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Water is Everywhere in the Cosmos

NASA April 7, 2015 As NASA missions explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways. “NASA science activities have provided a wave of amazing findings related to ... Read More »

Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Has Seafloor Hydrothermal Activity

ESA March 11, 2015 Tiny grains of rock detected by the international Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn point to hydrothermal activity on the seafloor of its icy moon Enceladus. The finding adds to the tantalising possibility that the moon could contain environments suitable for living organisms. Understanding the interior structure of 500 km-diameter Enceladus has been a top priority of the ... Read More »

New Image Technique Yields Ultra Clear Views of Titan

NASA February 12, 2015 During 10 years of discovery, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has pulled back the smoggy veil that obscures the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Cassini’s radar instrument has mapped almost half of the giant moon’s surface; revealed vast, desert-like expanses of sand dunes; and plumbed the depths of expansive hydrocarbon seas. What could make that scientific bounty ... Read More »

Rosetta’s Comet Reveals Its Secrets

ESA January 22, 2015 Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution. In a special edition of the journal Science, initial results are presented from seven of Rosetta’s 11 science instruments based on measurements made during the approach to ... Read More »

Dawn Spacecraft Begins Approach to Dwarf Planet Ceres

NASA JPL December 29, 2014 NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has entered an approach phase in which it will continue to close in on Ceres, a Texas-sized dwarf planet never before visited by a spacecraft. Dawn launched in 2007 and is scheduled to enter Ceres orbit in March 2015. Dawn recently emerged from solar conjunction, in which the spacecraft is on the ... Read More »

New Horizons Spacecraft Wakes Up for Pluto Encounter

NASA December 6, 2014 After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation today for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system. Operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., confirmed ... Read More »

Philae Lander Shuts Down After Completing Mission

ESA November 15, 2014 Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. After being out of communication visibility with the lander since 09:58 GMT / 10:58 CET on Friday, Rosetta regained contact with Philae at 22:19 GMT /23:19 CET last night. The signal was initially intermittent, but quickly stabilised and remained very good ... Read More »

Learning to “Live Off the Land” in the Frontier of Space

NASA October 31, 2014 Safely sending human explorers to and from Mars will be the challenge of a generation. We don’t yet know what clues astronauts will uncover in the Martian soil or atmosphere that reveal new knowledge about our solar system, but one thing is certain, Mars contains critical resources that can sustain human presence. Harvesting those resources will ... Read More »

Toxic Cloud on Titan is Laced With Cyanide

ESA October 1, 2014 The international Cassini mission has revealed that a giant, toxic cloud is hovering over the south pole of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, after the atmosphere has cooled in a dramatic fashion. Scientists analysing data from the mission found that this giant polar vortex contains frozen particles of the toxic compound hydrogen cyanide. “The discovery suggests that ... Read More »

Mars Spacecraft Prepares for Orbit Insertion

NASA JPL September 17, 2014 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is nearing its scheduled Sept. 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles (711 million kilometers). Flight Controllers at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado, will be responsible for the health and safety of the spacecraft throughout the process. ... Read More »

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