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Comparison of Kepler-7b and Jupiter (Image: NASA)

"How's the weather?" has just become a topic of interstellar conversation. Using data from NASA's Kepler and Spitzer space telescopes, astronomers have mapped the first clouds discovered on an extrasolar planet. Not only does this technique give us an interesting bit of pure science, it could also be applied in the search for more earth-like planets according to NASA.  Read More

Cygnus made its rendezvous with the station at at 8:44 AM EDT on Sunday (image: NASA TV)

Orbital Science Corporation’s unmanned Cygnus cargo ship has successfully docked with the International Space Station. The spacecraft made its rendezvous with the station at 8:44 AM EDT on Sunday, a week behind schedule and 11 days after launching from NASA’s Wallops Island facility. The delay was due to a software malfunction and the need to make way for the docking of a manned Soyuz spacecraft on September 25.  Read More

Scoop marks made by Curiosity while collecting soil samples in October 2012 (Image: NASA/J...

Water, like gold, is where you find it and NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has discovered water in the Martian soil in greater quantities than expected. The unmanned explorer’s analysis of the first soil samples taken in Gale Crater indicate that water is present globally and uniformly in the Martian topsoil, and isn't found just at the polar ice caps  Read More

Lab demonstration of the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has detected no methane on Mars after more than a year of extensive testing of the Martian atmosphere using the robot explorer’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory. Since methane is a key indicator for the presence of biological activity, its absence throws into question the notion that there may be life on Mars today.  Read More

Artist's impression of Deep Impact (Image: NASA)

NASA has officially abandoned its attempts to regain contact with the Deep Impact comet probe, declaring the mission over. The space agency lost contact with the unmanned spacecraft in August and repeated attempts to reestablish the link have failed.  Read More

Cygnus lifted off from Wallops Island, Virginia (Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Commercial space flight took another step forward today as NASA and Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Virginia launched Orbital's Cygnus spacecraft for a rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). The unmanned cargo ship lifted off at 10:58 AM EDT atop an Orbital Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia and is intended as a demonstration flight of the Cygnus to show its suitability for delivering supplies to the ISS.  Read More

Artist's impression of Voyager 1 leaving the Solar System with the plasma layer represente...

After a journey of 36 years, NASA has announced that the Voyager 1 space probe officially left the Solar System on August 25, 2012. Based on new analysis of data sent by by the unmanned spacecraft, the space agency has declared that it is now in the first man-made object to travel into interstellar space, 12 billion miles (19 billion km) from the Sun.  Read More

Deep Impact carried an impactor probe, which it launched at comet Tempel 1 in 2005 (Image:...

Launched in 2005, the Deep Impact unmanned spacecraft has had a long career making flybys of various comets, but NASA says that mission control lost communications with the probe on August 8 and has been unable to restore the link.  Read More

The FINDER system (lower right, in photo) being tested at the Fairfax County Fire Departme...

Sniffer dogs and fiber optic cameras may soon be getting some assistance, when it comes to locating people trapped beneath debris. The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate has joined forces with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create a microwave radar-based system known as Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response – or FINDER. The new technology is able to detect a human heartbeat buried up to 30 feet (9 meters) under assorted rubble.  Read More

LADEE suffered a minor malfunction shortly after launch (Image: NASA)

On Friday, NASA made a historic launch that sent an unmanned probe to the Moon to study something you could be forgiven for thinking doesn't exist: the Moon's atmosphere. At 11:27 PM EDT, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia atop a US Air Force Minotaur V launch vehicle provided by Orbital Sciences Corp. The unmanned probe is now on a 30-day journey to the Moon, where it will study the all but non-existent atmosphere of the satellite.  Read More

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