Latest NASA News

  • Astronauts Set For Record-Breaking Mission
    Astronauts Set For Record-Breaking Mission 2 hours 20 minutes ago

    An American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are set to blast off later on a record-breaking mission to spend a year on the International Space Station. Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko will be based at the orbital hub until March 2016, rather than the usual six-month posting. The previous longest spell spent on the space station was seven months. That was set by Russian former cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent more than 14 months aboard the Mir space station in 1994-95. More »

  • One-Year Space Station Mission Launches Today: Watch It Live
    One-Year Space Station Mission Launches Today: Watch It Live 7 hours ago

    A three-person crew will blast off to the International Space Station today (March 27), and two of them won't be coming back to Earth for a full year. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka will fly to the station atop a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Central Asia. Kelly and Kornienko will participate in the yearlong mission aboard the orbiting outpost, while Padalka spends six months on the station before flying home. Watch the one-year space crew launch live on Space.com starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT) via NASA TV. More »

  • One Year in Space: A History of Ultra-Long Missions Off Planet Earth
    One Year in Space: A History of Ultra-Long Missions Off Planet Earth 7 hours ago

    An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are set to make history as the first crewmembers to spend a year onboard the International Space Station, but the two are not the first to log 12 months off the planet. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will lift off to the space station on Friday (March 27) to begin the yearlong expedition. Joining them on Russia's Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft for the 6-hour trip to the orbiting outpost is cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who will stay on the station for the more usual six months. Twenty-two other cosmonauts and four NASA astronauts have to date accumulated 365 days or more over the course of two or more space missions. More »

  • Huge Asteroid To Fly Past Earth This Morning
    Huge Asteroid To Fly Past Earth This Morning 12 hours ago

    Conspiracy websites once again proclaimed the end of life on Earth this week as a huge asteroid hurtled towards Earth More »

  • Meet the Leading Space Rock Target for NASA's Asteroid-Capture Mission
    Meet the Leading Space Rock Target for NASA's Asteroid-Capture Mission 21 hours ago

    The big asteroid 2008 EV5 may end up giving a piece of itself in the name of science and exploration. NASA intends to pluck a boulder off a near-Earth asteroid and haul it into orbit around the moon, where astronauts could visit and study the rock beginning in 2025. NASA announced the boulder plan on Wednesday (March 25), and unveiled a new video of how astronauts would fly the asteroid mission. Agency officials haven't decided upon the target asteroid yet, but the leading contender at the moment is the 1,300-foot-wide (400 meters) 2008 EV5. More »

  • Safety experts: Air crash in Alps raises need for 3rd pilot
    Safety experts: Air crash in Alps raises need for 3rd pilot 22 hours ago

    French prosecutors' assertion that this week's air crash of a German airliner into a rugged mountainside was a deliberate act of the co-pilot points to the possible need for a third pilot in airline cockpits, ... More »

  • Moon's Iron Core May Reveal Solar System Secrets with X-Ray Scan
    Moon's Iron Core May Reveal Solar System Secrets with X-Ray Scan Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Deep beneath the surface of the moon lies an iron heart that scientists are probing in a new study: By using X-rays to scan the kind of iron probably found in the moon's core, scientists may gain better estimates of the core's size and composition. Rocky planets and moons generally have metallic cores made up mostly of iron. A better understanding of the properties of iron at the high pressures and temperatures often found in the cores of these rocky bodies could yield vital insights about the solar system. For example, precise knowledge of the structure and composition of the moon's core is essential for understanding its origin and evolution, which, in turn, would shed light on the birth and development of Earth. More »

  • Glowing Cloud of Rocket Fuel Captured in Night Sky Photo
    Glowing Cloud of Rocket Fuel Captured in Night Sky Photo Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    A mysterious cloud that glowed in the night sky above the Atlantic Ocean on the night of March 12 was actually a spray of unused rocket fuel, released following a launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Keen-eyed skywatcher Scott Gauer sent us this photograph of the glowing fuel cloud — which appears as a small fan of light in the sky — from Danville, Pennsylvania. The fuel came from an Atlas V rocket launched by NASA and carrying four satellites that make up the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, or MMS, a science experiment that will study energetic events in Earth's magnetic field. More »

