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Keyword: nasa

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • This Mountain on Mars Is Leaking

    04/11/2015 4:22:45 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 38 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | Jason Major
    As the midsummer Sun beats down on the southern mountains of Mars, bringing daytime temperatures soaring up to a balmy 25şC (77şF), some of their slopes become darkened with long, rusty stains that may be the result of water seeping out from just below the surface. The image above, captured by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Feb. 20, shows mountain peaks within the 150-km (93-mile) -wide Hale Crater. Made from data acquired in visible and near infrared wavelengths the long stains are very evident, running down steep slopes below the rocky cliffs. These dark lines, called...
  • SpaceX will attempt a potentially historic rocket launch and landing next week (13APR2015/1633 EDT)

    04/08/2015 3:00:10 PM PDT · by Jack Hydrazine · 12 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 8APR2015 | Jessica Orwig
    Get ready for another historic SpaceX rocket landing attempt scheduled for Monday, April 13. This will be the second time that SpaceX will try to land a massive, 140-foot-tall first stage Falcon 9 rocket onto a platform that's floating offshore in the Atlantic ocean. (The first landing attempt took place last January and ended with a fiery explosion.)
  • NASA Scientist Believes We're on the Brink of Discovering Aliens

    04/08/2015 7:25:12 AM PDT · by McGruff · 160 replies
    ABC News ^ | Apr 8, 2015 | ALYSSA NEWCOMB
    Not only does NASA's chief scientist believe alien life forms likely exist, but she said the space agency knows where to look and could discover signs of extraterrestrial life within the next decade. Speaking on a panel discussion on Tuesday about water in the universe, NASA's chief scientist Ellen Stofan said she believes the first indications of alien life could come by 2025 -- with more concrete evidence of extraterrestrial life coming in 20 to 30 years.
  • Quietly, NASA is reconsidering the moon as a destination

    04/04/2015 12:59:51 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 77 replies
    Houston Chronicle ^ | April 3, 2015 | Eric Berger
    Despite a declaration from President Barack Obama that the moon is not a planned destination for American astronauts, senior NASA engineers have quietly begun reconsidering using it as a staging point for an eventual mission to Mars.William Gerstenmaier, the chief of human exploration for NASA, does not see the president's plan of a direct, 900-day mission to the red planet as achievable. Instead, Gerstenmaier believes large amounts of ice at the lunar poles may provide an important reservoir of oxygen and hydrogen fuel to propel rockets and spaceships across the 40 million miles of space to Mars."If propellant was available...
  • Strange 'Hollows' on Mercury Revealed by NASA Probe as Mission End Nears

    04/03/2015 7:41:53 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    SPACE.com ^ | Nola Taylor Redd
    When NASA's Mariner 10 flew by Mercury three times in the mid-1970s, it spotted what Blewett described as "certain odd, bright patches" within the impact craters. The patches showed up again during MESSENGER's flybys of the planet. It wasn't until 2011, when MESSENGER entered orbit and began to capture higher-resolution images, that the bright areas were revealed as shallow, irregularly shaped depressions on the surface. Hollows are relatively small landforms — shallow features on the surface that stretch at most 0.6 miles (1 kilometer). This small size implies a relatively young age, as cratering would have eroded them away over...
  • Former NASA engineer claims he saw a nine foot alien on 1991 space mission

    03/29/2015 8:10:09 AM PDT · by rickmichaels · 68 replies
    Daily Mail ^ | March 28, 2015
    A former NASA engineer claims he saw a nine-foot alien while monitoring a space mission in 1991. Clark McClelland was allegedly part of a team based at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, when he spotted the extra-terrestrial humanoid. The 'entity', he says, stood on two legs and approached two U.S. astronauts, that he would not name, for one minute and seven seconds in the space shuttle bay.
  • R.I.P. California (1850-2016): What We’ll Lose And Learn From The World’s First Major Water Collapse

    03/28/2015 9:10:54 PM PDT · by Beave Meister · 68 replies
    Feelguide.com ^ | 3/22/2015 | FEELGUIDE
    Last week when NASA announced that California is on its death bed and has only 12 months of water left, the news hit like a punch to the gut. “Data from NASA satellites show that the total amount of water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins — that is, all of the snow, river and reservoir water, water in soils and groundwater combined — was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014. That loss is nearly 1.5 times the capacity of Lake Mead, America’s largest reservoir,” writes Jay Famiglietti of NASA. Famiglietti adds: “Statewide, we’ve been dropping...
  • NASA selects ‘Option B’ for Asteroid Redirect Mission

