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space exploration Articles

NASA tests Orion Space Capsule Parachutes NASA tests Orion Space Capsule Parachutes

This week, NASA completed tests on the Orion spacecraft’s parachutes. The capsule is being designed as part of a project to send humans into deep space. The tests were conducted at the U.S. Army Yuma proving Ground in Arizona. The …

Mars Rover Curiosity Prepares to Drill a Rock Mars Rover Curiosity Prepares to Drill a Rock

Nearly all of the instruments packed into Mars rover Curiosity‘s frame have been utilized, but once crucial test has yet to be performed. NASA scientists will soon use Curiosity’s percussive drill to powder the interior of a rock for analysis, …

NASA Looks Back on a Historic Year in Space [VIDEO] NASA Looks Back on a Historic Year in Space [VIDEO]

This year, as usual, was a historic year for NASA, spaceflight, astronomy, and space exploration. Though NASA’s share of the U.S. federal budget has been falling for years now, the agency has an uncanny knack for stretching its budget and …

Cassini Spots “Mini Nile River” on Saturn’s Titan Cassini Spots “Mini Nile River” on Saturn’s Titan

The Cassini probe orbiting Saturn and its moons has photographed what the European Space Agency (ESA) is calling a “miniature extraterrestrial version of the Nile river” on Saturn’s moon Titan. The formation is a river valley on the the moon’s …

Mars Rover Curiosity to Drill Rocks in Yellowknife Bay Mars Rover Curiosity to Drill Rocks in Yellowknife Bay

NASA reported this week that Mars Rover Curiosity recently drove 19 meters (63 feet) toward an area called “Yellowknife Bay. The drive represents the rover’s fourth consecutive driving day since leaving an outcrop called “Point Lake.” Curiosity has now driven …

Growing veggies on Mars a Goal For Chinese Biodome Growing veggies on Mars a Goal For Chinese Biodome
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One of the major hurdles to sending humans to Mars is their pesky predilection for eating. The amount of food needed for astronauts during a months-long trip to Mars and back would weight too much to make such a mission …

NASA Finds Mysterious Gullies on Asteroid Vesta’s Surface NASA Finds Mysterious Gullies on Asteroid Vesta’s Surface
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NASA’s Dawn mission has returned images from the giant asteroid Vesta that scientists say include long, narrow gullies along the walls of relatively young craters. The discovery has revealed a mystery that scientists are now trying to solve. The images …

Moon is Battered, Reveals New Gravity Map Moon is Battered, Reveals New Gravity Map
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A new gravity map of Earth’s moon shows a record of billions of years of impacts on its surface. The new map, generated by NASA‘s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is now the highest resolution gravity field map …

New Mars Rover Set to Launch in 2020 New Mars Rover Set to Launch in 2020

NASA this week announced that it has plans to send a new robotic science rover to Mars in 2020. The news comes just after the agency revealed the results of a full analysis of Martian soil by Mars rover Curiosity. …

Mars Rover Opportunity Completes Walkabout of Matijevic Hill Mars Rover Opportunity Completes Walkabout of Matijevic Hill

NASA announced today that Mars rover Opportunity has completed a reconnaissance circuit around an area named “Matijevic Hill.” Opportunity began its study of the location at the beginning of October. The site is named after Jacob Matijevic, who led the …

Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fully Analyzed Martian Soil Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fully Analyzed Martian Soil

Mars Rover Curiosity has now used each of its on-board instruments to analyze Martian soil. Though researchers have found a complex chemistry in the soil on Mars, they haven’t found what would be considered a major discovery: carbon-based organic compounds …

Voyager Discovers New Region at the Edge of the Solar System Voyager Discovers New Region at the Edge of the Solar System
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Excited NASA researchers today announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has encountered a new, unexpected region on its way out of the solar system. The scientists believe that the region is the final hurdle before Voyager enters interstellar space. The …

Water Ice on Mercury Confirmed by NASA’s MESSENGER Water Ice on Mercury Confirmed by NASA’s MESSENGER

The hypothesis that Mercury has abundant water ice and other frozen volatile materials in its shadowed polar craters appears to have been confirmed. NASA announced today that new measurements from its Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft …

Huge Saturn Storm Photographed by Cassini Huge Saturn Storm Photographed by Cassini

NASA today released photos taken by the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn and its moons. The images reveal a “swirling vortex” that covers part of Saturn’s north polar hexagon. NASA stated that Cassini has been traversing Saturn’s system in tilted orbits, …

Titan’s Atmosphere Shifts Abruptly, South Pole Vortex Forms Titan’s Atmosphere Shifts Abruptly, South Pole Vortex Forms
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New data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows that a shift in seasonal sunlight has resulted in an abrupt, wholesale reversal in the circulation of the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan. According to researchers, the data shows “definitive” evidence for sinking …

Dust Storm on Mars Now Dissipating Dust Storm on Mars Now Dissipating

NASA this week announced that a dust storm on Mars appears to be dissipating, instead of growing into a global storm. The dust storm has been tracked since November 10 using the Mars Color Imager camera on the Mars Reconnaissance …

Mars Rover Curiosity Celebrates a Milestone Mars Rover Curiosity Celebrates a Milestone
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This week marks one year since Mars rover Curiosity launched on the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canaveral on Earth. Today, NASA provided a few statistics on the “new” rover to celebrate the occasion. Though Curiosity has only been on …

Mars Rovers Detect Regional Dust Storm Effects Mars Rovers Detect Regional Dust Storm Effects

A recent regional Martian dust storm has grown large enough for both of the functioning NASA Mars rovers, Curiosity and Opportunity, to detect atmospheric changes on opposite sides of the red planet. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been tracking the …

Mars Rover Curiosity On the Move Again, With Rumors of a “Big” Discovery Mars Rover Curiosity On the Move Again, With Rumors of a “Big” Discovery
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After spending weeks stationed at the “Rocknest” site scooping up soil samples, Mars rover Curiosity this past week got the chance to once again drive across the surface of Mars. NASA announced today that over the weekend the rover first …

Mars Once Had Warm Water, Study Reveals Mars Once Had Warm Water, Study Reveals
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New research on Martian meteorites shows evidence that water sufficiently warm enough to support life once existed on Mars. The study, published this week in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, determined that water temperatures on Mars ranged from …

Mars Rover Curiosity Measures Wind, Radiation Patterns on Mars Mars Rover Curiosity Measures Wind, Radiation Patterns on Mars

NASA announced today that, aside from scooping and analyzing Martian soil, Mars rover Curiosity’s measurements of wind and radiation patterns on Mars are helping researchers better understand the environment near the surface of Mars. Researchers with the Mars Science Laboratory …