Space Photos of the Week: The Galaxy Next Door

Space Photos of the Week: The Galaxy Next Door

If you’re able to divert your eyes from the big show in the upper right, take a look at the object in the center of the image: That blue cloud is LHA 120-N 180B, likely an active star-forming region.

Space Photos of the Week: Jupiter Is a Storm-Eat-Storm World

Space Photos of the Week: Jupiter Is a Storm-Eat-Storm World

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its HiRISE camera capture the surface of the planet in unprecedented detail, and that includes dunes like the ones seen here. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, stars, and galaxies aren’t even the half of it.

Is ’Oumuamua an Alien Spaceship? Sure! Except, No

Is ’Oumuamua an Alien Spaceship? Sure! Except, No

Is it possible that ‘Oumuamua, the nominally cigar-shaped, somewhat mysterious visitor that a Hawaiian telescope spotted leaving our solar system in 2017, might be neither comet nor asteroid but an alien spacecraft?

Finally, New Horizons' First Photos of Ultima Thule

Finally, New Horizons' First Photos of Ultima Thule

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI On Thursday, January 3, New Horizons mission scientists revealed their best images of Ultima Thule to date—and they're in stereo vision!

How Does a 'Martian'-Style Gravity Assist Actually Work?

How Does a 'Martian'-Style Gravity Assist Actually Work?

The first question is easy—a gravity assist (also called a gravity slingshot) is a space maneuver in which a spacecraft gets a speed boost by moving past a planet.

Best Space Photos of 2018, From Penguins to Selfies on Mars

Best Space Photos of 2018, From Penguins to Selfies on Mars

Although Dawn is done, it will remain in a stable orbit around Ceres for the next 50 years or so to protect the surface from any potential contaminants left on the spacecraft from Earth.InSight landed on the dusty, rocky surface of Mars on November 26, and moments after touching down, it took this photo of the ground.

NASA's New Horizons Probe Prepares To Make History—Again

NASA's New Horizons Probe Prepares To Make History—Again

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI Stern and his team discovered the object in 2014 using the Hubble Space Telescope, while searching the sky for places New Horizons could visit after its brief encounter with Pluto.

Space Photos of the Week: Juno Spies Jupiter's Mesmerizing Clouds

Space Photos of the Week: Juno Spies Jupiter's Mesmerizing Clouds

Space Photos of the Week: Juno Spies Jupiter's Mesmerizing Clouds Take a second with this one. This is Io. This infrared image taken by the Juno spacecraft from some 290,000 miles away, reveals what looks like a bad case of space chicken pox, but those bright spots, all of them, are actually volcanoes.

Space Photos of the Week: It’s Love vs. Hate in Star vs. Star

Space Photos of the Week: It’s Love vs. Hate in Star vs. Star

Clusters like these, dating back to just a few billion years after the Big Bang, are the source material for scientists looking to understand star formation, and by combining data from several telescopes they gain a better understanding on the goings-on at these nurseries.Two’s the charm: You’re looking at a white dwarf and a red giant, a binary star called R Aquarii.

Space Photos of the Week: Do You Want to Land on an Asteroid?

Space Photos of the Week: Do You Want to Land on an Asteroid?

OSIRIS-REx will soon enter orbit around the asteroid, where it will spend nearly a year carefully mapping its surface before descending to latch on and collect a sample to bring back to Earth.

SpaceX’s Failed Landing Still Ended With a Clean Plop

SpaceX’s Failed Landing Still Ended With a Clean Plop

But unlike Monday’s textbook touchdown, today’s landing didn’t quite go as planned.The Falcon’s first stage, the largest and most expensive portion of the rocket, was expected to navigate itself back to land after launching the Dragon spacecraft.

Try Landing InSight on Mars (Without Exploding)

Try Landing InSight on Mars (Without Exploding)

Finally, the lander detached from the parachute and traveled the last part of the journey using rockets to control its descent.Now for the real question, though: Could you be in charge of the InSight landing?

The View From the Control Room: How InSight Landed on Mars

The View From the Control Room: How InSight Landed on Mars

As the final hours ticked by before InSight breached Mars’s atmosphere and headed to the surface, there was not much to do except wait, and worry.Engineers had sent the landing sequence commands to the spacecraft days ago, where they now sat onboard like little bombs, waiting for the proper time to execute themselves.

Touchdown on Mars! NASA Lands Its InSight Spacecraft

Touchdown on Mars! NASA Lands Its InSight Spacecraft

NASA Lands Its InSight SpacecraftNASA/JPL-CaltechAfter a six-month journey across hundreds of millions of miles of deep space, NASA's InSight spacecraft—a mission nearly ten years and close to $1 billion in the making—landed successfully on the surface of Mars on Monday, touching down on the planet's surface just a few minutes before 12:00 pm PT.In the final moments of the spacecraft’s descent, the mission control room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was silent as updates on InSight's status blared over the PA system: "Altitude 300 meters… 200 meters… 80 meters… 60 meters … 50 meters, constant velocity 37 meters… 30 meters … 20 meters… 17 meters… standing by for touchdown… Touchdown confirmed!

Watch Live as NASA's InSight Lander Descends to Mars

Watch Live as NASA's InSight Lander Descends to Mars

The 1500-pound robot will enter the planet's atmosphere around 12:00 PST in excess of 12,000 miles per hour, its protective aeroshell shielding it from heat-generating friction and treacherous sandstorms on its descent toward the Martian surface.

Space Photos of the Week: Thanks, Solar System Voyagers

Space Photos of the Week: Thanks, Solar System Voyagers

But there was one fantastic finale for the Voyager probes as they wrapped up work in the solar system.On February 14, 1990—Valentines Day—Voyager 1 turned back to face Earth from 4 billion miles away, and took its final photo.

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on Mars

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on Mars

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on MarsNASA/JPL-CaltechOn Monday, November 26th, following a six-month journey across hundreds of millions of miles of deep space, NASA's InSight spacecraft will arrive at Mars in suitably dramatic fashion, hitting the top of the planet's atmosphere at 12,300 miles per hour—several times faster than a speeding bullet—shortly before 12:00 pm PST (3:00 pm EST).If all goes as planned, it will take InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) just seven minutes to decelerate completely and alight on Mars' surface.

NASA Will Land InSight on Mars With Cunning—and Lots of Cork

NASA Will Land InSight on Mars With Cunning—and Lots of Cork

On Monday, November 26th, it will attempt its eighth, when it endeavors to land the $830-million InSight spacecraft on Elysium Planitia, a vast plain just north of the Martian equator.If NASA is successful, InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) will be the first mission to investigate Mars' deep interior with thermal probes and seismometry, an approach scientists think will address questions about the red planet's formation and composition.

New Space Robots Will Fix Satellites, or Maybe Destroy Them

New Space Robots Will Fix Satellites, or Maybe Destroy Them

Because the technology now exists to build these satellite hackers, we're stuck in a quandary: If your enemy can launch such orbiters, and you don't match them, you run the risk of having your space infrastructure quietly slaughtered.NASA's peaceful program for satellites with these servicing capabilities is called Restore-L.

NASA invites media to view launch of ICESat-2 from west coast – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

NASA invites media to view launch of ICESat-2 from west coast – Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

The ICESat-2 mission will measure the changing height of Earth's glaciers, ice sheets and sea ice, one laser pulse at a time, 10,000 laser pulses per second. Media accreditation is open for the launch of NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, scheduled for Saturday, Sept.