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Chinese Rover Lands on the Moon

Coconut Science Lab December 14, 2013 On Saturday, December 14, 2013, Chinese state television reported that Chang’e-3, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a lunar rover, successfully landed on the moon. With this success, China has become only the third country to have ever soft-landed on the moon, along with the United States and the former Soviet Union. China’s lunar rover, known ... Read More »

Space Station Crew Working on Cooling System Malfunction

NASA December 12, 2013 The International Space Station’s Expedition 38 crew worked Thursday with the team on the ground to deal with a malfunction that occurred Wednesday on one of the station’s two external cooling loops that uses ammonia to prevent station systems from overheating. On Wednesday, the pump module on one of the space station’s two external cooling loops ... Read More »

Clay Minerals Found on Europa Hint at Comet Impact

NASA JPL December 11, 2013 A new analysis of data from NASA’s Galileo mission has revealed clay-type minerals at the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa that appear to have been delivered by a spectacular collision with an asteroid or comet. This is the first time such minerals have been detected on Europa’s surface. The types of space rocks that ... Read More »

MRO Reveals New Dark Markings on Mars – Possibly Water

NASA December 10, 2013 NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed to scientists slender dark markings — possibly due to salty water – that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the Martian equator. “The equatorial surface region of Mars has been regarded as dry, free of liquid or frozen water, but we may need to rethink that,” said Alfred McEwen ... Read More »

Juno Spacecraft Makes First Earth-Moon Flyby Video

NASA JPL December 10, 2013 When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system. One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of ... Read More »

Curiosity Determines the Age of a Martian Rock

NASA December 09, 2013 NASA’s Curiosity rover is providing vital insight about Mars’ past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions. In a little more than a year on the Red Planet, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has determined the age of a Martian rock, found evidence the planet could have sustained microbial life, ... Read More »

Landsat 8 Satellite Discovers Coldest Spot on Earth

NASA December 09, 2013 What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night. Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date, developed ... Read More »

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 »

SpaceX Completes Their First Mission to Geostationary Transfer Orbit

SpaceX December 03, 2013 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida – Today, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) successfully completed its first geostationary transfer mission, delivering the SES-8 satellite to its targeted 295 x 80,000 km orbit.  Falcon 9 executed a picture-perfect flight, meeting 100% of mission objectives. Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at 5:41 PM Eastern ... 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 »

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