    03/28/2015 12:32:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    spaceflightinsider.com ^ | Collin Skocik
    NASA has announced that it has selected “Option B” for its Asteroid Redirect Mission (more commonly referred to as ARM), meaning that rather than towing an entire asteroid into lunar orbit, it will instead retrieve a boulder from an asteroid and bring it into a distant retrograde lunar orbit. Using Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP), an uncrewed spacecraft will retrieve a boulder from a yet-to-be-determined asteroid and tow it into lunar orbit, where it will be visited by astronauts on a future Orion / SLS mission. NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot said that Option B offers more choices for what object...
  • 50 years ago an astronaut smuggled a corned beef sandwich into space, and lived to regret the smell

    03/26/2015 3:06:21 AM PDT · by canuck_conservative · 9 replies
    National Post [Canada] / WashPost ^ | Mar. 26, 2015 | Rachel Feltman
    ... Young was supposed to be consuming the newly designed space food that NASA had sent up with them. To be fair, this proto-astronaut-grub was probably about as gross as a two-day-old sandwich. “Here I was, sitting over there flying and John was fooling around with the food, and all of a sudden he asked me if I wanted a corned beef sandwich,” Grissom said in an April 1965 interview with the Miami News. “I hadn’t counted on the pungent odor of corned beef in a closed cabin,” Young admitted in the same article. Grissom, who died several years later...
  • Bernice Steadman, aviation pioneer once picked for short-lived female astronaut program, dies

    03/22/2015 4:13:58 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Bernice Steadman was a member of the so-called "Mercury 13." NASA dropped the program, and it was 22 more years before a U.S. woman went to space. Robert Steadman says his wife died Wednesday in Traverse City.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- MAVEN at Mars

    09/27/2014 9:45:04 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | September 26, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Launched on November 18, 2013, the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft completed its interplanetary voyage September 21, captured into a wide, elliptical orbit around Mars. MAVEN's imaging ultraviolet spectrograph has already begun its planned exploration of the Red Planet's upper atmosphere, acquiring this image data from an altitude of 36,500 kilometers. In false color, the three ultraviolet wavelength bands show light reflected from atomic hydrogen (in blue), atomic oxygen (in green) and the planet's surface (in red). Low mass atomic hydrogen is seen to extend thousands of kilometers into space, with the cloud of more massive oxygen...
  • Mystery Mars haze baffles scientists

    02/16/2015 5:24:45 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 34 replies
    bbc ^ | Rebecca Morelle
    A mysterious haze high above Mars has left scientists scratching their heads. The vast plume was initially spotted by amateur astronomers in 2012, and appeared twice before vanishing. Scientists have now analysed the images and say that say the formation, stretching for more than 1,000km, is larger than any seen before. Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers believe the plume could be a large cloud or an exceptionally bright aurora. However, they are unsure how these could have formed in the thin upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote To begin with,...
  • 'Cloud' over Mars leaves scientists baffled

    02/16/2015 5:29:57 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 63 replies
    Phys dot Org ^ | February 16, 2015 | unattributed
    Plumes seen reaching high above the surface of Mars are causing a stir among scientists studying the atmosphere on the Red Planet. On two separate occasions in March and April 2012, amateur astronomers reported definite plume-like features developing on the planet. The plumes were seen rising to altitudes of over 250 km above the same region of Mars on both occasions. By comparison, similar features seen in the past have not exceeded 100 km. "At about 250 km, the division between the atmosphere and outer space is very thin, so the reported plumes are extremely unexpected," says Agustin Sanchez-Lavega of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Plumes Above Mars

    02/24/2015 2:18:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | February 24, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What is creating unusual plumes on Mars? No one is sure. Noted and confirmed by a global contingent of amateur astronomers on photos of the red planet in March 2012, possibly similar plumes have now been found on archived images as far back as 1997. Since the plumes reach 200 kilometers up, they seem too high to be related to wind-blown surface dust. Since one plume lasted for eleven days, it seemed too long lasting to be related to aurora. Amateur astronomers will surely continue to monitor the terminator and edge regions of Mars for new high plumes, and...
  • MAVEN uncovers Two Mysteries in Martian Atmosphere

    03/21/2015 10:30:37 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies
    Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission (MAVEN) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has uncovered two new mysteries in the atmosphere of Mars. The probe, which has been orbiting the Red Planet since last year has noticed a weird high-altitude dust cloud and an aurora show in the atmosphere of the planet. According to reports, the dazzling aurora light show was much lower in the Martian atmosphere than scientists anticipated. In addition, scientists do not know about the origin of the dust cloud. According to the space agency, the dust cloud had extended from about 150 kilometers to...
  • NASA’s magnetic field mission looking for green energy (or a powerful new weapon perhaps?)

