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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘JPL’

Meteors Spotted Hitting Saturn’s Rings

Watching stellar impacts as they occur is a rare treat for astronomers. The famous Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact on Jupiter (which left water in the planet’s atmosphere), which happened only 20 years ago, was the first directly-seen extraterrestrial collision in the solar system. This week, NASA revealed that Saturn has now been added to the short list of places in the …

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Voyager 1 Module Added to NASA’s Solar System Viewer

There’s been some confusion in recent months over whether Voyager 1 has actually exited the Solar System. NASA scientists have reported multiple times that they’ve seen indications that the probe may be outside the heliosphere, only to roll back the fanfare with a deeper analysis of the data. Now, NASA is letting everyone in on the agonizing wait with a …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Swaps Computers

NASA announced today that Mars rover Curiosity has switched onboard computers as a result of a “memory issue” experienced on its active computer. The issue has brought research by the rover to a halt. The swap to the rover’s redundant computer took place yesterday and placed the rover into a “safe mode.” Over then next several days the rover team …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Analyzes Rock Powder

NASA this week announced that Mars rover Curiosity has successfully placed two small samples of rock powder into its “compact laboratories” for analysis. “Data from the instruments have confirmed the deliveries,” said Jennifer Trosper, Curiosity Mission Manager oat NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The rock powder comes from the inside of a rock on Mars – the first sample of …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Shows Off Its First Drill Sample

Last week, Mars rover Curiosity, after months of meticulous planning, finally used its hammering drill to collect a sample of Martian rock dust. Today, NASA scientists have released images confirming that the first-ever sample of drilled rock dust is safely in one of Curiosity’s sample scoops. “Seeing the powder from the drill in the scoop allows us to verify for …

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Asteroid Flyby to be Live-Streamed by NASA

On February 15, tomorrow, an asteroid named 2012 DA14 will fly within several thousand miles of the surface of the Earth. At its closest approach the asteroid will come within 17,200 miles of the Earth’s surface – a harrowingly close miss that comes well within the ring of man-made geosynchronous satellites that orbit the Earth. The flyby will set a …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Drills a Rock, Makes History

After months of careful planning and tests, Mars rover Curiosity has finally used its hammering drill to collect a bedrock sample on Mars. The event marks the first time any rover has drilled into a rock on the red planet. Curiosity left a hole 0.63 inches (1.6 cm) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) deep in a flat, veiny rock …

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Comet ISON Spotted by NASA’s Deep Impact

NASA‘s Deep Impact spacecraft has snapped several images of the comet ISON (C/2012 S1). The images were obtained over 36 hours on January 17 and 18, from a distance of 793 million km (493 million miles). The comet is expected to come within 1.8 million km (1.1 million miles) of the sun and burn bright enough to be seen from …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Pounds a Rock

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity is closer than ever to the first full use of its hammering drill. Over the weekend the rover completed a successful test of the drill’s percussive action. The “drill-on-rock checkout” left a mark on the rock, named “John Klein,” chosen as the target for the first drill sampling of rock material in the …

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NASA to Launch ISS Instrument to Monitor Ocean Winds

NASA announced this week that it will launch an instrument called the ISS-RapidScat to the International Space Station (ISS) next year to measure ocean winds. The instrument, originally built to test NASA;s QuikScat satellite, will measure the Earth’s ocean surface wind speed and direction. The data will improve weather forecasts and hurricane monitoring. “The ability for NASA to quickly reuse …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Braces For Drilling

For over one month now, Mars rover Curiosity has been preparing to use its hammering drill for the first time. It now appears that the rover’s first drill test is now imminent. Researchers announced that they have placed the drill onto a series of locations and pressed down on it with Curiosity’s arm. This “pre-load testing allowed engineers to check …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Takes Nighttime Photos

NASA announced today that Mars rover Curiosity has used the camera on its arm to take pictures at night. The photos were of a rock named “Sayunei,” which Curiosity had purposely scuffed with its left-front wheel to uncover dust-free materials. This was the first time the rover has taken photos at night using the white and ultraviolet lights on its …

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