September 20, 2013 |
After nearly nine years in space and 4.7 billion miles traveled, NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft has met an unexpected end after mission members lost contact with it last month. Though it was unable to complete its latest assignment, the comet-hunting spacecraft led a far longer life than expected with several career changes after its first encounter with comet Tempel 1. "We're all saddened by the loss of the spacecraft when we were just about to get some data that should have been very interesting on comet ISON and were hoping to continue for years to come," said the mission's principal investigator, Michael A'Hearn, an astronomer at the University of Maryland at College Park.
September 6, 2013 |
Video streaming by Ustream NASA is sending a spacecraft to the moon Friday night, and you can watch as it leaves our planet, live, right here. If all goes according to schedule, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer -- LADEE, for short -- will blast off at 8:27 p.m. PDT. NASA will stream the launch live, and you can watch it in the video box above. If all does not go according to plan, NASA said it will try again over the weekend. While recent lunar missions have studied the moon's surface, and its uneven gravity, LADEE has been outfitted with a suite of instruments to help scientists learn more about the little-known lunar atmosphere.
August 27, 2013 |
Scientists using a NASA instrument aboard an Indian spacecraft have discovered signs of water native to the moon - not brought from far away, but water that must have been locked beneath the lunar crust since its birth. The discovery by the ill-fated Chandrayaan-1 lunar probe represents the first time researchers have found signs of native water remotely. The results, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, offer further evidence that the moon has its own indigenous source of water.
August 16, 2013 |
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft may be down a couple wheels, but it's by no means out for the count, mission scientists said Thursday. As part of a time-honored tradition, the space agency is calling on scientists and engineers to submit ideas for new ways to prop up the telescope and pull more scientific discoveries out of its still-working instrument. Every mission NASA sends out into space has a limited lifetime - even the Voyager spacecraft, launched in the 1970s and still making news today . Some spacecraft end up malfunctioning.
July 24, 2013 |
Video streaming by Ustream Early Wednesday morning, NASA engineers will drop a model spacecraft big enough to hold four astronauts from 35,000 feet up in the air - and you can watch what happens next, live, right here. NASA will host a Live Google Hangout from the test site at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. PDT on July 24. And the good news is that something is guaranteed to go wrong. The engineers will simulate a failure of one of the model spacecraft's three main parachutes, according to a release from the space agency.
June 28, 2013 |
One of NASA's prize workhorses, the spacecraft Galaxy Evolution Explorer, or GALEX, was decommissioned Friday after 10 years of scanning the universe in ultraviolet light. “It had a long run,” said Karl Forster, GALEX science operations center team leader. The satellite, only 6 feet tall and a svelte 1,034 pounds, was part of NASA's small Explorer mission. Its main objective was to use ultraviolet cameras to take images of young stars, which are invisible to human eyes because they emit only UV light.