    03/16/2015 10:47:56 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 14 replies
    STGIST ^ | 3/14/15 | Carlo Diokno
    NASA’s magnetic field mission looking for green energy In addition to learning more about the magnetic field of the Earth, and the ubiquitous but hard to understand “magnetic reconnection,” NASA’s new MMS mission is also looking for ways to harness the power of magnetism, and produce clean energy. NASA’s MMS mission will investigate magnetic reconnection.Findings from this mission could lead to production of green energy from magnetism.Magnetic reconnection is ubiquitous in the cosmos, but it’s still poorly understood. After years of intensive planning, with countless days of engineering works, data analysis, and more, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Thursday successfully launched the...
  • Battle brewing over NASA funding [Cruz takes on the "greening" of NASA]

    03/15/2015 12:58:19 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 10 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 14, 2015 | Julian Hattem
    A battle of interplanetary proportions is brewing on Capitol Hill. It’s not “Star Wars,” but partisan lines are quickly being drawn in a budget battle over the future of NASA, which could have a long-term impact on the space agency’s ability to explore the deepest corners of space as well as the ground beneath our feet. On one side are Republicans who accuse the Obama administration of taking its eye off the ball by funneling too much money into research about the planet Earth, rather than focusing on distant worlds and stars. On the other, Democrats argue that the administration’s...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Return at Sunrise

    03/14/2015 6:29:02 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | March 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Thursday, shortly after local sunrise over central Asia, this Soyuz spacecraft floated over a sea of golden clouds during its descent by parachute through planet Earth's dense atmosphere. On board were Expedition 42 commander Barry Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). Touch down was at approximately 10:07 p.m. EDT (8:07 a.m. March 12, Kazakh time) southeast of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The three were returning from low Earth orbit, after almost six months on the International Space Station as members of the Expedition 41 and Expedition 42 crews.
  • NASA’s new zero gravity glass is actually a versatile wearable computer for astronauts

    03/13/2015 6:36:05 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 6 replies
    NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, saw the necessity of a wearable computer for astronauts while they conduct experiments or repairs. Even in space, high tech astronauts still use printed instruction guides to walk them through a task. The process is very tedious especially if there’s an emergency that needs to be addressed immediately. It’s either flip through a manual bound by metal rings or a phone call back to Earth for assistance. San Francisco, California based firm, Osterhout Design Group was tapped by NASA to produce an augmented-reality shades that can project data on the lenses. Their...
  • Watch NASA Test The Largest Rocket Booster Ever Made [VIDEO]

    03/11/2015 12:51:59 PM PDT · by BlueStateRightist · 26 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | March 11, 2015 | Giuseppe Macri
    NASA successfully tested the most powerful rocket booster ever built Wednesday in preparation for future missions to an asteroid and Mars. The booster for the Space Launch System (SLS) — the most powerful rocket ever built — was anchored and ignited for the first time in the Utah desert for what is known as a “static test” — during which it fired for two consecutive minutes.
  • NASA’s chief confirms it: Without Russia, space station lost

    03/08/2015 8:21:10 AM PDT · by rktman · 76 replies
    chron.com ^ | 3/4/2015 | Eric Berger
    NASA's Administrator Charles Bolden acknowledged Wednesday there is no back-up plan to fly the International Space Station if Russia cuts off U.S. access to space. "We would make an orderly evacuation," Bolden said during a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. Because both countries are dependent upon one another, the $140 billion station would be lost.
  • Nasa finds evidence of a vast ancient ocean on Mars