  • Dark Matter Probably Isn't a Mirror Universe, Colliding Galaxies Sugges …
    Dark Matter Probably Isn't a Mirror Universe, Colliding Galaxies Sugges … Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Dark matter may not be part of a "dark sector" of particles that mirrors regular matter, as some theories suggest, say scientists studying collisions of galaxy clusters. When clusters of galaxies collide, the hot gas that fills the space between the stars in those galaxies also collides and splatters in all directions with a motion akin to splashes of water. Dark matter makes up about 90 percent of the matter in galaxy clusters: Does it splatter like water as well? New research suggests that no, dark matter does not splatter when clusters of galaxies collide, and this finding limits the kinds of particles that can make up dark matter. More »

  • 5 Human Body Questions the 1-Year Space Station Mission May Answer
    5 Human Body Questions the 1-Year Space Station Mission May Answer Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    NASA has a lot of questions about what happens to people who live in space for long periods of time, and it's almost time to get some answers. When NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russia's Mikhail Kornienko fly up to the International Space Station Friday (March 27) for a yearlong stay on the orbiting outpost, space agency scientists will get to work on experiments that could help get people to Mars one day. Officials have a lot of information about what happens to a body in weightlessness for six months, but the 12-month space mission will mark the first time researchers can gather data about what happens to people in space for longer periods of time. It takes more than one year to get to Mars using currently understood propulsion methods, so learning more about the ways long spaceflight affects humans is key to one of NASA's main future goals: getting people to the Red Planet. More »

  • New Tech Could Protect Astronauts' Eyes on Mars Mission
    New Tech Could Protect Astronauts' Eyes on Mars Mission Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Three new technologies could help keep astronauts' vision sharp during a mission to Mars. The National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) Industry Forum earlier this month funded three companies as part of its "Vision for Mars" challenge, which seeks to encourage the development of tech that can mitigate the visual problems astronauts experience during long-term spaceflight. For example, astronauts aboard the International Space Station must exercise vigorously every day to stave off muscle atrophy and a decrease in bone density. Such health issues are a real concern for NASA and other groups that aim to send astronauts to Mars, since a journey to the Red Planet and back would require at least 12 months of spaceflight. More »

  • Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia
    Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine -- but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side. More »

  • Snow Melting 16 Days Earlier in Wyoming Mountains Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    The spring snowmelt now comes more than two weeks earlier than it did in the 1970s in Wyoming's Wind River Range, a new study finds. Several independent studies have found the spring snowmelt starts up to 20 days earlier in the West than in the past because there's less snow falling each winter and warmer spring weather means the snow that does fall melts earlier. The double whammy is hurting water resources in states, such as Wyoming, that rely on snowmelt. "Earlier snowmelt impacts the water resources of most of the state of Wyoming, which has been undergoing a drought since 1999," Dorothy Hall, lead author of the study and a senior research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement. More »

  • Gorgeous Satellite Image Reveals Galloping Antarctic Glacier
    Gorgeous Satellite Image Reveals Galloping Antarctic Glacier Thu, Mar 26, 2015

    One of West Antarctica's largest glaciers surged a staggering 325 feet (about 100 meters) in less than two weeks this month, the European Space Agency reports. More »

  • NASA plans to bring boulder into moon orbit
    NASA plans to bring boulder into moon orbit Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA plans to launch a craft to capture a boulder from a nearby asteroid and move it into orbit around the Earth's moon for exploration by astronauts, the space agency said Wednesday. More »

  • NASA details plans to pluck rock off asteroid, explore it
    NASA details plans to pluck rock off asteroid, explore it Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA is aiming to launch a rocket to an asteroid in five years and grab a boulder off of it — a stepping stone and training mission for an eventual trip sending humans to Mars. More »

  • NASA rover completes 11-year Mars marathon
    NASA rover completes 11-year Mars marathon Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has become the first human-made vehicle to complete a marathon on another planet -- a feat accomplished in a record time of no less than 11 years. More »

