Articles about nasa


Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

Scientists were expecting a lot of new data from the Juno space probe orbiting Jupiter, and they haven't been disappointed. The most massive planet in the Solar System is turning out to have a lot of surprises. In a press conference on Thursday, NASA engineers and astrophysicists detailed the first science results from the …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2017

Orbital boffins cut four years off NASA mission to shiniest object in the Solar System

NASA has come up with a cunning plan that will allow it to shave four years of flight time off its mission to the biggest chunk of visible iron in the Solar System, and will use souped-up solar power to get there. In January NASA approved the mission to send a probe out to the asteroid 16 Psyche, which is thought to be a …
Iain Thomson, 25 May 2017
Neil Armstrong's lunar sample bag

Armstrong's moon-purse set for $4m bid-off

The bag Neil Armstrong used to carry home lunar samples from the Apollo 11 mission could fetch up to $4m at auction next month. Auction house Sotheby's says the bag, which carried a half-kilo of material from the Moon to Earth, is one of the few artifacts from the mission that can be purchased by members of the general public …
Shaun Nichols, 23 May 2017
NASA's Peggy Whitson on a previous spacewalk

NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

An external comms box on the International Space Station has failed, leading NASA to schedule its first unscheduled spacewalk since 2015. After a software upgrade in March, a multiplexer/demultiplexer (MDM) data relay on the S0 truss failed on Saturday, so command routing is being handled by a backup unit for now. According …
Dr Strangelove bomb

Nukes tests caused space weather, say NASA boffins

Space weather is usually driven by the Sun – but a bunch of data about Cold War nuclear tests has given NASA boffins the chance to measure whether humans can affect what goes on in Earth's neighbourhood. The once-classified data records high-altitude detonations that happened between 1958 and 1962, conducted both by America …
SLS cryo propulsion system in Marshall test stand

NASA nixes Trump's moonshot plan

NASA will miss its deadline for the first flight of the Orion capsule and the Space Launch System, with the launch moved from 2018 to 2019. The agency's Bill Gerstenmaier also told media in a briefing last Friday that as well as delaying the first flight (designated Exploration Mission One, EM-1), the EM-2 mission that will …
NASA logo

Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

NASA wants scientific computer experts to take a look at one of its oldest software suites in the hope they can speed it up. The code in question is called "FUN3D" and was first developed in the 1980s. It's still an important part of the agency's computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capability, and had its most recent release in …
The rebranded MPCV (aka Orion) participating in a Mars mission. Credit: NASA

Software woes keep NASA's new crewed missions grounded

The United States Government Accountability Office has found that NASA's return to crewed space exploration will likely not commence in 2018, as planned, and will probably slip into 2019. And familiar technology integration challenges are partly to blame. The Office on Thursday published a Report to Congressional Committees ( …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2017

NASA's Cassini snaps pic inside Saturn's ring – peace among the stars

Photo NASA's Cassini probe has made its first dive inside Saturn's rings, skimming about 1,900 miles (3,000KM) over the surface of the gas giant's stormy atmosphere. America's space boffins briefly lost contact with their craft during its descent on Wednesday. That's because the dish antenna used to phone home to Earth acted as a …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2017

Opportunity rover gets bored of spot it's explored since 2014

The thirteen year-old Opportunity rover is moving on from the region of Mars it's been exploring since 2014. Opportunity has spent the last 30 months at “Cape Tribulation”, a spot near the rim of the Endeavour Crater. The Cape's yielded all sorts of insights from finds like an outcrop of clay-like minerals and some interesting …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2017

NASA agent faces heat for 'degrading' moon rock sting during which grandmother wet herself

A NASA agent can be sued for allegedly subjecting a 74-year-old granny to a "degrading" two-hour interrogation over a sliver of moon rock. That's according to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, which late last week ruled space agency investigator Norman Conley is not, at least in this case, immune …
Iain Thomson, 18 Apr 2017

How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Pic NASA's New Horizons spacecraft – right now 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion kilometres) from Earth – has been powered down by boffins as it heads out to the icy wastes of the Kuiper Belt. The probe, which was launched in 2006 and gave humanity its first close-up images of Pluto in July 2015, was sent shutdown commands on Friday …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2017

Goodbye, cruel world! NASA's Cassini preps for kamikaze Saturn dive

Video NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter the final stages of its mission by nosediving between Saturn’s rings on April 26, before it rams into the planet's atmosphere and vaporizes. The spaceship was launched 20 years ago and has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004. Now, running low on fuel, it's preparing for the descent …
Boeing's concept illustration for a Space Gateway

Boeing details 'Deep Space Gateway' for Mars mission staging

Aerospace outfit Boeing has detailed the hardware it thinks humanity will need to stage a piloted mission to Mars. Boeing is already working with NASA to develop the Space Launch System (SLS), the very heavy lifter it's hoped will power a Mars shot. Now it's also offered up conceptual designs for other kit that it thinks will …
Man browses his tablet and ignores the beach. Photo by shutterstock

Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

A jet-lagged Douglas Coupland, recently departed from "The Lab" in Paris where he was "artist-in-residence" at that mysterious wing of the Google Cultural Institute, whatever that is, declared in a pre-written speech that "the future is already here". Speaking to an audience of Konica Minolta customers in Berlin, the author of …
Sunspots from Feb 2017 vs March 2017

Our Sun's been using facial scrub: No spots for two weeks

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has spotted nothing for the last two weeks, which is unusual. By “nothing” we mean no Sunspots, the magnetic fluctuations that cause the Sun to form dark spots that produce flares of star-stuff that can rise millions of kilometres into space. Big ones could swallow the Earth, with room left …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2017

NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

NASA hopes to use lasers to shoot data to and from the International Space Station and Earth at gigabit-per-second rates by 2021. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) has the potential to become “the high-speed internet of the sky,” the American space agency said on Wednesday. The plan is to encode digital data …
Katyanna Quach, 23 Mar 2017

TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

Boiled dry or extra-terrestrial snowballs, it turns out that the multi exoplanets orbiting the star dubbed TRAPPIST-1 are almost certainly inhospitable to life. NASA's original announcement held three of the seven planets in the system could be within a habitable zone, but alas there's a killjoy. Enter Eric Wolf, of the …

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