    03/06/2015 1:55:37 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 21 replies
    The Guardian & Observer ^ | March 5, 2015 | Ian Sample
    An artist’s impression of the ancient ocean on Mars, which lasted for billions of years more than was previously thought. A massive ancient ocean once covered nearly half of the northern hemisphere of Mars making the planet a more promising place for alien life to have gained a foothold, Nasa scientists say. The huge body of water spread over a fifth of the planet’s surface, as great a portion as the Atlantic covers the Earth, and was a mile deep in places. In total, the ocean held 20 million cubic kilometres of water, or more than is found in the...
  • New photos reveal mammoth structure of Paul Allen’s six-engine Stratolaunch

    02/25/2015 2:25:40 PM PST · by ckilmer · 35 replies
    bizjournals.com ^ | Feb 24, 2015, 12:26pm PST | Steve Wilhelm
    New photos reveal mammoth structure of Paul Allen’s six-engine Stratolaunch Feb 24, 2015, 12:26pm PST Updated: Feb 24, 2015, 4:03pm PST   View Photos KGET image One of the Stratolaunch's twin carbon composite hulls, nearly done.   Steve Wilhelm Paul Allen's giant satellite launch plane, called Stratolaunch, has been kept mostly under wraps since the project began – or at least as much under wraps as you can keep something with a 380-foot wingspan.But now, new images from a California television station have revealed some interesting details about the aircraft.Stratolaunch is Allen's bid to compete in launching satellites into...
  • NASA Admits That Winters are Going to Get Colder…Much Colder

    03/03/2015 9:48:29 AM PST · by Perseverando · 67 replies
    D.C. Clothesline ^ | November 18, 2014 | Chris Carrington
    The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period roughly spanning 1645 to 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time. Like the Dalton Minimum and Spörer Minimum, the Maunder Minimum coincided with a period of lower-than-average global temperatures. During one 30-year period within the Maunder Minimum, astronomers observed only about 50 sunspots, as opposed to a more typical 40,000-50,000 spots. (Source) Climatologist John Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, thinks that last year’s winter, described by USA Today as “one of...
  • Prototype orbital seaplane in Texan blimp-base blast

    09/08/2008 6:29:20 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 26 replies · 285+ views
    www.theregister.co.uk ^ | 09/08/2008 | Staff
    Nautical X Prize also-ran suffers further setback A group of retired NASA engineers looking to develop a spacegoing seaplane - or seagoing spaceplane - have suffered a setback, with a prototype craft reportedly exploding during tests at the weekend. The Advent space seaplane concept The Daily News of Galveston County in Texas reports that the explosion near Hitchcock, 40 miles from Houston, was loud enough to draw a lot of attention. The disaster was apparently investigated by the Hitchcock police and fire departments, the FBI, Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Click here to find...
  • Space Plane Tech Could Power Hypersonic Aircraft for US Military

    08/19/2014 12:25:27 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    space.com ^ | August 18, 2014 07:00am ET | Rob Coppinger,
    Engine technology being developed for a British space plane could also find its way into hypersonic aircraft built by the U.S. military. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is studying hypersonic vehicles that would use the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which the English company Reaction Engines Ltd. is working on to power the Skylon space plane, AFRL officials said. "AFRL is formulating plans to look at advanced vehicle concepts based on Reaction Engine's heat-exchanger technology and SABRE engine concept," officials with AFRL, which is based in Ohio, told Space.com via email last month. ... SABRE burns hydrogen and oxygen....
  • Sabre engine could revolutionise space flight

    11/29/2012 9:54:12 AM PST · by the scotsman · 40 replies
    Engineering and Technology Magazine ^ | 28 November 2012 | Sofia Mitra-Thakur
    'A UK company which hopes to build a re-usable space plane has won an important endorsement from the European Space Agency (ESA) after completing key tests on its novel engine technology. Reaction Engines believes its novel Sabre engine, which would operate like a jet engine in the atmosphere and a rocket in space, could displace rockets for space access and transform air travel by bringing any destination on earth to no more than four hours away. That ambition was given a boost this week by ESA, which has acted as an independent auditor on the Sabre test programme. "ESA are...
  • UK Skylon spaceplane passes key review (from runway to orbit)

    05/24/2011 4:06:07 PM PDT · by decimon · 47 replies
    BBC ^ | May 24, 2011 | Jonathan Amos
    A revolutionary UK spaceplane concept has been boosted by the conclusions of an important technical review.The proposed Skylon vehicle would do the job of a big rocket but operate like an airliner, taking off and landing at a conventional runway. The European Space Agency's propulsion experts have assessed the details of the concept and found no showstoppers. They want the next phase of development to include a ground demonstration of its key innovation - its Sabre engine. This power unit is designed to breathe oxygen from the air in the early phases of flight - just like jet engines -...
  • The UK spaceplane aiming to go to a new level

