NASA has released a video of Ceres that takes viewers on a tour across the surface of the rocky planet. The video is based on observations made by the agency's Dawn spacecraft over the course of its first mapping orbit at a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 km) as well as more recent navigational images taken from 3,200 miles (5,100 km).
NASA astronaut Terry Virts, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and ESA telerobotics specialist André Schiele, in the Netherlands, made space history this week with the first telerobotic "handshake" between space and Earth. Using special force feedback joysticks that acquire force data and create the sensation of pressure, Virts and Schiele brought the agencies closer to allowing astronauts in remote locations to naturally and safely control robotic devices and perform potentially dangerous or otherwise impossible tasks.
NASA has marked half a century of spacewalks by rolling out a catalog of breathtaking photos taken across decades of extravehicular activity. June 3 marks 50 years to the day that Edward H. White II stepped out into the emptiness of space in 1965, blazing a trail for generations of NASA astronauts to follow.
Pluto and its largest satellite Charon are an odd pair. The relative size of the Charon means the two act as a double planet system, orbiting a center of gravity located between them in space. A study of data gathered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has now found that this interaction is having an odd effect on Pluto's smaller moons, causing them to tumble unpredictably with no apparent method to their madness.
Splattered insects may seem like the least of your worries when you're tearing through the air at more than 500 mph (800 km/h), but for those working with Boeing's ecoDemonstrator 757 they present a pretty unique opportunity. NASA has carried out testing of a series of non-stick coatings on the aircraft's wings, finding that one inspired by lotus leaves showed good potential to shrug off blasts of bug guts to lessen drag and, by extension, ease the consumption of fuel.
A team of researchers
from MIT and Aarhus University, Denmark, have discovered that
Earth-sized exoplanets orbit their parent stars in the same way that
our planet orbits our own Sun – maintaining a roughly equidistant
circular orbit. The discovery further narrows the characteristics of
worlds that could potentially play host to extraterrestrial life.
Commercial passenger spaceflight has gone on the books with Boeing announcing that it's received the first contract ever issued to a private company to carry out a manned space mission. The NASA task order means that Boeing's CST-100 spacecraft will ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS) on up to six missions.
NASA has begun a
comprehensive series of tests for its Mars Interior Exploration using
Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander.
Once on the Red Planet, the lander will operate as a stationary
science platform, attempting to answer a plethora of questions
regarding the interior structure of Mars, and hopefully granting us
some of the information needed to make a manned mission to the Red Planet in the 2030s a reality.
Mankind's most remote
outpost underwent a significant remodel this week, as an entire module
of the International Space Station was relocated in order to make way
for the next generation of American commercial spacecraft. The move
didn't require a spacewalk, with operators instead making use of the
16-m (52-ft) robotic arm to grapple and maneuver the Leonardo,
or Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM).
NASA's Mars Curiosity
rover has been forced to alter its route after being faced with
dangerous terrain. The current objective of the robotic explorer is
to investigate a geological boundary between two distinct forms of
bedrock as a part of its mission to explore the heights of Mount
Sharp, and ultimately unlock the secrets of the Red Planet's ancient