Latest NASA News

  • Norm Carlson, Who Gave 'Go' for NASA's Saturn V, Shuttle and Beans, …
    Norm Carlson, Who Gave 'Go' for NASA's Saturn V, Shuttle and Beans, … 8 hours ago

    When NASA astronauts next launch to space from Florida, the flight control team that oversees their liftoff may celebrate with a traditional crock of beans. The test director who oversaw the launch countdowns for Apollo 11, the first moon landing in 1969, and STS-1, the first space shuttle flight in 1981 — as well as many more missions, Carlson died Sunday (March 1) of complications from congestive heart failure. "Norm left us his recipe," Bob Cabana, director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and former space shuttle astronaut, said in a statement. But celebratory beans (and cornbread, another part of the tradition) were not the only element that Carlson added to the countdown. More »

  • Mars Curiosity Rover Has A Broken Arm
    Mars Curiosity Rover Has A Broken Arm 14 hours ago

    The Mars Curiosity Rover has lost the use of one of its arms after a short circuit. The electrical problem was discovered at the weekend when Curiosity tried to transfer powder from a drilled rock to its on-board analysis tools. "A transient short in some systems on the rover would have little effect on rover operations. Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 and since then it has uncovered evidence of an environment that could have supported life early in the planet's history. More »

  • NASA investigating short circuit on Mars rover Curiosity 23 hours ago

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The Curiosity rover has temporarily stopped work on Mars while NASA engineers investigate a short circuit. More »

  • Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks 23 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is returning to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to help kick-start a longshot campaign to expand criminal background checks to all commercial firearms sales. More »

  • Ceres Science: NASA Probe to Study Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots and More
    Ceres Science: NASA Probe to Study Dwarf Planet's Bright Spots and More Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    There's something highly reflective on Ceres twinkling at NASA's Dawn spacecraft, and scientists hope to figure out what it is after the probe arrives at the dwarf planet later this week. The bright-spot mystery is just one question Dawn will tackle after it enters orbit around Ceres at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday (March 6). "Ceres has really surprised us, and the first images have produced some really puzzling features that have got the team, and I think some other people, really excited," Dawn Deputy Principal Investigator Carol Raymond, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said during a news conference Monday (March 2). The two bright spots are close to each other inside a 57-mile-wide (92 kilometers) crater that sits at about 19 degrees north latitude on Ceres, which is the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. More »

  • Veteran Democratic Sen. Mikulski won't seek re-election
    Veteran Democratic Sen. Mikulski won't seek re-election Tue, Mar 3, 2015

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a tough and dogged daughter of working-class Baltimore who rose to become the longest-serving woman in the history of Congress, said she had one question as she weighed seeking a sixth term: "Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?" More »

  • NASA spacecraft making first visit to dwarf planet Ceres
    NASA spacecraft making first visit to dwarf planet Ceres Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft is about to reach the end of a nearly eight-year journey and make the first rendezvous with a dwarf planet. More »

  • Curt Michel, Scientist-Astronaut Who Left NASA After Losing the Moon, Dies at …
    Curt Michel, Scientist-Astronaut Who Left NASA After Losing the Moon, Dies at … Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    Curt Michel, an astrophysicist who was among NASA's first scientist-astronauts but who resigned when it became clear he would not fly to the moon, died on Feb. 23. Curt Michel's death was reported on Friday (Feb. 27) by Rice University in Houston, where served as a faculty member before and after his time with NASA. "Although he retired in 2000 after 37 years at Rice, Michel continued to keep an office on campus, where he pursued his studies of solar winds [and] radio pulsars," stated the university in a press release. Michel was an assistant professor for space science at Rice when he was selected with NASA's fourth group of astronauts in June 1965. More »

  • Disney's 'Miles from Tomorrowland': A Space Romp for Kids with Real …
    Disney's 'Miles from Tomorrowland': A Space Romp for Kids with Real … Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    A new animated TV show from Disney Junior is letting the imaginations of young space fans of tomorrow run wild through the universe, and it's even trying to teach them a little space science along the way. "As a young, impressionable person, stories that have good values to them — never give up, that science and technology can help us and make life better … that you can be part of this whole thing — those are really important stories," John Spencer, one of the "Miles" consultants, said. Spencer, the founder of the Space Tourism Society, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientist Randii Wessen helped the "Miles from Tomorrowland" team craft the show. More »