  • For Asteroid-Capture Mission, NASA Picks 'Option B' for Boulder
    For Asteroid-Capture Mission, NASA Picks 'Option B' for Boulder Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's bold asteroid-capture mission will pluck a boulder off a big space rock rather than grab an entire near-Earth object, agency officials announced today (March 25). NASA intends to drag the boulder to lunar orbit, where astronauts will visit it beginning in 2025. The space agency decided on the boulder snatch — "Option B," as opposed to the whole-asteroid "Option A" — Tuesday (March 24) during the mission concept review of the asteroid-redirect effort, NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot told reporters during a teleconference today. Option B will probably cost about $100 million more than Option A would have, but its advantages are worth the price-tag bump, Lightfoot said. More »

  • The Surprising Story Behind 1-Year-Mission Astronaut Scott Kelly's Space …
    The Surprising Story Behind 1-Year-Mission Astronaut Scott Kelly's Space … Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Scott Kelly's astronaut name tags were supposed to be aboard the International Space Station by now. In fact, the pair of name tags had been packed aboard a U.S. commercial cargo freighter that was on its way to the space station last October. More »

  • It's a short day on Saturn
    It's a short day on Saturn Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    A day on Saturn is 10 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds long, said a study Wednesday that further demystifies the ringed gas giant. More »

  • Length of Saturn's Day Measured Like Never Before
    Length of Saturn's Day Measured Like Never Before Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Setting your daily schedule on Saturn could be more challenging than you might think. Measurements taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft have shown that the ringed planet might have a longer day than originally calculated from measurements taken by the Voyager 2 probe more than 20 years earlier. In an effort to pin down Saturn's rotation period more accurately, a group of scientists took a mathematical approach to the planet, relying on measurements of its gravitational field. "While an uncertainty of 15 minutes may appear small compared to the approximately 10.5-hour rotation of Saturn, it is actually important to know [the rotation] accurately," lead scientist Ravit Helled, of Tel Aviv University in Israel, told Space.com via email. More »

  • Black Hole Winds Quench Star Formation in Entire Galaxies
    Black Hole Winds Quench Star Formation in Entire Galaxies Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Giant winds from black holes can blast gas through galaxies at extraordinary speeds, pulling the plug on star formation, researchers say. "As they do that, the material is also crushed and squeezed in a sort of vortex that astrophysicists call an accretion disk," said lead study author Francesco Tombesi, an astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior research suggested there was a close link between the size of active galactic nuclei and the size of the galaxies they dwell in. Scientists had suspected that these active galactic nuclei could drive giant winds of gas and dust through their galaxies that could blow away massive amounts of raw star-building material, quench star formation and influence the evolution of the black holes' galaxies. More »

  • American, Russian leaving Earth for year at space station
    American, Russian leaving Earth for year at space station Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut will leave Earth this week and move into the International Space Station for an entire year. More »

  • NASA’s Opportunity Rover Completes a Martian Marathon
    NASA’s Opportunity Rover Completes a Martian Marathon Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Only 11 years and two months after it began, NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover has completed a marathon across the planet’s barren red desert. “It’s historic,” said John Callas, a NASA astronomer who manages the Mars Exploration Rover project, in an interview. “This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded a marathon somewhere other than Earth.” Opportunity was designed to drive a distance of only one kilometer. More »

  • Robot on Mars in marathon 'first'
    Robot on Mars in marathon 'first' Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    A robot rover has completed the first Martian Marathon - covering a distance of 26.219 miles on the Red Planet in a time of roughly 11 years and two months. More »

  • A Year in Space: The Science Behind the Epic Space Station Voyage
    A Year in Space: The Science Behind the Epic Space Station Voyage Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    Science experiments conducted on the International Space Station during the orbiting outpost's first yearlong mission could help open the door to deep space for NASA. Officials hope that  one-year stint on the space station by astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will provide them with valuable health data that may help when the space agency decides to send humans to Mars sometime in the future, a major goal for NASA. Scientists have collected a lot of data about how the human body behaves after six months in orbit on the space station, but what happens to a person after a year in space? When NASA's Kelly and Russia's Kornienko launch to space on March 27 for their yearlong stay in space, researchers will get one of their first chances to answer this question. More »