    08/02/2009 3:40:21 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 2 replies · 309+ views
    BBC News ^ | 07/30/09 | Jonathan Amos
    If there is one British space project that has the capacity to inspire at the moment then surely it is Skylon.
  • British Space Plane Concept Gets Boost

    03/11/2009 8:28:54 PM PDT · by KevinDavis · 22 replies · 2,369+ views
    Space.com ^ | 03/11/09 | Jeremy Hsu
    Launching into orbit could become a little easier and cheaper, thanks to a futuristic space plane that looks like it might have flown straight out of a Star Wars film. The European Space Agency and British government have awarded $1 million euros ($1.28 million dollars) to Reaction Engines Limited (REL), a British aerospace company, as part of a multi-million dollar development program for an air-breathing rocket engine that could power the Skylon spaceplane. The unpiloted, reusable vehicle is designed to take off from an airstrip, deliver cargo into orbit and return to the same runway.
  • UK ministers issue spaceport shortlist

    03/03/2015 4:36:17 AM PST · by WhiskeyX · 5 replies
    BBC ^ | 3 March 2015 Last updated at 06:35 ET | Jonathan Amos, Science Correspondent
    The UK government has issued a shortlist of aerodromes that could host a UK The UK government has issued a shortlist of aerodromes that could host a UK spaceport. The list reduces the number of runways first suggested as candidates when last year's consultation got under way. Still in are Campbeltown, Glasgow Prestwick, and Stornoway in Scotland; Newquay in England and Llanbedr in Wales. RAF Leuchars is confirmed as a potential temporary facility. Ministers are keen to see the spaceport established by 2018. . The list reduces the number of runways first suggested as candidates when last year's consultation got...
  • NASA Mourns Loss of Kennedy Test Director Norm Carlson

    03/02/2015 11:36:56 PM PST · by Ray76 · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | Mar 2, 2015 | Bob Granath
    Norman "Norm" Carlson, a former chief NASA test director for space shuttle launches at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida died March 1, 2015. He was 81. A resident of Titusville, Florida, Carlson's career with NASA spanned 35 years. “Norm Carlson was a NASA test director for the first space shuttle flight and many that followed," said Kennedy Director, Bob Cabana. "He became the chief test director and was the consummate professional, working tirelessly to ensure the success of the missions and the safety of all of the astronauts." Following service in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956,...
  • NASA’s MMS Spacecraft Set for March Blastoff to study Earth’s Magnetic Reconnection Events

    03/01/2015 5:13:53 PM PST · by Swordmaker · 7 replies
    Universe Today ^ | FEBRUARY 28, 2015 | by KEN KREMER
    Technicians work on NASA’s 20-foot-tall Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mated quartet of stacked observatories in the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., on May 12, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer- kenkremer.com NASA’s first mission dedicated to study the process in nature known as magnetic reconnection undergoing final preparation for launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida in just under two weeks time. The Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is comprised of a quartet of identically instrumented observatories aimed at providing the first three-dimensional views of a fundamental process in nature known as magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection is the process whereby...
  • What is flashing us from mysterious dwarf planet? Riddle of Ceres' deepens .. ANOTHER flashing mark

    02/27/2015 11:44:59 AM PST · by Red Badger · 75 replies
    www.dailymail.co.uk ^ | 02-27-2015 | By Ellie Zolfagharifard
    Ceres continues to baffle astronomers as the Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the dwarf planet. The latest images, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000km) from Ceres, reveal that a bright 'alien' spot that stands out in previous images lies close to yet another bright area. While Nasa has not provided an explanation, scientists suggest these spots may be frozen pools of ice at the bottom of a crater that reflect light. 'Right now, all we can say is that the material reflects 40 per cent or more of the light falling on it,' UCLA astronomer Chris...
  • Dawn Spacecraft Will Take Pictures Of Its Target Asteroid Today

