Latest NASA News

  • Spring Colors Swirl in Picturesque North Atlantic
    Spring Colors Swirl in Picturesque North Atlantic 18 hours ago

    Created by the NASA OceanColor group, the striking image is a composite made with data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite, according to NASA's Earth Observatory. Photosynthesizing phytoplankton are the basis of the ocean food chain, just as plants form that base on land. More »

  • Scientists say 'San Andreas' is not accurate: Will moviegoers care? 19 hours ago

    The coming release of Dwayne Johnson’s movie “San Andreas” this weekend is reopening the debate about how much creative license Hollywood should take in disaster movies. “Here’s the crazy thing about it,” Mr. Johnson told Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on "The Tonight Show" last Thursday. Recommended: Famous movie lines: How well do you know them? More »

  • Free App Puts NASA Pluto Mission in Palm of Your Hand
    Free App Puts NASA Pluto Mission in Palm of Your Hand 19 hours ago

    A new app lets you follow the progress of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which is in the home stretch of its historic mission to Pluto. New Horizons will make the first-ever flyby of Pluto on July 14, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of the dwarf planet's surface. The Pluto Safari app, which came out last month, keeps tabs on New Horizons, counting its close encounter down to the second, and teaches users about the frigid, distant realm the spacecraft is exploring. More »

  • Two Tiny 'CubeSats' Will Watch 2016 Mars Landing
    Two Tiny 'CubeSats' Will Watch 2016 Mars Landing 19 hours ago

    NASA will launch a pair of bantam CubeSats into deep space next year to provide real-time landing coverage for the space agency's next mission to Mars, officials say. Known as Mars Cube One or MarCO, the CubeSats will be launched in March 2016 as secondary payloads aboard an Atlas V rocket carrying NASA's InSight lander. The two CubeSats will separate from the booster after launch and travel along their own trajectories to the Red Planet. More »

  • Tools to scour for life on Europa
    Tools to scour for life on Europa 22 hours ago

    The countdown has begun for a mission to discover whether life might exist on Jupiter's moon Europa. More »

  • Could 'Green Rust' Be A Catalyst For Martian Life?
    Could 'Green Rust' Be A Catalyst For Martian Life? Wed, May 27, 2015

    Mars is a large enough planet that astrobiologists looking for life need to narrow the parameters of the search to those environments most conducive to habitability. NASA's Mars Curiosity mission is exploring such a spot right now at its landing site around Gale Crater, where the rover has found extensive evidence of past water and is gathering information on methane in the atmosphere, a possible signature of microbial activity. One possibility is in an environment that includes “green rust,” a partially oxidized iron mineral. More »

  • NASA selects celestial tool box bound for Jupiter moon Europa
    NASA selects celestial tool box bound for Jupiter moon Europa Wed, May 27, 2015

    NASA said Tuesday it has chosen a trove of instruments to send to Jupiter's ice-covered moon Europa, as it press forward with its search for evidence the orb could support life. More »

  • NASA to Move Space Station Module: Watch Live Wednesday
    NASA to Move Space Station Module: Watch Live Wednesday Wed, May 27, 2015

    NASA plans to move a piece of the International Space Station Wednesday (May 27) to make it easier for commercial crewed vehicles to dock there, and you can watch the off-Earth action live. Flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston will robotically move the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) supply depot from the orbiting lab's Unity module over to the Tranquility module. You can watch this process live here at Space.com beginning at 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT) Wednesday, courtesy of NASA TV. More »

  • NASA Mission to Europa Will Seek Conditions for Life
    NASA Mission to Europa Will Seek Conditions for Life Tue, May 26, 2015

    NASA's Europa spacecraft will use nine scientific instruments to assess the icy, ocean-harboring Jupiter moon's ability to support life, space agency officials announced today (May 26). The Europa probe — which is scheduled to launch in the early to mid-2020s — will carry supersharp cameras, a heat detector, ice-penetrating radar and a variety of other gear that will shed light on the satellite's surface composition and the nature of its salty subsurface sea, among other things, NASA officials said. The newly announced scientific payload "will help us take great strides forward in understanding the habitability of Europa," Curt Niebur, Europa program scientist at NASA's Washington headquarters, said during a news conference today. More »

