Latest NASA News

  • Mysterious dwarf planet Ceres now in the spotlight
    Mysterious dwarf planet Ceres now in the spotlight 10 hours ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mysterious dwarf planet Ceres is ready for its close-up. More »

  • NASA Joy As Probe Orbits Dwarf Planet Ceres
    NASA Joy As Probe Orbits Dwarf Planet Ceres 11 hours ago

    The NASA probe Dawn has begun orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres in a major triumph for the US space agency. It is the first time in the history of space exploration that a probe has made it to a dwarf planet. Dawn gently, elegantly slid into Ceres' gravitational embrace," said mission chief engineer Marc Rayman at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ceres, which lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is Dawn's final destination. More »

  • Could we be flying in three-decker planes by 2030?
    Could we be flying in three-decker planes by 2030? 11 hours ago

    Future concept 'Progress Eagle' aircraft will be eco-friendly and fly 800 passengers More »

  • NASA's Dawn reaches Ceres, becomes first spacecraft to orbit dwarf plan … 11 hours ago

    NASA astronomers and engineers breathed a sigh of relief Friday morning, as the Dawn spacecraft became the first Earthly vessel to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., received confirmation from the craft at 5:36 Pacific time, NASA reported. “After a journey of 3.1 billion miles and 7.5 years, Dawn calls Ceres, home," Dawn’s chief engineer Marc Rayman said in a press release Friday morning. These are “two intact protoplanets from the very dawn of the solar system,” JPL planetary scientist Carol Raymond said during a briefing Thursday as Dawn closed in on Ceres’s orbit. More »

  • Probe reaches mystery dwarf planet
    Probe reaches mystery dwarf planet 12 hours ago

    A US spacecraft has started orbiting a mysterious "mini-world" in the asteroid belt after a journey through space lasting 7.5 years. More »

  • NASA Dawn Probe Enters Orbit Around Dwarf Planet Ceres, a Historic First
    NASA Dawn Probe Enters Orbit Around Dwarf Planet Ceres, a Historic First 13 hours ago

    The year of the dwarf planet has begun. NASA's Dawn probe arrived at Ceres today (March 6) at about 7:39 a.m. EST (1239 GMT), becoming the first spacecraft ever to orbit a dwarf planet. Dawn's observations over the next 16 months should lift the veil on Ceres, which has remained largely mysterious since its 1801 discovery, mission team members say. "It's really going to be exciting to see what this exotic, alien world looks like," Dawn mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman, who's based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, told Space.com in late January. More »

  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today 13 hours ago

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

  • NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet
    NASA craft circling Ceres in first visit to dwarf planet 13 hours ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A NASA spacecraft for the first time has arrived at a dwarf planet to begin a 16-month exploration. More »

  • NASA: Dawn spacecraft is in orbit around Ceres for the first visit to a dwarf … 13 hours ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — NASA: Dawn spacecraft is in orbit around Ceres for the first visit to a dwarf planet. More »

  • NASA Spacecraft Set for Historic Arrival at Dwarf Planet Ceres Today
    NASA Spacecraft Set for Historic Arrival at Dwarf Planet Ceres Today 23 hours ago

    NASA's Dawn probe is just hours away from making spaceflight history. Dawn is scheduled to slip into orbit around Ceres — the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and Ceres — the closest dwarf planet to Earth — at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) on Friday (March 6). If all goes according to plan, Dawn will become the first spacecraft ever to visit a dwarf planet, and the first to circle two different objects beyond the Earth-moon system. More »

  • For NASA, Dawn Probe's Ceres Arrival Will Cap Epic Solar System Trek
    For NASA, Dawn Probe's Ceres Arrival Will Cap Epic Solar System Trek Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    On Friday morning (March 6), NASA's Dawn spacecraft will slip into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres. The proposal for the mission was submitted in the late 1990s, said Carol Raymond, deputy principal investigator for the Dawn mission. After spending 14 months surveying Vesta, Dawn was prepared to depart for Ceres — the largest body in the asteroid belt — using its low-thrust, high-efficiency ion engine. Then, as the flight team prepared to depart the asteroid in 2012, a second reaction wheel began showing signs of ill health. By the time Dawn left Vesta's orbit, two reaction wheels had suffered crippling malfunctions. More »

  • Cosmic Lens Reveals 4 Views of Same Star Explosion (Photo)
    Cosmic Lens Reveals 4 Views of Same Star Explosion (Photo) Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    For the first time, a cosmic magnifying glass has allowed scientists to see the same star explosion four times, possibly offering a revealing glimpse into these explosive stellar deaths and the nature of the accelerating universe. Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have captured four images of a supernova explosion in deep space thanks to a galaxy located between Earth and the massive star explosion. The galaxy cluster warped the fabric of space and time around it — like a bowling ball placed on a bed sheet — allowing scientists to see the supernova in four images. "It was predicted 50 years ago that a supernova could be gravitationally lensed like this, but it's taken a long time for someone to find an example," lead study author Patrick Kelly, an astronomer at the University of California, Berkeley told Space.com. More »

