NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center 24 Jan 2018, 18:00 UTC On Jan. 25, 2018, NASA launches Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, a hosted payload aboard SES-14, a commercial communications satellite. GOLD will investigate the dynamic intermingling of space and Earth’s uppermost atmosphere — and is the first NASA science mission to fly an instrument as a commercially hosted payload.
ESO Top News 24 Jan 2018, 11:00 UTC A new national facility at ESO’s La Silla Observatory has successfully made its first observations. The ExTrA telescopes will search for and study Earth-sized planets orbiting nearby red dwarf stars. ExTrA’s novel design allows for much improved sensitivity compared to previous searches. Astronomers now have a powerful new tool to help in the search for potentially habitable worlds.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 24 Jan 2018, 00:26 UTC NASA's next mission to Mars passed a key test Tuesday, extending the solar arrays that will power the InSight spacecraft once it lands on the Red Planet this November. The test took place at Lockheed Martin Space just outside of Denver, where InSight was built and has been undergoing testing ahead of its launch. The mission is led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
NASA Breaking News 23 Jan 2018, 19:00 UTC Late in the evening of Jan. 31, 1958, the United States took its first step into space with the launch of the Explorer 1 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The slender, 30-pound satellite would yield a major scientific discovery -- the Van Allen radiation belts circling our planet -- and ushered in six decades of groundbreaking U.S. space science and human exploration.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory News and Features 23 Jan 2018, 18:51 UTC Some Mars experts are eager and optimistic for a dust storm this year to grow so grand it darkens skies around the entire Red Planet. This biggest type of phenomenon in the environment of modern Mars could be examined as never before possible, using the combination of spacecraft now at Mars.
ESA Top News 22 Jan 2018, 08:00 UTC ESA’s Rosetta mission suffered terrible weather for more than two years, as it flew alongside Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko between 2014 and 2016. It endured the endless impacts of dust grains launched by gaseous outpourings as the comet’s surface ices were warmed by the heat of the Sun, evaporating into space and dragging the dust along. This image was taken two years ago, on 21 January 2016, when Rosetta was flying 79 km from the comet. At this time Rosetta was moving closer following perihelion in the previous August, when the comet was nearer to the Sun and as such at its most active, meaning that Rosetta had to operate from a greater distance for safety. As can be seen from the image, the comet environment was still extremely chaotic with dust even five months later. The streaks reveal the dust grains as they passed in front of Rosetta’s camera, captured in the 146 second exposure. Excessive dust in Rosetta’s field of view presented a continual risk for navigation: the craft’s startrackers used a star pattern recognition function to know its orientation with respect to the Sun and Earth. On some occasions flying much closer to the comet, and therefore through denser ...
NASA Kennedy Space Center 19 Jan 2018, 20:03 UTC NASA’s new deep space exploration systems will send crew 40,000 miles beyond the Moon, and return them safely home. After traveling through space at 25,000 miles per hour, the Orion spacecraft will slow to 300 mph after it passes through the Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft then slows down to 20 mph before it safely splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.