  • New Journal Tackles the Science of Weightlessness
    New Journal Tackles the Science of Weightlessness Tue, May 26, 2015

    The same organization that publishes Nature, a prestigious journal that commonly reports major space discoveries, has launched a new journal devoted to microgravity research. Called npj Microgravity, the new open-access journal is available online and is now looking for submissions. The journal is being published as a collaboration between the Nature Publishing Group and the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, with the support of NASA, according to a statement on the new journal's website. More »

  • Google 'Doodle' Celebrates Sally Ride, 1st American Woman in Space
    Google 'Doodle' Celebrates Sally Ride, 1st American Woman in Space Tue, May 26, 2015

    Google has paid tribute to America's first woman in space with a series of five animated "Doodles" appearing on its website today, May 26. The whimsical scenes, displayed one at a time, randomly, with each refresh of the page, are timed to celebrate what would have been Sally Ride's birthday. "Sally Ride, who would have been 64 today, captured the nation's imagination as a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers," wrote Tam O'Shaughnessy, CEO of Sally Ride Science and Ride's life partner, in a guest essay that accompanies the Doodles on Google's website. More »

  • Greased Lightning! NASA Drone Advances Unmanned Craft
    Greased Lightning! NASA Drone Advances Unmanned Craft Tue, May 26, 2015

    A huge, 10-engine drone dubbed "Greased Lightning" successfully completed a series of flight tests recently, paving the way for new types of unmanned vehicles that could one day carry people. Earlier this spring, NASA engineers flew the so-called GL-10 (the "GL" stands for "Greased Lightning") prototype drone at a military base located about two hours away from the agency's Langley Research Center in Virginia. "It could be used for small package delivery or vertical takeoff and landing, [and] long-endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping and other applications," Bill Fredericks, an aerospace engineer at the Langley Research Center, said in a statement. More »

  • Did Curiosity Rover Cause Mars' Mysterious Methane Spike?
    Did Curiosity Rover Cause Mars' Mysterious Methane Spike? Tue, May 26, 2015

    Then in 2003 and 2004, earthbound telescopes and orbiting spacecraft rekindled the mystery with reports of large methane clouds in Mars' atmosphere. NASA's Curiosity roverwould resolve the matter, everyone hoped. The rover sampled Mars's atmosphere six times for methane between October 2012 and June 2013 — and detected none. More »

  • Slippery Slopes on Mars Send Curiosity Rover on Detour
    Slippery Slopes on Mars Send Curiosity Rover on Detour Tue, May 26, 2015

    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found a new route to some interesting rocks after its original path proved too difficult to traverse. Scientists want the car-size Curiosity rover to check out a "geological contact" where two different rock units meet. Curiosity tried to reach such a contact earlier this month, but the robot's six wheels slipped too much during three out of four drives between May 7 and May 13, NASA officials said. More »

  • Here’s What Happened Today: Monday
    Here’s What Happened Today: Monday Mon, May 25, 2015

    Bill O’Herlihy, Averil Power, and gay marriage had everyone talking today. More »

  • NASA Camera Spots ‘Buxom Female Robot’ On Mars
    NASA Camera Spots ‘Buxom Female Robot’ On Mars Mon, May 25, 2015

    This really is proof that aliens exist, man claims More »

  • Deadly Plains torrents loosen drought’s grip: Is this ‘weather whiplash? … Mon, May 25, 2015

    The five-year drought came to a dramatic end in Texas on Sunday, as a straight month of rain built into a torrent that killed at least three people and destroyed more than 1,000 homes, most along the Blanco River that runs roughly between San Antonio and Austin. Wichita Falls, Texas, where golf courses had long lost their green amid watering restrictions, has become fully saturated in a span of three weeks during the wettest May in the city since 1897. Across the Central Plains, reservoirs that have threatened for years to run dry are, suddenly, full. More »