  • See Live Views of Dwarf Planet Ceres Friday in Slooh Observatory Webcast
    See Live Views of Dwarf Planet Ceres Friday in Slooh Observatory Webcast Fri, Mar 6, 2015

    An observatory will celebrate the planned arrival of a NASA spacecraft at Ceres by streaming live images of the dwarf planet live online Friday (March 6). NASA's Dawn mission is expected to arrive at Ceres — the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter — Friday. In honor of the historic arrival, the online Slooh Community Observatory will host a 45 minute webcast featuring live views of Ceres starting at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) at its website: http://main.slooh.com/. "The mission should tell us a great deal about the history and composition of this enigmatic dwarf planet. More »

  • Mars ocean was bigger than the Arctic: NASA
    Mars ocean was bigger than the Arctic: NASA Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Mars once had a body of water bigger than Earth's Arctic Ocean and vast enough to cover the entire surface of the planet, NASA scientists said in a study released on Thursday. More »

  • Mysterious dwarf planet Ceres gets ready for the spotlight
    Mysterious dwarf planet Ceres gets ready for the spotlight Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The mysterious dwarf planet Ceres is ready for its close-up. More »

  • Wet Mars: Red Planet Lost Ocean's Worth of Water, New Maps Reveal
    Wet Mars: Red Planet Lost Ocean's Worth of Water, New Maps Reveal Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    New maps of water in the atmosphere of Mars reveal that the Red Planet might once have had enough to cover up to a fifth of the planet, researchers say. Further research to refine these maps could help guide the quest to identify underground reservoirs on Mars, the scientists added. Although the Martian surface is now cold and dry, there is plenty of evidence suggesting that rivers, lakes and seas covered the Red Planet billions of years ago. Since there is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth, some researchers have suggested that life might have evolved on Mars when it was wet, and life could be there even now, hidden in subterranean aquifers. More »

  • Fastest Star in the Galaxy Has a Strange Origin
    Fastest Star in the Galaxy Has a Strange Origin Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Its speed will allow it to escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy, and eventually make its way into intergalactic space. Most other stars moving fast enough to get out of the galaxy are thought to be ejected by the monster black hole at the galactic center, the researchers say. But there is a class of so-called hypervelocity stars, or HVSs, that are moving with speeds high enough to escape the gravitational pull of the galaxy. Thus far, the fastest of these hypervelocity stars have been clocked at about 2 million miles per hour. More »

  • Secrets of Martian ocean revealed
    Secrets of Martian ocean revealed Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    An ancient Martian ocean held more water than the Arctic Ocean on Earth, scientists believe. More »

  • Med on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for life to …
    Med on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for life to … Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Mars once had an ocean covering 20% of the planet's surface which was a similar depth to the Mediterranean, scientists have discovered. Using data gathered with powerful ground-based telescopes, researchers from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre were able to create maps of the atmospheric water across the Red Planet. They discovered this by measuring maps of atmospheric water and its deuterated form (where the hydrogen atom is replaced with heavy hydrogen atom). "The researchers found that the ratio of deuterated water to regular water in some regions is higher - perhaps sevenfold higher than in the Earth's oceans, for instance - than previously thought," a statement said. More »

  • Mediterranean on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for …
    Mediterranean on Mars: Ocean covered 20% of Red Planet surface long enough for … Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Mars once had an ocean covering 20% of the planet's surface which was a similar depth to the Mediterranean, scientists have discovered. Using data gathered with powerful ground-based telescopes, researchers from Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre were able to create maps of the atmospheric water across the Red Planet. They discovered this by measuring maps of atmospheric water and its deuterated form (where the hydrogen atom is replaced with heavy hydrogen atom). "The researchers found that the ratio of deuterated water to regular water in some regions is higher - perhaps sevenfold higher than in the Earth's oceans, for instance - than previously thought," a statement said. More »

  • NASA to produce breathable air on Mars in 2020
    NASA to produce breathable air on Mars in 2020 Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Machine will produce air for astronauts - and rocket fuel for a return trip to Earth More »

  • 7 Strange Facts About Dwarf Planet Ceres
    7 Strange Facts About Dwarf Planet Ceres Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    On Friday morning (March 6), NASA's Dawn spacecraft will arrive at Ceres, becoming the first probe ever to orbit a dwarf planet. Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and the closest dwarf planet to Earth. Dawn is expected to provide a wealth of information about Ceres' evolution and composition. While Dawn's work will be the first in-depth examination of Ceres, astronomers have learned a bit about the dwarf planet already using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, Europe's Herschel Space Observatory and other instruments. More »