    12/01/2014 8:55:31 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 1, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    And today (Dec. 1) comes a special day for Dawn — when it turns its cameras to Ceres to capture the asteroid, which will appear about nine pixels across. The reason? Besides scientific curiosity, it turns out to be a perfect calibration target, according to NASA. “One final calibration of the science camera is needed before arrival at Ceres,” wrote Marc Rayman, the mission director at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a recent blog post. “To accomplish it, the camera needs to take pictures of a target that appears just a few pixels across. The endless sky that surrounds our...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Approaching Asteroid Ceres

    01/20/2015 5:55:25 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | January 20, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It is the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt -- what secrets does it hold? To find out, NASA has sent the robotic Dawn spacecraft to explore and map this cryptic 1,000-kilometer wide world: Ceres. Orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, Ceres is officially categorized as a dwarf planet but has never been imaged in detail. Featured here is a 20-frame video taken a week ago of Dawn's approach that now rivals even the best images of Ceres ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The video shows enough surface definition to discern its 9-hour rotation period. On target to...
  • First Hubble and Now Dawn Have Seen This White Spot on Ceres. What is it?

    01/20/2015 3:23:34 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 36 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on January 20, 2015 | Nancy Atkinson
    One of the most anticipated aspects the Dawn spacecraft being in orbit around Ceres HAS to be finding out what this spot is. It could be ice, it could be a cryovolcano or geysers, or it could be something else. But we do know fairly certain that it is a real feature and not an image artifact, since it shows up in most of the recent Hubble images and now the Dawn images. Planetary scientists have long suspected that water ice may be buried under Cere’s crust. A few things point to subsurface ice: the density of Ceres is less...
  • An Even Closer View of Ceres Shows Multiple White Spots Now

    02/05/2015 4:14:32 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has acquired its latest and closest-yet snapshot of the mysterious dwarf planet world Ceres. These latest images, taken on Feb. 4, from a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 km) clearly show craters – including a couple with central peaks – and a clearer though still ambiguous view of that wild white spot that has so many of us scratching our heads as to its nature. Get ready to scratch some more. The mystery spot has plenty of company.
  • Closer view of Ceres shows multiple white spots

    02/06/2015 1:41:53 PM PST · by Red Badger · 14 replies
    phys.org ^ | 02-06-2015 | by Bob King, Universe Today
    NASA's Dawn spacecraft has acquired its latest and closest-yet snapshot of the mysterious dwarf planet world Ceres. These latest images, taken on Feb. 4, from a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 km) clearly show craters – including a couple with central peaks – and a clearer though still ambiguous view of that wild white spot that has so many of us scratching our heads as to its nature. Get ready to scratch some more. The mystery spot has plenty of company. Take a look at some still images I grabbed from the video which NASA made available today. In...
  • Dawn Approaches: Two Faces of Ceres

    02/17/2015 5:09:59 PM PST · by cripplecreek · 9 replies
    http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov ^ | February 17, 2015 | NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
    February 17, 2015 Image Advisory—Craters and mysterious bright spots are beginning to pop out in the latest images of Ceres from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. These images, taken Feb. 12 at a distance of 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet, pose intriguing questions for the science team to explore as the spacecraft nears its destination. “As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she has beguiled us but left us none the wiser,” said Chris Russell, principal investigator of the Dawn mission, based at UCLA. “We expected to be surprised;...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Dark Craters and Bright Spots Revealed on Asteroid Ceres

    02/19/2015 5:22:59 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | February 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What are those bright spots on asteroid Ceres? As the robotic spacecraft Dawn approaches the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, the puzzle only deepens. Sharper new images taken last week and released yesterday indicate, as expected, that most of the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is dark and heavily cratered like our Moon and the planet Mercury. The new images do not clearly indicate, however, the nature of comparatively bright spots -- although more of them are seen to exist. The enigmatic spots were first noticed on Texas-sized Ceres a few weeks ago during Dawn's approach. The intriguing...
  • Planet you've probably never heard of

    02/21/2015 5:39:50 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 61 replies
    cnn.com ^ | 8:56 PM ET, Fri February 20, 2015 | Amanda Barnett, CNN
    (CNN)Way out beyond Mars, but before you get to Jupiter, is a planet. You read that right. There's a planet between Mars and Jupiter. You may not have heard of it, but it was discovered in 1801 -- 129 years before Pluto. It originally was called a planet, then later an asteroid and now it's called a dwarf planeIts name is Ceres (pronounced like series) and you'll likely be hearing a lot more about it in the coming weeks.
  • NASA scientists stumped by mystery 'alien lights' on dwarf planet Ceres

