It’s Finally Time to Take Out the Space Trash

It’s Finally Time to Take Out the Space Trash

Could the solution to eliminating dangerous space junk be a mini-fridge-sized spacecraft equipped with a big magnet, or maybe an orbiting tug that sends out a swarm of tentacles to trap a spent rocket?

NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars

NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars

The Lockheed engineers had been working on this project for years, and today, Scholz and his team could finally watch it be put to use.

February’s Gonna Be a Big Month for Mars

February’s Gonna Be a Big Month for Mars

On February 9, the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft is expected to enter orbit around Mars after a six-month, 300-million-mile journey from Earth.China’s space agency has been quiet about its plans for visiting the Red Planet, but the craft is expected to attempt a landing shortly after it achieves orbit.

A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

A Solar-Powered Rocket Might Be Our Ticket to Interstellar Space

“It’s really easy for someone to dismiss the idea and say, ‘On the back of an envelope, it looks great, but if you actually build it, you're never going to get those theoretical numbers,’” says Benkoski, a materials scientist at the Applied Physics Laboratory and the leader of the team working on a solar thermal propulsion system.

How NASA Finds the Mass of the Dirt Grabbed From an Asteroid

How NASA Finds the Mass of the Dirt Grabbed From an Asteroid

By looking at the change in rotational rate for the spacecraft, you can determine the amount of extra mass in the collector arm.Let me go over all the important pieces to this physics puzzle.

How to Build a Spacecraft to Save the World

How to Build a Spacecraft to Save the World

There are more than a thousand asteroids with diameters larger than Didymos and Dimorphos combined, and if any of those were to strike Earth, it could lead to mass extinction and the collapse of civilization.“Everyone knows it’s possible to hit an asteroid,” says Justin Atchison, a DART mission designer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel

Gravity, Gizmos, and a Grand Theory of Interstellar Travel

This might not sound like the secret to interstellar travel, but if that small lurch can be sustained, a spacecraft could theoretically produce thrust for as long as it had electric power.

The UAE’s First Mars Mission Is a Robo-Meteorologist

The UAE’s First Mars Mission Is a Robo-Meteorologist

These days, Al-Amiri is quarantining near the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, where Hope is expected to depart on a seven-month journey to the Red Planet next week.“Thankfully, the most critical tests were done before the pandemic started, because two days after the team flew in, Japan imposed a two-week quarantine.”.

The Remarkable Stuff Scientists Get Done as They Work From Home

The Remarkable Stuff Scientists Get Done as They Work From Home

“It may be years before academic research institutions reach a new normal,” the paper concludes.Scientists have redirected their energy toward fighting the novel coronavirus and have shared their data; already over 13,000 papers have been written on the topic, and over 3,000 preprints related to Covid-19 research have been shared on open-access preprint sites like bioRxiv and medRxiv.

Space Photos of the Week: Rovers Taking Selfies—for Science

Space Photos of the Week: Rovers Taking Selfies—for Science

And one of the very first things NASA does when a spacecraft lands on another planet is to have it take a selfie: “Let me see your wheels in the dirt so I know you got there safely.” Or “Snap a photo of your solar panels so we can see how dirty they are.” A simple selfie can tell a science team if an instrument is broken, say, or how close it might be to an object.

Space Photos of the Week: Earth Looks Peaceful From Up Here

Space Photos of the Week: Earth Looks Peaceful From Up Here

Humans saw the Earth from space for the first time in 1946 from a V-2 rocket, and subsequent images of the planet can make people feel a little, well, protective.Photograph: NASA/JPLEach of NASA’s Apollo missions had a shot list of photos to take, but this image, Earthrise, was not one of them.

Space Photos of the Week: Pretty Planets, Gorgeous Galaxies

Space Photos of the Week: Pretty Planets, Gorgeous Galaxies

Gill/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSSNASA’s Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years orbiting Saturn and studying the planet and its moons in depth.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science InstituteDo you see a penguin?Photograph:NASA/JPL-CaltechOnce you're done, head over here to look at more space photos.

Space Photos of the Week: Perfectly Safe Celestial Coronas

Space Photos of the Week: Perfectly Safe Celestial Coronas

The word “corona” has Latin roots, meaning essentially “crown.” The solar corona is the outermost region of the Sun’s atmosphere, a hazy aura made of colder plasma that is released from the surface of the star.

Space Photos of the Week: Venus Is the Spacecraft-Killer

Space Photos of the Week: Venus Is the Spacecraft-Killer

Photograph: NASA/JPLNASA’s Pioneer Venus Orbiter studied the planet for over a decade and while it was there, it captured this stunning photo.Photograph: NASAMost terrestrial planets have channels like the ones we see here: On Earth they are mostly formed by water, on Mars by lava flows.

No One Knows Why Rocks Are Exploding From Asteroid Bennu

No One Knows Why Rocks Are Exploding From Asteroid Bennu

“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.

Space Photos of the Week: Eyes in the Sky

Space Photos of the Week: Eyes in the Sky

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.

Space Photos of the Week: 2019 Transit of Mercury

Space Photos of the Week: 2019 Transit of Mercury

)Photograph: Bill Ingalls/NASAWhen NASA’s MESSENGER mission was in orbit around Mercury, it took photos of the planet in unprecedented detail, including this photo of the rim of the Rembrant basin.

Space Photos of the Week: The Jupiter Chronicles

Space Photos of the Week: The Jupiter Chronicles

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.

NASA Wants to Send a Probe to the Hellish Surface of Venus

NASA Wants to Send a Probe to the Hellish Surface of Venus

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.

Inside Apple’s High-Flying Bid to Become a Streaming Giant

Inside Apple’s High-Flying Bid to Become a Streaming Giant

The show is one of the first series appearing on the (now named) Apple TV+ streaming service, a multibillion-dollar push that includes projects from Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey.

UC Berkeley Was About to Launch a Satellite. Then PG&E Said It Was Cutting Power

UC Berkeley Was About to Launch a Satellite. Then PG&E Said It Was Cutting Power

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.

Space Photos of the Week: Oh Pioneers!

Space Photos of the Week: Oh Pioneers!

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.

Space Photos of the Week: Cassini's Sojourn Around Saturn

Space Photos of the Week: Cassini's Sojourn Around Saturn

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.

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

Space Photos of the Week: Sun Spotting

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.

Lunar Mysteries That Science Still Needs to Solve

Lunar Mysteries That Science Still Needs to Solve

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.

A Leaky Component Caused the SpaceX Crew Dragon Explosion

A Leaky Component Caused the SpaceX Crew Dragon Explosion

According to Koenigsmann, the explosion occurred during a test of the Crew Dragon’s in-flight abort system, which is used to jettison the capsule from the rocket if something goes wrong during launch.

Space Photos of the Week: A Tribute to Voyager’s Twin Trippers

Space Photos of the Week: A Tribute to Voyager’s Twin Trippers

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.

An Itty-Bitty Robot That Lifts Off Like a Sci-Fi Spaceship

An Itty-Bitty Robot That Lifts Off Like a Sci-Fi Spaceship

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.

NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Hunt for Life on Saturn's Biggest Moon

NASA Will Send a Helicopter to Hunt for Life on Saturn's Biggest Moon

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.

How to Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Launch a Solar Sail Tonight

How to Watch SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Launch a Solar Sail Tonight

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.