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Candidate Landing Sites for Philae Lander Chosen

NASA JPL August 25, 2014 The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has chosen five candidate landing sites on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its Philae lander. Philae’s descent to the comet’s nucleus, scheduled for this November, will be the first such landing ever attempted. Rosetta is an international mission spearheaded by the European Space Agency with support and instruments provided by NASA. ... Read More »

Cassini Sees Clouds Form Over Titan Lake

NASA JPL August 12, 2014 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft recently captured images of clouds moving across the northern hydrocarbon seas of Saturn’s moon Titan. This renewed weather activity, considered overdue by researchers, could finally signal the onset of summer storms that atmospheric models have long predicted.   CONTINUE Image credit: NASA JPL-CalTech Space Science Institute Read More »

Rosetta is Closing in on the Comet

NASA JPL July 31, 2014 Less than a week before Rosetta’s rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, images obtained by OSIRIS, the spacecraft’s onboard scientific imaging system, show clear signs of a coma surrounding the comet’s nucleus. A new image from July 25, 2014, clearly reveals an extended coma shrouding 67P’s nucleus. “Our coma images cover an area of 150 by 150 ... Read More »

Curiosity Rover Finds Large Iron Meteorite on Mars

NASA July 15, 2014 This rock encountered by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is an iron meteorite called “Lebanon,” similar in shape and luster to iron meteorites found on Mars by the previous generation of rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.  Lebanon is about 2 yards or 2 meters wide (left to right, from this angle). The smaller piece in the foreground is ... Read More »

Rosetta’s Comet Outgassing 2 Glasses of Water Per Second

ESA June 30, 2014 ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has found that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second, even at a cold 583 million kilometres from the Sun. The first observations of water vapour streaming from the comet were made by the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter, or MIRO, on 6 June, ... Read More »

Boulder-sized Asteroid to be Captured, NASA Says

NASA June 19, 2014 NASA is on the hunt for an asteroid to capture with a robotic spacecraft, redirect to a stable orbit around the moon, and send astronauts to study in the 2020s — all on the agency’s human Path to Mars. Agency officials announced on Thursday recent progress to identify candidate asteroids for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), ... Read More »

Mars Slammed by Big Meteor Impact

NASA JPL May 22, 2014 Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images. The images were captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The crater spans half the length of a football field and first appeared in March 2012. The impact that created it likely was preceded by an explosion in ... Read More »

Venus Express to Plunge Into Venusian Atmosphere

ESA May 16, 2014 After eight years in orbit, ESA’s Venus Express has completed routine science observations and is preparing for a daring plunge into the planet’s hostile atmosphere. Venus Express was launched on a Soyuz–Fregat from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 9 November 2005, and arrived at Venus on 11 April 2006. It has been orbiting Venus ... Read More »

Ocean Detected on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus

NASA JPL April 03, 2014 NASA’s Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn’s moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes. Researchers theorized the presence of an interior reservoir of water in 2005 when Cassini discovered water vapor and ice spewing from ... Read More »

Rosetta Spacecraft Sees Its Destination Comet

ESA March 27, 2014 ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on 20 January. These two ‘first light’ images were taken on 20 and 21 March by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera and narrow-angle camera, as part of six weeks of activities dedicated to preparing the spacecraft’s science instruments for ... Read More »

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