“The team operating NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“NASA scientists don’t often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite. But when Julie McEnery, the project scientist for NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, checked her email on March 29, 2012, she found herself facing this precise situation.” Quoted from the NASA video release.
“NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn’s north pole. [...] The hurricane’s eye is about 1,250 miles wide, 20 times larger than the average hurricane eye on Earth.
“Comet ISON is potentially the “comet of the century” because around the time the comet makes its closest approach to the Sun, on November 28, it may briefly become brighter than the full Moon.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“Since 1957, more than 4,900 space launches have led to an on-orbit population today of more than 22,000 trackable objects, with sizes larger than 10 cm. Approximately 1,000 of these are operational spacecraft. The remaining 94% are space debris, i.e. objects which no longer serve any useful purpose. [...] In addition, an estimated 700,000 objects larger than 1 cm and 170 million objects larger than 1 mm are expected to be in Earth orbits.” Quoted from the ESA Conference on Space Debris.
“NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the “habitable zone,” the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“NASA’s FY2014 budget proposal includes a plan to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable lunar orbit where astronauts can visit and explore it. The proposed mission would combine the efforts of three NASA mission directorates: Human Exploration and Operations, Science and Space Technology.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“The mission to find, capture and redirect an asteroid robotically, and then visit it with astronauts to study it and return samples takes advantage of expertise across all of NASA in an integrated approach to exploration.” Quoted from the NASA budget request announcement.
“NASA’s Kepler space telescope has witnessed the effects of a dead star bending the light of its companion star. The findings are among the first detections of this phenomenon.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
“Astronomers have found some of the youngest stars ever seen, thanks to the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions.” Quoted from the NASA press release.
Ever since planets have been observed through telescopes Mars has been considered to be the best candidate for life beyond earth. Now some researchers believe that Jupiter’s moon Europa is the most promising place to easily find evidence of extraterrestrial life.
“A pair of newly discovered stars is the third-closest star system to the sun. [...] The duo is the closest star system discovered since 1916. [..] They are very cool and dim, resembling a giant planet like Jupiter more than a bright star like the sun.” Quoted from the Penn State press release.
A commercial space vehicle delivered one ton of cargo to the International Space Station. It will now deliver back to Earth a cargo of samples, equipment and trash. So far this is the only commercial spacecraft capable of bringing cargo back to Earth.
“Peering over the shoulder of giant Saturn, through its rings, and across interplanetary space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spies the bright, cloudy terrestrial planet, Venus. The vast distance from Saturn means that Venus only shows up as a white dot.” Quoted from the NASA image release.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder is a new radio telescope that will produce so much data that a supercomputer capable of one quadrillion floating point operations per second will be needed to support it. The project leaders have decided to cool the supercomputer with a closed-circuit geothermal cooling system that will operate on ground water.
“Since their discovery over 50 years ago, the Earth’s Van Allen radiation belts have been considered to consist of two distinct zones of trapped, highly energetic charged particles.” The accidental discovery of a third belt will require a rewrite of textbooks. Quote from the NASA press release.