  • Dwarf Planet Ceres to Be Revealed in 'Stunning Detail' by NASA Prob …
    Dwarf Planet Ceres to Be Revealed in 'Stunning Detail' by NASA Prob … Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    A NASA probe will arrive at Ceres Friday morning to begin unraveling the many mysteries of the dwarf planet — including the puzzling bright spots that blaze on its cratered surface. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to slip into orbit around Ceres — the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — at 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday, March 6, wrapping up a deep-space chase that lasted two-and-a-half years. If all goes according to plan, Dawn will become the first spacecraft ever to orbit a dwarf planet, as well as the first to circle two celestial objects beyond the Earth-moon system. "It's clear that discoveries lie ahead, and Ceres will be revealed in stunning detail, just like Vesta," Dawn Deputy Principal Investigator Carol Raymond, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said during a news conference today (March 2). More »

  • U.S. science probe nears unexplored dwarf planet Ceres
    U.S. science probe nears unexplored dwarf planet Ceres Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - A NASA science satellite on Friday will wrap up a 7-1/2-year journey to Ceres, an unexplored dwarf planet in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, scientists said on Monday. Ceres, namesake of the Roman goddess of agriculture, is already providing intrigue. More »

  • 4 NASA Satellites to Seek Energy Eruptions in Earth's Magnetic Field
    4 NASA Satellites to Seek Energy Eruptions in Earth's Magnetic Field Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    NASA is gearing up to launch a quartet of new satellites this month, to study a driving force behind solar storms that threaten Earth's satellites and power grids. The satellites, which make up NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission (or MMS), will launch on March 12 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to study a phenomenon known as magnetic reconnection in the magnetic field around Earth. Magnetic reconnection occurs when magnetic field lines break apart and reconnect, releasing huge amounts of energy and charged particles — sometimes straight at the Earth. While scientists have studied magnetic reconnection for decades in an effort to better understand its relation to space weather and solar storms, the MMS satellites will be the first experiment to intentionally pass directly through areas where the phenomenon occurs and create a three-dimensional view of it, mission scientists said. More »

  • Catching a Fireball in the Cold
    Catching a Fireball in the Cold Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    His images recently illustrated the book "The Secret Galaxy" by Fran Hodgkins (Tilbury House Publishers, 2014). In Maine, the temperature was a bone-chilling zero degrees on the night of Feb. 16, and getting colder with a slight wind chill. Since last September, my girlfriend/business partner and I had been planning a night sky shoot at Sandy Point Beach on the Penobscot River in Stockton Springs, about an hour's drive away. More »

  • Aided by Art, Theory of Life's Extra-Solar Origin Gets Boost
    Aided by Art, Theory of Life's Extra-Solar Origin Gets Boost Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    Edward Belbruno is a mathematician and an artist. His paintings are in major collections and exhibited throughout the United States, and he regularly consults with NASA from his position as a cosmology researcher at Princeton University. He is also author of "Fly Me to the Moon" (Princeton University Press, 2007). Litho, from the Greek lithos, for stone, and panspermia from the Greek for "all seeds," the hypothesis suggests life began on Earth more than 4 billion years ago as the planet was under constant bombardment from the rocky debris of the early solar system. More »

  • What Would It Be Like to Live on Mars?
    What Would It Be Like to Live on Mars? Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    The idea of living on Mars has been a staple of science fiction since the 19th century, when American astronomer Percival Lowell speculated that the channels on the Red Planet were really ancient canals built by intelligent extraterrestrials. In 1965, NASA's Mariner 4 spacecraft completed the first Martian flyby, and six years later, the Soviet Union's Mars 3 lander became the first spacecraft to land softly on Mars. Since then, there have been numerous successful missions to the Red Planet, including the deployment of four Mars rovers — the now-defunct Sojourner and Spirit, and the still-active Opportunity and Curiosity — and NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which produced a map of the entire planet. NASA is now planning for a manned mission to Mars, which is slated for the 2030s. More »

