Storing super-cold propellants is not easy on Earth, but it doesn't seem to be much easier to accomplish in space either. That's not stopping engineers from trying to perfect technologies, though.
"The longest we've kept liquid propellants in orbit is a matter of hours in the size of large propellant stages like Apollo and Centaur," engineer Adam Swanger told an audience during a Kennedy Engineering Academy session at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Some of NASA's far-reaching [...]
PASADENA, Calif. -- The team operating NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days.
This second drilling target, called "Cumberland," lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) west of the rock where Curiosity's drill first touched Martian stone in February. Curiosity took the first rock sample ever collected on Mars from that rock, called "John Klein." The rover found evidence of an ancien [...]
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Water inside the Moon's mantle came from primitive meteorites, new research finds, the same source thought to have supplied most of the water on Earth. The findings raise new questions about the process that formed the Moon.
The Moon is thought to have formed from a disc of debris left when a giant object hit the Earth 4.5 billion years ago, very early in Earth's history. Scientists have long assumed that the heat from an impact of that size would cause [...]
At around 10:30 a.m. CDT on Thursday, the Expedition 35 crew reported seeing small white flakes floating away from an area of the International Space Station’s P6 truss structure. The crew used handheld cameras and Mission Control used external television cameras to gain additional imagery in an attempt to narrow down the leak’s location.
The crew reports, along with imagery and data received by flight controllers in Mission Control in Houston, confirmed that the rate of the ammonia leak [...]
WASHINGTON -- Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems of Louisville, Colo., has completed its first major, comprehensive safety review of its Dream Chaser Space System. This is the company's latest paid-for-performance milestone with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), which is working with commercial space partners to develop capabilities to launch U.S. astronauts from American soil in the next few years.
The Integrated Systems Safety Analysis Review provided NASA with hazard reports and s [...]
During a scheduled semi-weekly contact on Friday, May 3, 2013, engineers discovered that the Kepler spacecraft was in a self-protective state called a safe mode. The spacecraft was returned to science data collection just before midnight on Monday, May 6, 2013.
The spacecraft entered thruster-controlled safe mode at about 7:30 p.m. PDT on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The recovery operation began at about 5 p.m. PDT on Friday, May 3, 2013, after engineers had verified that the spacecraft was otherw [...]
Gone are the days of being able to count the number of known planets on your fingers. Today, there are more than 800 confirmed exoplanets -- planets that orbit stars beyond our sun -- and more than 2,700 other candidates. What are these exotic planets made of? Unfortunately, you cannot stack them in a jar like marbles and take a closer look. Instead, researchers are coming up with advanced techniques for probing the planets' makeup.
One breakthrough to come in recent years is direct imaging [...]
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place-- the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs.
These dead stars are located 150 light-years from Earth in a relatively young star cluster, Hyades, in the constellation Taurus. The star cluster is only 625 million years old. The white dwarfs are being polluted by asteroid-like debris falling onto them.
Hubble's Cosmic Origins Spectrograph observed silicon and on [...]