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Curiosity Rover Fires Over 100,000 Laser Blasts

NASA JPL December 5, 2013 NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils. The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called “Ithaca” in late October, at ... Read More »

New View of Saturn’s Hexagon-Shaped Pole

NASA JPL Cassini December 4, 2013 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has obtained the highest-resolution movie yet of a unique six-sided jet stream, known as the hexagon, around Saturn’s north pole. This is the first hexagon movie of its kind, using color filters, and the first to show a complete view of the top of Saturn down to about 70 degrees latitude. ... Read More »

Chinese Rover on Its Way to the Moon

ESA December 2, 2013 (ARTICLE UPDATE: The Chang’e-3 spacecraft has launched and is on its way to the moon.) Shortly after China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft departs Earth to land on the Moon, ESA’s network of tracking stations will swing into action, providing crucial support for the vessel’s five-day lunar cruise. China’s Chang’e-3, named after the mythological goddess of the Moon, is ... Read More »

What Happened to Comet ISON?

NASA December 2, 2013 After several days of continued observations, scientists continue to work to determine and to understand the fate of Comet ISON: There’s no doubt that the comet shrank in size considerably as it rounded the sun and there’s no doubt that something made it out on the other side to shoot back into space. The question remains ... Read More »

Comet ISON: Nucleus May Still Be Intact

NASA November 29, 2013 Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its closest approach to the sun.   CONTINUE Read More »

NASA’s STEREO Spacecraft Catches Comet ISON

NASA November 26, 2013     CONTINUE Read More »

New Image of Comet ISON Shows Greenish Tint

  ESO November 22, 2013 This new view of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was taken with the TRAPPIST national telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory on the morning of Friday 15 November 2013. Comet ISON was first spotted in our skies in September 2012, and will make its closest approach to the Sun in late November 2013. TRAPPIST has been ... Read More »

Billionaire Wants Humans at Mars by 2017

Washington Post Joel Achenbach November 20, 2013 Billionaire Dennis Tito, tired of being told that we can’t send humans to Mars just yet, on Wednesday revealed his scheme for launching two astronauts to the red planet as early as December 2017. Dubbed “Inspiration Mars,” the flyby mission would exploit a rare alignment of Earth and Mars that minimizes the time ... Read More »

Curiosity Science Work Halted by Possible Electrical Short

NASA JPL November 20, 2013 Science observations by NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity have been suspended for a few days while engineers run tests to check possible causes of a voltage change detected on Nov. 17. “The vehicle is safe and stable, fully capable of operating in its present condition, but we are taking the precaution of investigating what may be ... Read More »

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 »

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