  • Dirt-Watching NASA Satellite Deploys Giant Space Antenna (Video)
    Dirt-Watching NASA Satellite Deploys Giant Space Antenna (Video) Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    A recently launched NASA satellite has just deployed a giant antenna in space. The huge tool will help scientists collect unprecedented data that could help craft better weather forecasts around the world. The space agency's Soil Moisture Active Passive spacecraft (SMAP) is tasked with beaming back new global soil moisture maps designed to aid in crafting more effective warning systems for floods, droughts and other possible emergencies. "Just this Tuesday, SMAP completed a critical step in its journey toward becoming a productive member of NASA's Earth-observing fleet," Peg Luce, deputy director of the Earth Science Division at NASA, said during a news conference Thursday (Feb. 26). More »

  • Spacecraft nears dwarf planet Ceres
    Spacecraft nears dwarf planet Ceres Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    A Nasa spacecraft is preparing to rendezvous with the largest object in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. More »

  • 10 Things to Know for Monday
    10 Things to Know for Monday Mon, Mar 2, 2015

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday: More »

  • Astronauts Add Antennas, Cables to Space Station in 3rd Spacewalk
    Astronauts Add Antennas, Cables to Space Station in 3rd Spacewalk Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    The International Space Station is now three steps – or rather spacewalks – closer to being ready for the arrival of new U.S. commercial crewed spacecraft with the successful completion of a two-astronaut outing on Sunday morning (March 1). NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry "Butch" Wilmore ventured outside the orbiting outpost for the third time in eight days to prepare the station for new docking ports to be added later this year. On Sunday, Virts and Wilmore routed some 400 feet (122 meters) of cables and installed two antenna booms that will provide navigational data to spacecraft approaching the complex. Virts and Wilmore completed the 5-hour, 38-minute spacewalk at 12:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT), having started the excursion at 6:52 a.m. EST (1152 GMT). More »

  • Rare 'Missing Link' Black Hole Apparently Found
    Rare 'Missing Link' Black Hole Apparently Found Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    A newfound cosmic object may be a long-sought missing link that could help flesh out the black hole family tree. The black holes are therefore intermediate in size between stellar-mass black holes and the behemoths that lurk at the hearts of galaxies, which can harbor billions of solar masses. Researchers have long hypothesized the existence of IMBHs, which are believed to be the seeds from which supermassive black holes grow. "Astronomers have been looking very hard for these medium-sized black holes," study co-author Tim Roberts, of the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. More »

  • NASA Probe Bound for Pluto Carries Piece of Pioneering SpaceShipOne
    NASA Probe Bound for Pluto Carries Piece of Pioneering SpaceShipOne Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    A small piece of spaceflight history will zoom through the Pluto system this July aboard NASA's New Horizons probe. Inside New Horizons is a piece of SpaceShipOne, the first privately owned and operated manned spacecraft to reach space — which begins at an altitude of 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth — twice within a 14-day span. "It is a beautiful, curved, autoclaved carbon-fiber part about 3 inches [7.6 centimeters] long, removed from the SpaceShipOne's pilot seat before it went to the National Air and Space Museum" in October 2005, said Burt Rutan, the lead designer of the famed vehicle and founder of the California-based aerospace firm Scaled Composites. More »

  • Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, tricky cable job
    Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, tricky cable job Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    Spacewalking astronauts successfully completed a three-day cable job outside the International Space Station on Sunday, routing several-hundred feet of power and data lines for new crew capsules commissioned ... More »

  • US astronauts speed through spacewalk at orbiting lab
    US astronauts speed through spacewalk at orbiting lab Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    Two US astronauts on Sunday made speedy work of their third spacewalk to get the International Space Station ready for the arrival of more commercial spacecraft in the coming years. More »

  • Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, trick cable job
    Spacewalking astronauts finish extensive, trick cable job Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    Spacewalking astronauts successfully completed a three-day cable job outside the International Space Station on Sunday, routing several-hundred feet of power and data lines for new crew capsules commissioned ... More »

