A team of about 20 working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., through the lab's Phaeton early-career-hire program, led the development of the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS) investigation, which is preparing for an April 14 launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission. The goal? NASA's first optical communication experiment on the orbital laboratory.
Scientific instruments used in space missions increasingly require higher communica [...]
The RS-25 engine that will power NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), off the launch pad and on journeys to an asteroid and Mars is getting ready for the test stand. And it is packing a big punch.
Engineers at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss., are now focusing their attention on preparing the RS-25 engine after completing testing of the J-2X engine April 10. Four RS-25 engines, previously known as space shuttle main engines, will muscle the core stage of SLS [...]
The Mission Control team at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston confirmed Friday night that a backup computer on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) called a Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) is not responding to commands.
The station's MDM computers control some systems associated with robotics aboard the space station. The primary MDM operating aboard the space station is functioning normally and there is no immediate impact to space station operations.
The computer [...]
Aloha and welcome to a breathtaking skyscape. The dreamlike panoramic view from March 27 looks out over the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala on Maui, Hawai'i. A cloud layer seeps over the volcanic caldera's edge with the Milky Way and starry night sky above.
Head of the Northern Cross asterism, supergiant star Deneb lurks within the Milky Way's dust clouds and nebulae at the left. From there you can follow the arc of the Milky Way all the way to the stars of the more compact Southern Cross, j [...]
NASA's Orion spacecraft has proven its mettle in a test designed to determine the spacecraft's readiness for its first flight test -- Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) -- later this year. EFT-1 will send the spacecraft more than 3,600 miles from Earth and return it safely.
The spacecraft ran for 26 uninterrupted hours during the final phase of a major test series completed April 8 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The test verified the crew module can route power and send comma [...]
The six-member Expedition 39 crew was off-duty Friday in recognition of Cosmonautics Day. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the International Space Station to congratulate the crew the day before Cosmonautics Day, April 12, the anniversary of the historic first human spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin.
The station is set for an orbital reboost Saturday morning when the ISS Progress 53 resupply craft, docked to the Zvezda service module, will fire its thrusters for 13 minutes, 32 seconds. This [...]
Anyone who’s ever been stuck in a massive traffic snarl at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel understands the fantasy: what if your car could sprout wings and soar above the bottleneck like something straight out of the 1960s “Jetsons” cartoon?
Sanjiv Singh, research professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, has been working on making that dream a reality for at least a decade. He came to NASA's Langley Research Center on April 10 to give a talk as part of the center’s Auton [...]
Tonight Mars is between opposition (April 8) and closest approach (April 14) looping through the constellation Virgo opposite the Sun in the night sky. That makes it prime season for telescopic views of the the Red Planet, like this one from April 3rd. The clear, sharp image was captured with a high-speed digital camera and 16-inch diameter telescope from Assis, Brazil, Planet Earth. Mars' north polar cap is at the top left.
Also visible are whitish orographic clouds - water vapor clouds con [...]
Expedition 39 crew members have begun unloading supplies delivered Wednesday aboard the ISS Progress 55 resupply craft. The crew also moved ahead with continuous international science, ongoing station maintenance and mandatory exercise.
Commander Koichi Wakata had a busy morning working throughout the station on various maintenance tasks. He moved air quality management gear then activated a ham radio. Afterward, Wakata opened a Destiny lab window shutter for an Earth observation study, assem [...]
Supernovas are the spectacular ends to the lives of many massive stars. These explosions, which occur on average twice a century in the Milky Way, can produce enormous amounts of energy and be as bright as an entire galaxy. These events are also important because the remains of the shattered star are hurled into space. As this debris field – called a supernova remnant – expands, it carries the material it encounters along with it.
Astronomers have identified a supernova remnant that h [...]
A plant growth chamber bound for the International Space Station inside the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts something they don’t take for granted, fresh food.
NASA’s Veg-01 experiment will be used to study the in-orbit function and performance of a new expandable plant growth facility called Veggie and its plant “pillows.” The investigation will focus on the growth and dev [...]
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 here at 1:45 p.m. April 10 carrying a classified national security payload.
The payload was designed and built by the National Reconnaissance Office.
It will be the second Atlas V from the Cape this year and ULA's 81st launch overall.
The 45th Space Wing commander was pleased with the performance of the team for this launch.
"I am pr [...]
Titan, Europa, Io and Phobos are just a few members of our solar system's pantheon of moons. Are there are other moons out there, orbiting planets beyond our sun?
NASA-funded researchers have spotted the first signs of an "exomoon," and though they say it's impossible to confirm its presence, the finding is a tantalizing first step toward locating others. The discovery was made by watching a chance encounter of objects in our galaxy, which can be witnessed only once.
"We won't have a c [...]
Even though NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is 24 years old, astronomers are still coming up with imaginative, novel, and groundbreaking new uses for it. The latest is an innovative technique that improves Hubble's observing accuracy to the point where rock-solid distance measurements can be made to Milky Way stars 10 times farther away than ever accomplished before.
To do this, Hubble observations and subsequent analysis were fine-tuned to make angular measurements (needed for estimating dista [...]
NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.
This determination was made Wednesday after a successful Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) for NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx). The CDR was held at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, C [...]
Israel's Ministry of Defense and Israel Aerospace Industries Successfully Launch "Ofek 10" Satellite into Orbit: "Ofek 10" Satellite has entered orbit and begun transmitting data and visual material.
The research and development department (MAFAT) of Israel's Ministry of Defense in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd.) launched this evening Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 22:15 hrs, "Ofek 10" satellite into space. The satellite was launched into orbit by a "Shavit" satellite lau [...]