  • What Are Those Bright Spots on Ceres? Go Vote!
    What Are Those Bright Spots on Ceres? Go Vote! Fri, May 22, 2015

    The puzzling white spots on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres are definitely reflecting sunlight, scientists said, but the cause of the marks remains a mystery. The newest batch of images from the Dawn spacecraft, which began orbiting Ceres on March 6, was released May 15. With the release of these new images, NASA has asked the public to submit a guess for what is creating the spots: volcanos, geysers, rocks, ice, salt deposits, or "other." As of this writing, 37 percent of people who took NASA's poll for what the white spots might be said "other." Alien colonies, perhaps? More »

  • 'Tomorrowland' Celebrates Walt Disney's Vision of the Future
    'Tomorrowland' Celebrates Walt Disney's Vision of the Future Fri, May 22, 2015

    "I grew up during the Cold War," said George Clooney, who plays Frank Walker, a grizzled, disillusioned inventor who sets things in motion in the film. Brad Bird, the director of the film (and previously of "Iron Giant," "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles"), said he gets his optimism from a space-race perspective. In fact, NASA's role in "Tomorrowland" has come full circle. More »

  • Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found
    Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found Fri, May 22, 2015

    The engine behind the galaxy's brilliance may be a supermassive black hole, researchers said. If this is indeed what's going on with the newly discovered galaxy, which is known as WISE J224607.57-052635.0, it raises an interesting question: How did the supermassive black hole get so big, so fast? The black hole may simply have been born big, researchers said. More »

  • NASA Spacecraft Now Closer to Moon Than Ever
    NASA Spacecraft Now Closer to Moon Than Ever Fri, May 22, 2015

    A NASA probe has dipped closer to the moon than ever before, perhaps setting the stage for a new round of discoveries about Earth's nearest neighbor. On May 4, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) performed two engine burns, changing its orbit to one that gets within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the moon's south pole and 103 miles (165 km) of the north pole. Lowering LRO's orbit essentially magnifies the sensitivity of LRO's six science instruments, giving scientists a chance to learn more about how water and other compounds could be trapped at the moon's poles, said LRO project scientist John Keller, also of NASA Goddard. More »

  • Tiny 'Cubesats' Gaining Bigger Role in Space
    Tiny 'Cubesats' Gaining Bigger Role in Space Fri, May 22, 2015

    When Jordi Puig-Suari and Bob Twiggs began working on the first cubesat in 1999, their goal was a rather basic one — to develop a compact satellite that university students could build and use to conduct scientific experiments and test out new technologies. "We're starting to talk a lot about bigger things," Puig-Suari said recently. Puig-Suari made these remarks in April during the 12th Annual Cubesat Developers’ Workshop in San Luis Obispo, California. More »

  • Strange 'Nasty' Star May Be Spawned by Cosmic Cannibalism
    Strange 'Nasty' Star May Be Spawned by Cosmic Cannibalism Fri, May 22, 2015

    An ongoing act of cosmic cannibalism may be responsible for the strange appearance and unprecedented behavior of a gigantic star nicknamed "Nasty 1," a new study reports. Observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have revealed a disk of gas nearly 3 trillion miles (4.8 trillion kilometers) wide surrounding Nasty 1, which is a massive, rapidly aging object known as a Wolf-Rayet star. For example, some scientists think these massive stars' powerful stellar winds blow away their own hydrogen envelopes. More »

  • Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Draws Inspiration from NASA's Past and …
    Disney's 'Tomorrowland' Draws Inspiration from NASA's Past and … Fri, May 22, 2015

    In the new Disney film "Tomorrowland," now in theaters, NASA provides the launch pad — literally and figuratively — for the movie's plot to unfold. The feature film, which drew its initial inspiration from the theme park land by the same name, juxtaposes the end of NASA's space shuttle program in 2011 with the space age future Walt Disney envisioned when he opened the original Tomorrowland in 1955. But that is not the future that Casey Newton (actress Britt Robertson) faces as "Tomorrowland" begins. More »

