“No one has ever seen an active asteroid up close like this,” says Carl Hergenrother, an astronomer at the University of Arizona and the scientist who proposed Bennu as the target for OSIRIS-REx.
The photo was taken with NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer—a telescope with a very wide lens that looks at the universe in infrared light.
The powerful Hubble Space Telescope in orbit around Earth takes an astoundingly detailed look at the same planet: You can see its telltale bands, the iconic Great Red Spot, and smaller individual storms.
Known as the Long-Lived In-situ Solar System Explorer, or LLISSE, each of the probe’s components is specially engineered to withstand the high temperature, high pressure, and reactive atmosphere that define that infernal planet.“We don't have any data on how the conditions change from day to night on Venus,” says Kremic.
Milano, who helps run the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley, had been gearing up for a satellite launch.Normally, NASA wouldn’t let mission control run on anything less than a stable grid connection, says Steven Beckwith, the lab’s director.
Not only were they the first spacecraft to visit the asteroid belt, Jupiter, and Saturn; they even carried with them a plaque that carried a message on behalf of all humankind.
And while this image is incredibly detailed, Cassini was a whopping 870,000 miles above the plane of the rings when it took this photo in 2014.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science InstituteThis maelstrom on Saturn is one of the biggest storms ever observed on the planet.
Launched in 2018, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe will take years to swoop into orbit around the Sun, but once it’s there, its main goal is to figure out exactly what drives the solar wind, the constant stream of highly charged particles that are spit out from the openings in the surface.
Zellner says the best way to settle the lunar cataclysm debate will be to visit craters where samples aren’t likely to have been contaminated by the Imbrium impact, such as the south pole or the far side of the moon.
Space Photos of the Week: A Tribute to Voyager’s Twin Trippers. In late August and early September of 1977, NASA launched twin spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2. However, after their revolutionary discoveries, NASA extended the missions and sent Voyager 2 onward to Uranus and Neptune.
But it’s never dreamed up ion propulsion, a fantastical new way to power robots by accelerating ions instead of burning fuel or spinning rotors. But that’s a ways off, because at the moment the four-thruster machine can produce a bit more thrust than it needs to get its weight off the ground.
The Dragonfly mission will spend two years flying around the surface of Titan, studying the moon’s composition and searching for signs of life. On Wednesday, NASA announced it will send a spacecraft to the surface of Titan , Saturn’s largest moon and one of the leading candidates for finding extraterrestrial microbial life in our solar system.
The Planetary Society pressed on and a decade later launched the LightSail 1 into low Earth orbit. In 2010, the Japanese space agency launched IKAROS , which used solar sailing as its only form of propulsion on a mission to Venus and demonstrated that the technology actually worked for the first time.
At one point there was talk of a rocket called Nova that would have had eight of the beasts on its first stage and might have launched a spacecraft heavy enough to land on the moon and then come back.
During a series of engine tests of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft this past Saturday, the vehicle experienced what the company has characterized as an "anomaly."
For Rey jumping over (I assume she makes it) a TIE fighter, I'm just going to look at her vertical motion. There is some type of TIE fighter zooming toward Rey. You would think her goal is to jump over the spacecraft, but who really knows.
A Space Act Agreement signed in 2018 shows that the aerospace company wants to include a handful of the Shuttle’s smaller orbital maneuvering engines in a secret Department of Defense project.
The Beresheet lander is a joint venture between Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL —one of the participants in the Google Lunar X Prize, which challenged private companies to land spacecraft on the moon without government funds—and Israel Aerospace Industries, the country's largest aerospace and defense company.
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 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?
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.
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.