Today's expected launch of NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) twin spacecraft, a carefully choreographed mission to precisely map the moon's gravitational field, could help scientists understand fundamental questions about the moon's composition, internal structure, and evolution.
U.S. exports of advanced technology products (ATP) fared better than other non-advanced technology exports during the recent U.S. recession, says a new report from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
According to some experts, we’ve lost control of the environment in Earth’s orbit. There are 22,000 objects in orbit that are big enough to track and countless more smaller ones, anyone on of which could do damage to human-carrying spaceships and valuable satellites. The problem now is how to pick up the pieces.
Snapping pictures like a tourist, NASA’s solar-powered rover is beaming back images of the horizon, soil, and rocks unlike any it has seen during its seven years roaming the Martian plains. At the western rim of the crater Endeavour, Opportunity has a few more missions to complete.
Pilots' "automation addiction" has eroded their flying skills to the point that they sometimes don't know how to recover from stalls and other mid-flight problems, say pilots and safety officials. The weakened skills have contributed to hundreds of deaths in airline crashes in the last five years.
Astronauts may need to temporarily abandon the International Space Station this fall if last week's Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying, a NASA official said Monday. Russia’s Soyuz rockets remain grounded after a failed upper stage, which is similar to what’s used to launch astronauts, was destroyed last week.
A video taken by a crewmember on a ship tracking the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Falcon HTV-2 as it began a test run to Mach 20 captures the rocket and vehicle together as a fast-moving contrail, then the HTV-2 as a faint dot zipping away on its own. The flight ended early when the glider plunged into the Pacific Ocean.
Ground controllers turned Robonaut on Monday for the first time since it was delivered to the International Space Station in February. The test involved sending power to all of Robonaut's systems. The robot was not commanded to move; that will happen next week. It is, however, tweeting now.
The editors of R&D Magazine have opened the nominations for the 2012 R&D 100 Awards competition, which will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the awards. If your organization introduced a new product this year, or is planning to, you can begin the entry process now.
The spaceship that could carry the next U.S. astronauts to an asteroid or perhaps other planets is about to undergo a new round of tests in Denver. NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is being built under a $7.5 billion contract with Lockheed Martin.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s latest hypersonic glider was designed to hit 13,000 miles per hour after lifting off today aboard an Air Force rocket launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base. The rocket launch was a success, but DARPA reports that contact was lost after the experimental craft began flying on its own.
Driving commands sent up to Opportunity directed the venerable six-wheel rover to make the final push toward Endeavour crater, a 14-mile-wide depression near the Martian equator that likely could be its final destination. Opportunity should roll up to the crater's edge on Tuesday.
The sun-powered explorer Juno successfully launched Friday afternoon from Cape Canaveral. Attached to the probe are three little Lego figures specially made of space-grade aluminum. They represent the Italian physicist Galileo, who discovered Jupiter's four biggest moons; the Roman god Jupiter; and his wife Juno, for whom the spacecraft is named.
A Russian astronaut was about to release a boxy 57-pound satellite Wednesday when flight controllers called off the operation. Someone had noticed from TV images that the micro-satellite, a prototype for a series of educational satellites, was missing one of its two antennas.
On Friday, NASA will launch the most distant probe ever powered by the sun. Equipped with three tractor-trailer-sized solar panels to supply 400 W at the terminus of its 2 billion-mile journey, Juno was designed not out of concern for the environment, but for entirely practical considerations.
Last month, NASA's Dawn spacecraft began orbiting the 330-mile-wide rocky body of Vesta, the asteroid belt’s second-largest resident. The latest photos have been full of surprises, revealing extensive features, from multiple craters to mysterious grooves, that will keep scientists busy for years.
Improvements in laser sintering technology has allowed University of Southampton’s experimental aircraft to not only be printed, but also to be built using no fasteners. The craft, which has a 6-foot wingspan, recently achieved 100 mph in testing.
Even with the shuttle now history, NASA has a major deadline looming. By presidential order, the space agency has to be ready to launch a manned mission to another asteroid by 2025. The logistical hurdles to be overcome in the 14 years has many NASA brains both thrilled and anxious.
Nine engineers from Sandia National Laboratories helped ensure Atlantis’ safety from Mission Control during the last mission with a laser dynamic range imager that generates 3D images from 2D video. The device, perched on the boom arm of the shuttle, has helped protect the 22 crews that have flown since the 2003 Columbia disaster.
Gale Crater was chosen as the target for the $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission after an extensive review of dozens of potential sites. NASA chose this site because they believe they have located the boundary where life may have sprung up and where it may have been extinguished.
NASA often gets criticized for not living up to the hype when it comes to generating everyday technologies. Tang, to take the oft-cited example, was used by NASA, but not invented by the Apollo program. But defenders point to evidence that Space Shuttle program has prompted innovation that could have occurred in no other way.
University of Florida astronomers are testing—at the world's largest telescope—a new infrared camera that will allow researchers to look for planets outside our own solar system and better explore hidden black holes at the centers of galaxies.
Private rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, is spending up to $30 million to renovate an unused site that will be home to its Falcon Heavy, the largest rocket since the retired Saturn V that hurled astronauts to the moon.
After two years of orbital positioning, University of California, Berkeley's ARTEMIS mission is due to begin in less than a month. The two spacecraft that comprise the ARTEMIS mission (which in turn is part of a five-satellite NASA mission) will conduct the first-ever observations by a pair of satellites of the lunar surface, its magnetic field, and the surrounding magnetic environment.
While the United States is still working out its next move as the space shuttle program winds down, China is forging ahead. This year, a rocket will carry a boxcar-sized module into orbit, the first building block for a Chinese space station. Around 2013, China plans to launch a lunar probe and place a rover on the moon, followed by a manned mission sometimes after 2020.