  • Astronauts complete spacewalk
    Astronauts complete spacewalk Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    NASA astronauts have successfully completed their third spacewalk in just over a week to complete an extensive cable job at the International Space Station. More »

  • Artist's 'Apollo 18' Moon Mission Launching Onto Times Square B …
    Artist's 'Apollo 18' Moon Mission Launching Onto Times Square B … Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    The countdown is on to the launch of Apollo 18 and you're invited to witness it from New York City's Times Square. "Apollo XVIII," created by artist Marco Brambilla, weaves archival footage from real NASA missions with computer-generated imagery to form a countdown to a fictional flight to the moon. It will be shown on Times Square's electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight each night in March as part of "Midnight Moment," a presentation by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts. More »

  • Astronauts take 3rd spacewalk to complete tricky cable job
    Astronauts take 3rd spacewalk to complete tricky cable job Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    NASA astronauts ventured out Sunday on their third spacewalk in just over a week to complete an extensive, tricky cable job at the International Space Station. The work — involving nearly 800 feet (244 ... More »

  • Your daily dose of Barry’s or Lyons could stop you developing diabetes
    Your daily dose of Barry’s or Lyons could stop you developing diabetes Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    Tea-lovers everywhere will rejoice at the news from this latest study. More »

  • NASA Spacecraft Arrives at Dwarf Planet Ceres This Week
    NASA Spacecraft Arrives at Dwarf Planet Ceres This Week Sun, Mar 1, 2015

    NASA's Dawn spacecraft will begin orbiting the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres this week, ending a deep-space chase that lasted 2 1/2 years. "We've been using the ion propulsion system for a long time gradually to reshape Dawn's orbit around the sun so that it matches Ceres' orbit," said Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman, who's based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The $466 million Dawn mission launched in September 2007 to study Vesta and Ceres, which are 330 miles (530 kilometers) and 590 miles (950 km) wide, respectively. Dawn's observations of these planetary building blocks should shed light on the planet-formation process and the conditions prevalent during the solar system's early days, NASA officials have said. More »

  • AP PHOTOS: Antarctica's spectacular glaciers melting faster
    AP PHOTOS: Antarctica's spectacular glaciers melting faster Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    CAPE LEGOUPIL, Antarctica (AP) — From the ground of this extreme northern part of Antarctica, a spectacular white and blinding ice seemingly extends forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging below to reshape Earth. More »

  • Two arrested as search for missing teenager Becky Watts continues
    Two arrested as search for missing teenager Becky Watts continues Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    The 16-year-old has been missing from her home in Bristol for more than a week. Police described her disappearance as “completely out of character”. More »

  • See astronaut's beautiful tribute to Leonard Nimoy from space
    See astronaut's beautiful tribute to Leonard Nimoy from space Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making. More »

  • NASA Satellite Captures Amazing 3D Videos of Rain, Snow
    NASA Satellite Captures Amazing 3D Videos of Rain, Snow Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    Mesmerizing and swirling animations of rain and snow dance across a map of the Earth, shown in a video released yesterday (Feb. 26) by NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission. The NASA video captures worldwide precipitation from April to September 2014, and even shows Hurricane Arthur twist into a tropical storm from July 2 to 4 in the Atlantic Ocean, said Gail Skofronick-Jackson, a GPM project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The "GPM mission is the first coordinated international satellite network that provides near real-time global estimates of rain and snow," Skofronick-Jackson said at news conference yesterday. The video is the product of the GPM Core Observatory, launched one year ago on Feb. 27 by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. More »

  • Tributes pour in for 'Star Trek' legend Leonard Nimoy
    Tributes pour in for 'Star Trek' legend Leonard Nimoy Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    President Barack Obama joined Leonard Nimoy's co-stars from "Star Trek" to bid adieu to the actor who delighted sci-fi fans worldwide with his iconic turn as the pointy-eared half-human, half-Vulcan Mr Spock in the "Star Trek" television series and films. More »

  • Nimoy's logical legacy to science
    Nimoy's logical legacy to science Sat, Feb 28, 2015

    Leonard Nimoy did not just leave a lasting impression on the science-fiction world, he also left his mark on science itself. More »