Vesta, thought to be the source of a large number of meteorites that fall to Earth, was visited close-up over the weekend by NASA’s Dawn space probe, which is the first spacecraft to enter orbit around an object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Ever since a crash landing on Earth grounded NASA's Genesis mission in 2004, scientists have been gathering, cleaning, and analyzing solar wind particles collected by the spacecraft. Now, two new studies published in Science reveal that Earth's chemistry is less like the sun's than previously thought.
Based on water vapor plumes found by the spacecraft Cassini in 2005, researchers already suspected that Enceladus hid a liquid saltwater ocean. Now, based on the dynamics of plumes studied by the Cassini team, they are now more certain that 50 miles beneath the surface crust a large body of liquid water exists between the rocky core and the icy mantle.
Two digital color cameras riding high on the mast of NASA's next Mars rover will complement each other in showing the surface of Mars in exquisite detail. They are the left and right eyes of the Mast Camera, or Mastcam, instrument on the Curiosity rover of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, launching in late 2011.
Design techniques honed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., for Mars rovers were used to create the rover currently examining the inside of Japan's nuclear reactors, in areas not yet deemed safe for human crews.
New evidence from the discovery of a huge underground reservoir of dry ice, or frozen carbon dioxide, at the south pole of Mars, suggests to Southwest Research Institute scientists that the red planet’s climate 600,000 was probably a lot like the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s — but a lot worse.
Messenger first moved into close orbit around the speedy inner planet about two weeks ago. By the end of this week, NASA will have received more than 15,000 pictures from the $446 million spacecraft, giving us a comprehensive view of a heavily-cratered world that may hold ice at its south pole.
The March 11, magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan may have shortened the length of each Earth day and shifted its axis. But don't worry—you won't notice the difference.
Finding life on Mars could get easier with a creative adaption to a common analytical tool that can be installed directly on the robotic arm of a space rover.
Engineers just installed six new wheels on the Curiosity rover, and rotated all six wheels at once on July 9, 2010. This milestone marked the first in a series of "tune ups" to get the rover ready for a drive in the clean room where it is being assembled at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Curiosity is the centerpiece of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which is expected to launch in late 2011, and touch down wheels-first in summer 2012.
Visit one of Florida’s premier tourist destinations (no, not Disney) and it’s a little hard to believe there’s a countdown unrelated to a rocket launch. Nearly everything at Kennedy Space Center is designed to show visitors that not only does NASA has a rich history of space exploration, it’s still going strong as the world’s premiere launch facility.
Monday was probably a bittersweet day for NASA. Told that it would no longer be following President Bush’s lunar comeback effort or even launching its own astronauts into space, the agency must now look to contractors for their escape velocity needs.
So here’s the challenge, design a glove that will resist the cold and vacuum of space and the ever-present threat of micrometeoroid penetration yet remain pliable and flexible enough to allow an astronaut to perform a dextrous task. The glove must be complete, including the outer thermal layer and inner pressure-retaining layer.
Through partnerships and spinoffs, NASA engineers advances in medicine, safety, and deep space observation.
The Explorer is a long-range-tetherless, self-powered robotic system for the live, visual inspection of natural gas and other pipelines. The system was created by researchers at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Polytechnic Univ. (Brooklyn, N.Y.); NYSEARCH/Northeast Gas Association (New York, N.Y.); Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (Morgantown, W.V.); Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.); and ULC Robotics Inc. (Deer Park, N.Y.).
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