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MAVEN Spacecraft is on the Way to Mars

NASA November 18, 2013 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission began with a smooth countdown and flawless launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the 5,400-pound spacecraft lifted off at 1:28 p.m. EST, the mission’s first opportunity. MAVEN’s solar arrays deployed and are producing power. “We’re ... Read More »

Curiosity’s Route to Mount Sharp Takes Shape

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Cassini’s Big New View of Saturn

  NASA JPL November 12, 2013 On July 19, 2013, in an event celebrated the world over, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft slipped into Saturn’s shadow and turned to image the planet, seven of its moons, its inner rings — and, in the background, our home planet, Earth. With the sun’s powerful and potentially damaging rays eclipsed by Saturn itself, Cassini’s onboard ... Read More »

Expedition 37 Crew Lands Carrying Olympic Torch

NASA November 10, 2013 Three Expedition 37 crew members have landed after 166 days in space, completing a 70.3 million mile mission spanning more than 2,600 orbits of the Earth since their launch to the International Space Station in May. The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft carrying Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano landed in ... Read More »

Strange Asteroid Has Six Comet-Like Tails

ESA Hubble November 7, 2013 Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have observed a unique and baffling object in the asteroid belt that looks like a rotating lawn sprinkler or badminton shuttlecock. While this object is on an asteroid-like orbit, it looks like a comet, and is sending out tails of dust into space. Normal asteroids appear as tiny ... Read More »

Sunlight is Ionizing Titan’s Atmosphere

NASA JPL November 06, 2013 A detailed analysis of data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has directly linked the density of the ionosphere – a region in the upper atmosphere that is dominated by electrically charged particles – at Saturn’s moon Titan to the 11-year boom-and-bust cycle of activity at our sun. The confirmation was possible because of Cassini’s long-term stay ... Read More »

New Findings Show Most Stars in the Galaxy Have Planets

NASA November 04, 2013 Scientists from around the world are gathered this week at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., for the second Kepler Science Conference, where they will discuss the latest findings resulting from the analysis of Kepler Space Telescope data. Included in these findings is the discovery of 833 new candidate planets, which will be announced ... Read More »

Moon Mission Beams First Transmission By Laser

ESA November 1, 2013 ESA’s ground station on the island of Tenerife has received laser signals over a distance of 400 000 km from NASA’s latest Moon orbiter. The data were delivered many times faster than possible with traditional radio waves, marking a significant breakthrough in space communications. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, was launched on ... Read More »

First Earth-Sized Rocky Planet Discovered

NASA JPL October 30, 2013 Astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet outside the solar system that has a rocky composition like that of Earth. Kepler-78b whizzes around its host star every 8.5 hours, making it a blazing inferno and not suitable for life as we know it. The results are published in two papers in the journal Nature. “The ... Read More »

Haunting Beauty of the “Coldest Place in the Universe”

NASA JPL October 25, 2013 At a cosmologically crisp one degree Kelvin (minus 458 degrees Fahrenheit), the Boomerang nebula is the coldest known object in the universe — colder, in fact, than the faint afterglow of the Big Bang, the explosive event that created the cosmos. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope in Chile have taken a ... Read More »

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