  • Rare Supernova Burst Shines Light on Its Mysterious Origins
    Rare Supernova Burst Shines Light on Its Mysterious Origins Fri, May 22, 2015

    Debris blown off a dying star collided with its companion, creating a blast of ultraviolet radiation that is helping scientists to better understand the evolution of one of the key tools to measure the expansion of the universe. Known as Type Ia supernovas, these rare events have led scientists to argue for two different theories, but new observations of a recent supernova by NASA's space-based Swift telescope suggest that both may be correct. "The pulse of radiation detected by Swift is probably produced when the supernova-ejected material slams into a companion star," principal investigator Yi Cao, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, told Space.com by email. More »

  • In Tomorrowland , the End of the World Is Disneyfied
    In Tomorrowland , the End of the World Is Disneyfied Fri, May 22, 2015

    At its best, Tomorrowland, is a clever, good-natured, PG adventure featuring robots and ray guns, jetpacks and Jules Verne. Suffice it to say that Tomorrowland is considerably better than you might expect given that it is named after a region—not even a ride, a region—within Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and its associated theme parks around the globe. More »

  • Back home on Earth: SpaceX craft returns from space station
    Back home on Earth: SpaceX craft returns from space station Thu, May 21, 2015

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A SpaceX Dragon capsule is back on Earth with a full load of cargo, after a quick trip home from the International Space Station. More »

  • SpaceX Dragon Cargo Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific Ocean
    SpaceX Dragon Cargo Capsule Splashes Down in Pacific Ocean Thu, May 21, 2015

    SpaceX personnel will soon retrieve the capsule — which brought down more than 3,100 lbs. (1,400 kilograms) of science experiments and other gear — by boat. Congrats!" station astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy wrote on Twitter, where she tweets as? California-based SpaceX holds a $1.6 billion NASA contract to make at least 12 robotic resupply runs to the space station using Dragon paired with SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. More »

  • SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth in ocean splashdown
    SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth in ocean splashdown Thu, May 21, 2015

    SpaceX's unmanned Dragon supply ship left the International Space Station Thursday and hours later splashed down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California, NASA said. More »

  • Historic Russian Spacecraft To Go On Display in London
    Historic Russian Spacecraft To Go On Display in London Thu, May 21, 2015

    The Science Museum will host a major exhibition on cosmonauts, including the spacecraft that carried the first woman in space More »

  • Is This 'International Flag of Planet Earth' the One We'll Plant …
    Is This 'International Flag of Planet Earth' the One We'll Plant … Thu, May 21, 2015

    A Swedish university student has created a design for an "International Flag of Planet Earth" that could be planted on alien worlds during future human exploration missions. The student project, which Oskar Pernefeldt undertook for a bachelor's degree in fine arts at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, features several interlocked white circles on a blue background. "Current expeditions in outer space use different national flags depending on which country is funding the voyage. More »

  • Headphones diagnose brain injuries
    Headphones diagnose brain injuries Thu, May 21, 2015

    Doctors have developed a pioneering brain pressure test using a special set of headphones that can detect life-threatening head injuries and infections without the need for surgery or painful spinal procedures. More »

  • Mysterious Military Rocket Launched Into Space
    Mysterious Military Rocket Launched Into Space Wed, May 20, 2015

    The Air Force sent the unmanned, Atlas V mini-shuttle into orbit on Wednesday - making it the fourth X-37B flight for a top-secret military research programme. The last X-37B - also known as an orbital test vehicle - mission returned after 674 days in 2014 while the first three flights spanned 1,367 days. The Air Force won’t reveal how long this mission will last or where it will end. More »

  • Panel OKs $51B for Justice, NASA over Democratic protests Wed, May 20, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-controlled House panel Wednesday approved a $51 billion measure providing the Justice Department and NASA with modest budget hikes, but the legislation falls well short of what's needed to win President Barack Obama's signature. More »

  • Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space
    Air Force launches hush-hush mini-shuttle into space Wed, May 20, 2015

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A mysterious space plane rocketed into orbit Wednesday, carrying no crew but a full load of technology experiments. More »