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NASA Spacecraft Launches on Mission to Explore Frontier of Space

NASA Spacecraft Launches on Mission to Explore Frontier of Space

After successfully launching Thursday night, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is in orbit for a first-of-its-kind mission to study a region of space where changes can disrupt communications and satellite orbits, and even increase radiation risks to astronauts. A Northrop Grumman Stargazer L-1011 aircraft took off at 8:31 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air […]

A Supermassive Black Hole At Our Galaxy’s Center Flared Out, Astronomer Says

A Supermassive Black Hole At Our Galaxy’s Center Flared Out, Astronomer Says

MATT M. MILLER CONTRIBUTOR   The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy emitted a bizarre flash of light, an astronomer studying the phenomenon said. The flash likely occurred around May 13, and was uncharacteristic of the normal celestial behavior of the black hole, Sagittarius A, at the center of the […]

NASA Mission Selects Final Four Site Candidates for Asteroid Sample Return

NASA Mission Selects Final Four Site Candidates for Asteroid Sample Return

After months grappling with the rugged reality of asteroid Bennu’s surface, the team leading NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission has selected four potential sites for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to “tag” its cosmic dance partner. Since its arrival in December 2018, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has mapped the entire […]

NASA Funds Demo of 3D-Printed Spacecraft Parts Made, Assembled in Orbit

NASA Funds Demo of 3D-Printed Spacecraft Parts Made, Assembled in Orbit

NASA has awarded a $73.7 million contract to Made In Space, Inc. of Mountain View, California, to demonstrate the ability of a small spacecraft, called Archinaut One, to manufacture and assemble spacecraft components in low-Earth orbit. The in-space robotic manufacturing and assembly technologies could be important for America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach. The contract is the […]

NASA Scientists Map Ground Damage Caused by California Earthquakes

NASA Scientists Map Ground Damage Caused by California Earthquakes

By Elizabeth Howell  Two recent Southern California earthquakes warped the ground across dozens of square miles — and the changes are visible even from space.  A Japanese satellite picked up damage from the July 4 and 5 earthquakes that had magnitudes of 6.4 and 7.1, respectively. Quakes of these magnitudes are strong enough to cause moderate to severe […]

NASA Invites Public to Submit Names to Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover

NASA Invites Public to Submit Names to Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover

Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled […]

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid’s surface. Bennu also revealed itself to be more rugged than expected, challenging the mission team to alter its flight and sample collection plans, due to the rough […]

SUMMERS: NASA’s Center For Life Detection Is On The Hunt For Life In The Universe

SUMMERS: NASA’s Center For Life Detection Is On The Hunt For Life In The Universe

Michael Summers | Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy . Knowing if something is alive or not is easy. Right? Barking dogs and flying birds are alive. Rocks are not. Turtles and polar bears are alive. Water is not. And so on. The difficulty of knowing what is, and is not, alive comes about when […]

NASA Selects Mission to Study Space Weather from Space Station

NASA Selects Mission to Study Space Weather from Space Station

NASA has selected a new mission that will help scientists understand and, ultimately, forecast the vast space weather system around our planet. Space weather is important  because it can have profound impacts – affecting technology and astronauts in space, disrupting radio communications and, at its most severe, overwhelming power grids. The new experiment will, for […]

We’ve Found 3,989 Planets In Earth’s Neighborhood – And The Number Is Rising

We’ve Found 3,989 Planets In Earth’s Neighborhood – And The Number Is Rising

Michael Summers | Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy   The universe is awash in planets. As of this writing, there are 3,989 exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system) that have been confirmed by astronomers. Several thousand more have been detected, but await confirmation. The online Exoplanet Encyclopedia keeps tabs of exoplanet discoveries, and it must […]

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