Yesterday, a comet passed very close to Mars. In fact, Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed closer to the red planet than any comet has ever passed to Earth in recorded history. To take advantage of this unique opportunity to study the close interaction of a comet and a planet, humanity currently has five active spacecraft orbiting Mars:
NASA's MAVEN, MRO, Mars Odyssey, as well as ESA's Mars Express, and India's Mars Orbiter. Most of these spacecraft have now sent back information that the [...]
Comet McNaught was perhaps the most photogenic comet of modern times -- from Earth. After making quite a show in the northern hemisphere in early January of 2007, the comet moved south and developed a long and unusual dust tail that dazzled southern hemisphere observers.
In late January 2007, Comet McNaught was captured between Mount Remarkable and Cecil Peak in this spectacular image taken from Queenstown, South Island, New Zealand. The bright comet dominates the right part of the above ima [...]
Cosmic clouds form fantastic shapes in the central regions of emission nebula IC 1805. The clouds are sculpted by stellar winds and radiation from massive hot stars in the nebula's newborn star cluster, Melotte 15. About 1.5 million years young, the cluster stars are toward the right in this colorful skyscape, along with dark dust clouds in silhouette against glowing atomic gas.
A composite of narrowband and broadband telescopic images, the view spans about 30 light-years and includes emissi [...]
NASA successfully captured thermal images of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on its descent after it launched in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The data from these thermal images may provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars.
"Because the technologies required to land large payloads on Mars are significantly different than those used here on Earth, investment in these technologies is critical," said Robert Braun, principal invest [...]
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, recently received a contract from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to supply the thrusters that would help land the next rover on Mars after it is launched in 2020.
Under a contract from the U.S. Department of Energy, Aerojet Rocketdyne also would supply the power source that would enable the rover to move around and conduct experiments on the red planet. The next rover is expected to carry more sophisticated, upgraded har [...]
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, successfully completed a series of hot-fire tests on an advanced rocket engine Thrust Chamber Assembly (TCA) using copper alloy additive manufacturing technology.
This testing, conducted for the first time in the industry, was done with cooperation between Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate Game-Changing Development Program and NASA's Glenn Research Center under a Space Act Agreement. [...]
The six-person Expedition 41 crew of the International Space Station tackled a range of biomedical research and cargo transfers Friday, capping off a week that included the second of two U.S. spacewalks and preparations for a Russian spacewalk on Oct. 22.
For Flight Engineers Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, most of the day’s science activity focused on a pair of protein crystal growth experiments, which utilize the station’s microgravity environment [...]
Recognizing that technology drives exploration, NASA has selected four teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative (ECI) pilot program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate created the ECI to enable a highly collaborative, joint-partnering work environment between the bes [...]
Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket.
NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’s crew transportation system, confirming the detailed designs and plans for test and evaluation for [...]