Recently, NASA has been looking at CubeSats as a way of carrying out economical deep space missions. One of the first of these may be shoebox-sized satellite called the Lunar IceCube, which is designed to look for water ice and other resources on the Moon. Tentatively aimed to launch on the first Orion mission scheduled to fly by 2018, it is intended to not only uncover materials for future deep-space missions and lunar colonization, but also as a technology demonstrator for a new class of interplanetary probes.
NASA's Deep Space
Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) spacecraft has snapped rare views of the
Moon transiting across Earth's disk. The images grant us a seldom-seen look at the so-called dark side of our planet's nearest celestial
NASA has uploaded audio from the Voyager program's golden records to SoundCloud, allowing listeners to hear what may potentially be our first contact with an alien race. The agency has made available two playlists, known as Greetings to the Universe and Sounds of Earth.
New images taken from NASA's Cassini spacecraft appear to show unusual redish arcs marking the surface of the Saturn's icy moon Tethys. The strange features cover significant stretches of the moon's surface, and have left astronomers baffled as to their origins.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has confirmed the presence of the closest rocky planet to the Solar System. Orbiting a visible main-sequence star 21 light years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia, HD 219134b is larger than Earth and is uninhabitable.
The discovery of a
powerful aurora surrounding a distant failed star may in future aid
astronomers in their hunt for habitable planets. The aurora is the
first to be discovered around a brown dwarf, known as LSRJ 1835+3259
(LSRJ). It's a type of star that shares many characteristics with known
exoplanets, and the technique used to observe the phenomenon could
one day be a factor in determining whether a planet could sustain
It's easy to think of stars as being fixed in place, because that's how we see them in the sky. But like Earth and the other planets, they have orbits. And it turns out those orbits can change dramatically. In creating a new map of the Milky Way as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), scientists recently discovered that around 30 percent of the stars in our galaxy have done exactly that – they've moved into a totally new orbit.
Lockheed Martin announced that it's completed tests of design changes for NASA's Orion spacecraft’s fairing separation system. Based on information from Orion's unmanned maiden flight on December 5 last year, the alterations are meant to improve performance while reducing weight.
ESA has created a street view-like virtual tour of the ISS. The update to the previously released panoramic view of the Columbus module provides a virtual look around every non-Russian section of the space station in exquisite detail.
Space travel is a constant exercise in forward planning, with mission control thinking years and sometimes decades in advance. A case in point is NASA's InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to touchdown on the Red Planet on September 26, 2016. This may be more than a year away, but the space agency is already moving its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) into a new orbit to provide communications support during the landing.