  • Arctic Sea Ice 'Thinning Dramatically,' Study Finds
    Arctic Sea Ice 'Thinning Dramatically,' Study Finds Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Arctic sea ice — the ice that freezes and floats on Arctic waters — is thinning at a steadier and faster rate than researchers previously thought, a new study finds. Using modern and historic measurements, the researchers got an extensive view of how the thickness of Arctic sea ice has changed over the past few decades. According to measurements from multiple sources, the ice in the central Arctic Ocean thinned 65 percent between 1975 and 2012, from 11.7 feet (3.59 meters) to 4.1 feet (1.25 m). The thinning is even steeper for September sea-ice levels, when sea ice is at its lowest after the summer melt. More »

  • What Would It Be Like to Live On Dwarf Planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt?
    What Would It Be Like to Live On Dwarf Planet Ceres in the Asteroid Belt? Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    The aptly named asteroid belt is a region of space between Mars and Jupiter that's home to the majority of the asteroids in the solar system. In recent years, asteroid belt objects have gained much attention as potential locations for future space mining operations that seek to harvest water for long-distance space missions (water can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen to make rocket fuel). One potential resource is Ceres — the largest object in the asteroid belt, comprising up to a third of the belt's mass. Once labeled an asteroid, Ceres is now classified as a "dwarf planet," a step below a full-fledged planet. More »

  • Vulcan Salute: Astronauts Honor Leonard Nimoy from Space (Photos)
    Vulcan Salute: Astronauts Honor Leonard Nimoy from Space (Photos) Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    Two astronauts in space said goodbye to a science fiction legend on Earth by beaming back striking photos from the International Space Station. European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti honored "Star Trek" actor Leonard Nimoy — who died Friday (Feb. 6) due to end-stage lung disease — by posting a photo of herself wearing a Starfleet insignia, holding up the Vulcan salute and looking toward Earth on Twitter Saturday (Feb. 28). "'Of all the souls I have encountered.. his was the most human,'" Cristoforetti wrote on Twitter, quoting a line referencing Spock from the original "Star Trek" series. Cristoforetti's fellow space station crewmember, NASA astronaut Terry Virts, also posted a photo tribute to Nimoy. More »

  • Sam Warburton is hoping this hi-tech icer can help him be fit to face Irela …
  • Peers urge drones tracking system
    Peers urge drones tracking system Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    The House of Lords' EU Committee has called for a tracking system for all drones and their users. More »

  • Dawn probe nears dwarf planet Ceres
    Dawn probe nears dwarf planet Ceres Thu, Mar 5, 2015

    An American spacecraft is about to make an historic rendezvous with the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest body in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. More »

  • NASA spacecraft nears encounter with dwarf planet Ceres
    NASA spacecraft nears encounter with dwarf planet Ceres Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    A NASA spacecraft called Dawn is about to become the first mission to orbit a dwarf planet when it slips into orbit Friday around Ceres, the most massive body in the asteroid belt. More »

  • How an Ion Drive Helped NASA's Dawn Probe Visit Dwarf Planet Ceres
    How an Ion Drive Helped NASA's Dawn Probe Visit Dwarf Planet Ceres Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    A NASA probe that takes four days to go from 0 to 60 mph is about to make space exploration history. NASA's Dawn spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the dwarf planet Ceres, the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, early Friday morning (March 6). If all goes according to plan, Dawn will become the first probe ever to orbit a dwarf planet, as well as the first to circle two celestial bodies beyond the Earth-moon system. The $473 million Dawn mission's unprecedented deep-space feats are enabled by its innovative ion propulsion system, which is about 10 times more efficient than traditional chemical thrusters. More »

  • Mars on Earth: Mock Space Mission Examines Trials of Daily Life
    Mars on Earth: Mock Space Mission Examines Trials of Daily Life Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    NASA officials are hoping for this latter scenario when assigning crews to future Mars missions sometime in the future. NASA is examining the daily lives of the crew to see how they're coping in a harsh and isolated environment, and to improve the agency's plans for future long missions in space, according to the crew's chief scientist. "In part, this study is attempting to answer long-standing questions about the ideal crew composition for handling the challenges of a long-duration mission," Jocelyn Dunn told Space.com via e-mail. Dunn said it took the crew a month to get acclimatized to their new home, between learning the systems, figuring out the most efficient way to conduct NASA's studies, and making sure the habitat was organized. More »

  • NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars Sidelined By 'Short Circuit' Gli …
    NASA's Curiosity Rover on Mars Sidelined By 'Short Circuit' Gli … Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity experienced an electrical problem last week, and the robot will stay put for a few days while mission engineers try to figure out exactly what happened. The car-size Curiosity rover suffered a "transient short circuit" on Feb. 27 while it was transferring sample powder from its robotic arm to instruments on its body, NASA officials said. Curiosity halted the activity in response, as it was programmed to do in such situations. "We are running tests on the vehicle in its present configuration before we move the arm or drive," Curiosity Project Manager Jim Erickson, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement Tuesday (March 3). More »

  • 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, … Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    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 Wed, Mar 4, 2015

    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 Tue, Mar 3, 2015

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