date. But that's about to change as NASA prepares to send the rover on an eight-kilometer trek to the base of Mount Sharp. Curiosity's route to Mount Sharp The long and winding road ahead "We know we're going to start in a …
Iain Thomson, 6 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Opportunity rover stuck in standby mode after Martian blackout

Updated NASA is trying to reactivate its Martian rover Opportunity after it switched itself into standby mode during a communications quiet period, but engineers have had no luck as yet at restoring control. The space agency hasn't been communicating with its Martian rovers for the last few weeks as there has been a solar conjunction …
Iain Thomson, 1 May 2013

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