  • Hubble Space Telescope Successor on Track for 2018 Launch, NASA Tells Congr …
    Hubble Space Telescope Successor on Track for 2018 Launch, NASA Tells Congr … Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's successor to the Hubble Space Telescope is on schedule and budget for now, space agency officials told members of Congress today (March 24). The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) — scheduled to launch to space in three years — is expected to peer deep into the universe to help scientists learn more about the mechanics of the cosmos. Due to replace the Hubble telescope, the JWST will also beam back amazing images of the cosmos from its place in space, about 932,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth. The JWST will even help scientists hunt for alien planets that are relatively near Earth. More »

  • SpaceX's Next Dragon Spaceship, Rocket-Landing Site Sign Star in Photos
    SpaceX's Next Dragon Spaceship, Rocket-Landing Site Sign Star in Photos Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    SpaceX has offered up a tantalizing glimpse of its first rocket-landing site on dry land, as well as several looks at the company's next Dragon cargo spacecraft. More »

  • Mars has nitrogen, key to life: NASA
    Mars has nitrogen, key to life: NASA Wed, Mar 25, 2015

    NASA's Curiosity rover has found nitrogen on the surface of Mars, a significant discovery that adds to evidence the Red Planet could once have sustained life, the space agency said. More »

  • NASA's Opportunity Rover Wins 1st Marathon on Mars
    NASA's Opportunity Rover Wins 1st Marathon on Mars Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    NASA's Opportunity rover has completed the first-ever Mars marathon, clocking in with a winning time of 11 years and 2 months. The golf-cart-size Opportunity rover has now traveled 26.221 miles (42.198 kilometers) since touching down on the Red Planet on Jan. 24, 2004, NASA officials announced today (March 24). "This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world," John Callas, Opportunity project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. Opportunity reached the milestone with a 153-foot (46.5 meters) drive today that took it close to a location dubbed Marathon Valley, located on the rim of Endeavour Crater. More »

  • Astronaut Scott Kelly Will Test His Limits on Epic One-Year Space Mission
    Astronaut Scott Kelly Will Test His Limits on Epic One-Year Space Mission Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    An American astronaut is about to embark on a mother of a space mission. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is counting down to launch to the International Space Station Friday (March 27) for a yearlong mission that will test his endurance like never before. Usually, space station missions last about six months, so Kelly's one-year mission will present a unique set of challenges for the astronaut. "On a six-month flight, your mindset is you're going to go up there, and you're going to be up there for a period of time, and you're going to come home," Kelly said in January. More »

  • After years of mediocrity, Tulsa emerging as hipster hub
    After years of mediocrity, Tulsa emerging as hipster hub Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Punching far above their weight, starry-eyed Tulsans have tried for years to demonstrate to fellow Oklahomans and outsiders alike that the state's second-largest city was more funky and less in a funk. More »

  • Space Experiment Hunts for Key to Alzheimer's Disease in Weightlessness
    Space Experiment Hunts for Key to Alzheimer's Disease in Weightlessness Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    The International Space Station now plays host to an experiment that could help scientists unlock the mysteries of Alzheimer's disease. More »

  • Your Ideas Wanted to Help Name Parts of Pluto
    Your Ideas Wanted to Help Name Parts of Pluto Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    You can help put names on the Pluto maps that scientists will draw up after the first-ever flyby of the dwarf planet this summer. Researchers working on NASA's New Horizons mission, which will zoom through the Pluto system on July 14, are asking the public to propose and vote on names for geological features the probe will identify on Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. "Pluto belongs to everyone," New Horizon science team member Mark Showalter, of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, said in a statement. The SETI Institute is leading the "Our Pluto" naming campaign. More »

  • Animals 'can predict earthquakes'
    Animals 'can predict earthquakes' Tue, Mar 24, 2015

    Animals appear to predict earthquakes by sensing electricity in the air, the first study to find reliable evidence of the phenomenon has shown. More »