    02/26/2015 9:41:56 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 65 replies
    A mysterious dwarf planet has left scientists scratching their heads after a strange light was seen shining from it. The dwarf planet Ceres has stumped boffins at NASA after a spacecraft sent to investigate it took these stunning pictures. In the images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, a bright spot is seen projecting out from the darkness of the surface. A second bright light is seen close to the other one, leaving scientists completely baffled.
  • NASA:Coverage of U.S. Spacewalk # 30

    02/25/2015 7:14:01 AM PST · by yoe · 1 replies
    NASA TV on Ustream ^ | February 25, 2015
    6 a.m., Wednesday, February 25 - Coverage of U.S. Spacewalk # 30 (Spacewalk scheduled to begin at 7:10 a.m. ET; Wilmore and Virts) (all channels)
  • Cruz Holds Hearing On Space Exploration With Buzz Aldrin, Other Astronauts

    02/24/2015 1:38:13 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 4 replies
    Daily Caller ^ | 02/24/2015 | Alex Pappas
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who just took over leadership of the Senate’s space committee, hosted Buzz Aldrin and other former NASA astronauts on Capitol Hill Tuesday for a discussion on space exploration.Cruz opened Tuesday’s hearing of the subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness by calling for more NASA and commercial space activity. “The year 2015 is just as critical of a time for our national and commercial space programs as was the case a half century ago,” the Texas Republican said. “Future exploration is certain to present hardships. But it also promises high rewards. New resources, frontiers and economic opportunities.”Cruz...
  • Buzz Aldrin to be star witness at Ted Cruz space hearings

    02/23/2015 7:43:29 AM PST · by SoConPubbie · 39 replies
    Examiner ^ | February 20, 2015
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, will hold his first hearings on "U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness” next week, according to a Thursday story In Space Policy Online. Among the eclectic group of former astronauts, business leaders, and academics that will constitute the witness list will be Apollo moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. The hearings will also serve as an opportunity for Cruz to flesh out his views on the future of the American space program. Cruz has previously stated his desire to return NASA to its core function of...
  • Cruz's Mission for NASA: More Space, Less Earth

    02/23/2015 8:30:49 PM PST · by SoConPubbie · 21 replies
    National Journal ^ | February 23, 2015 | ALEX BROWN
    The new space subcommittee chairman thinks the Obama administration has the agency overly focused on climate change at the expense of exploring the cosmos. If Ted Cruz is NASA's Grim Reaper, he doesn't talk like it. To hear the new chairman of the Senate's Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee talk about NASA is to hear none of the budget-slashing zeal that comes out when he talks about, say, the IRS. Instead, he talks at length about putting more Americans in space and sending them farther than ever before. He gushes about the agency that has "excited the spirits of every...
  • NASA Snaps Picture of Eastern U.S. in a Record-Breaking "Freezer"

    02/23/2015 1:42:53 PM PST · by WhiskeyX · 70 replies
    NASA ^ | February 20, 2015 | NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
    NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of the snow-covered eastern U.S. that looks like the states have been sitting in a freezer. In addition to the snow cover, Arctic and Siberian air masses have settled in over the Eastern U.S. triggering many record low temperatures in many states. On Feb. 19 at 16:40 UTC (11:40 a.m. EST), the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Terra satellite captured a picture of the snowy landscape. The snow cover combined with the frosty air mass made the eastern U.S. feel like the inside of freezer. The MODIS image was...
  • Patriot VS. NASA and the last 6 years

    02/22/2015 7:53:30 PM PST · by big bad easter bunny · 7 replies
    Can anyone say that what NASA has become over the last 6 years is patriotic? JFK must be spinning in his grave not to mention my grandfather.
  • Climate change bill faces uphill battle

    02/22/2015 2:37:55 PM PST · by E. Pluribus Unum · 29 replies
    Click2Houston.com ^ | 02/22/2015 | Erin McPike
    With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress, the odds of passing a climate change bill this year are virtually non-existent. But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, plans to reintroduce legislation to cap carbon emissions this week, anyway, due in part to the impact it could have on the 2016 election."Our goal is to keep attention focused on this issue as we head into this congressional session, and also into the presidential election in 2016," Van Hollen told CNN, explaining the bill serves as a vehicle for discussion.Van Hollen's objective is to force Republicans to address the issue, and...