August 10th was the 50th anniversary of the launch of Lunar Orbiter 1. It was the first of five Lunar Orbiters intended to photograph the Moon's surface to aid in the selection of future landing sites.
That spacecraft's camera captured the data used in this restored, high-resolution version of its historic first image of Earth from the Moon on August 23, 1966 while on its 16th lunar orbit. Hanging almost stationary in the sky when viewed from the lunar surface, Earth appears to be setting be [...]
SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. EDT, approximately 326 miles west of Baja California, marking the end of the company’s ninth contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
Following splashdown, Dragon will be recovered from the ocean and put on a ship for transportation to a port near Los Angeles, where some cargo including research will be removed and returned to NASA within 48 hours. Dragon will be prepared for [...]
Our galaxy is home to a bewildering variety of Jupiter-like worlds: hot ones, cold ones, giant versions of our own giant, pint-sized pretenders only half as big around.
Astronomers say that in our galaxy alone, a billion or more such Jupiter-like worlds could be orbiting stars other than our sun. And we can use them to gain a better understanding of our solar system and our galactic environment, including the prospects for finding life.
It turns out the inverse is also true -- we can tu [...]
Celebrating the spacecraft's ability to push the boundaries of space science and technology, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope team has dubbed the next phase of its journey "Beyond."
"Spitzer is operating well beyond the limits that were set for it at the beginning of the mission," said Michael Werner, the project scientist for Spitzer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "We never envisioned operating 13 years after launch, and scientists are making discoveries in areas [...]
Under dark skies the setting of the Milky Way can be a dramatic sight. Stretching nearly parallel to the horizon, this rich, edge-on vista of our galaxy above the dusty Namibian desert stretches from bright, southern Centaurus (left) to Cepheus in the north (right). From early August, the digitally stitched, panoramic night skyscape captures the Milky Way's congeries of stars and rivers of cosmic dust, along with colors of nebulae not readily seen with the eye.
Mars, Saturn, and Antares, visi [...]
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station beginning at 5:45 a.m. EDT. Dragon was detached from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Harmony module last night by robotics controllers who maneuvered Dragon into place for its release under the control of and Expedition 48 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of JAXA and Kate Rubins of NASA at 6:10 a.m. EDT.
Dragon launched to the space station July 18 from Cape [...]
NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for a mission that will address high-priority science goals for the agency's Journey to Mars.
Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July 2020 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rover will conduct geological assessments of its landing site on Mars, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Mar [...]
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft has been packed with science experiments and gear for return to Earth and analysis by NASA engineers. Robotics controllers on the ground will maneuver the Canadarm2 to detach Dragon from the Harmony module Thursday afternoon.
Astronauts Takuya Onishi and Kate Rubins will command Canadarm2 to release Dragon at 6:10 a.m. EDT Friday. It will splashdown off the Pacific coast of Baja California a few hours later, then be retrieved and shipped back to Los Angeles by Sp [...]
This Saturday at 5:51 a.m. PDT, (8:51 a.m. EDT, 12:51 UTC) NASA's Juno spacecraft will get closer to the cloud tops of Jupiter than at any other time during its prime mission. At the moment of closest approach, Juno will be about 2,500 miles (4,200 kilometers) above Jupiter's swirling clouds and traveling at 130,000 mph (208,000 kilometers per hour) with respect to the planet. There are 35 more close flybys of Jupiter scheduled during its prime mission (scheduled to end in February of 2018). The [...]
Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) surveyed dozens of young stars – some Sun-like and others approximately double that size – and discovered that the larger variety have surprisingly rich reservoirs of carbon monoxide gas in their debris disks. In contrast, the lower-mass, Sun-like stars have debris disks that are virtually gas-free.
This finding runs counter to astronomers’ expectations, which hold that stronger radiation from larger stars should [...]
Using the world’s most powerful telescopes, an international team of astronomers has discovered a massive galaxy that consists almost entirely of Dark Matter. Using the W. M. Keck Observatory and the Gemini North telescope – both on Maunakea, Hawai‘i – the team found a galaxy whose mass is almost entirely Dark Matter. The findings are being published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Even though it is relatively nearby, astronomers had missed the galaxy, named Dragonfly 44, for decades b [...]