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AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CRS-5 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
6 Jan 15 11:18:00 GMT
6 Jan 15 6:18:00 EST

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Coloring the Ice: Scientist Compiles First-Ever Global Color Maps of Saturn's Icy Moons From Cassini Data

A high-resolution color global map of Saturn’s moon Mimas, based on imaging data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. A set of new global maps of Saturn’s largest icy moons reveal the latters’ landscapes in unprecedented detail. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/LPI

The first 50 years of planetary exploration have seen the successful completion of humanity’s epic, first […]

ESA's JUICE Mission Receives Approval to Advance Toward Implementation

Artist’s concept of the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer mission, or JUICE, which is scheduled for launch in 2022. The mission recently passed a major milestone in its development, by being granted approval by ESA to advance towards implementation. Image Credit: ESA/AOES

The detailed study of Jupiter’s fascinating large, icy moons got a step closer […]

NASA's Van Allen Probes Detect Life-Protective Electron Barrier Inside Earth's Radiation Belts

A visualization of the Earth’s radiation belts, based on data that were gathered by NASA’s twin Van Allen probes. The Earth is seen to be surrounded by the plasmapause (blue-green area) and the two main radiation belts further out (multi-color area). The boundary between the plasmapause and the inner edge of the outer belt […]

Surprisingly Bright Cloud Systems and Extreme Storms on Uranus Puzzle Astronomers

Infrared images of Uranus at wavelengths of 1.6 (left) and 2.2 microns (right), that were obtained on Aug. 6, with the Adaptive Optics system on the 10-meter Keck II telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The white spot is an extremely large storm that was brighter than any feature ever recorded on the planet […]

Juno Launched Three Years Ago (Aug. 5, 2011) on Five-Year Journey to Discover Jupiter’s Genesis

Juno three-year anniversary since blastoff on Aug. 5, 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Story updated

It’s three down and two to go for NASA’s Jupiter-bound Juno probe, which marks a major milestone today, Aug. 5, celebrating its launch exactly three years ago—on Aug. 5, 2011—from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a journey to discover […]

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking—Now the Smallest Ever Seen

In this new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is seen at its smallest size ever recorded. Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is one of the most recognizable features in the Solar System: a massive hurricane-like oval-shaped storm […]

JUNO Returns to Earth Wednesday for Critical Gravitational Slingshot to Jupiter

An artist’s concept of JUNO’s approach to Earth for an Oct. 9 gravity-assist maneuver. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Aug. 5, 2011, United Launch Alliance sent NASA’s JUNO spacecraft on a five-year trip to visit our Solar System’s largest planet—Jupiter. Problem is, Jupiter is so far, and the 8,000-pound solar-powered JUNO is so heavy, that […]

Juno Mission Passes Halfway Mark to Jupiter

Spectators crowd the shoreline as an Atlas 5 rocket launches NASA’s Juno spacecraft to Jupiter in August 2011, as photographed from Playalinda Beach. Photo Credit: Mike Killian

Twenty-four months since its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., NASA’s Juno mission officially passed the halfway point in a five-year journey to Jupiter yesterday […]

NASA's Chandra Sees Eclipsing Planet in X-rays for First Time

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/K. Poppenhaeger et al; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

For the first time since exoplanets, or planets around stars other than the sun, were discovered almost 20 years ago, X-ray observations have detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.

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Missions to the Icy Moons

It turns out that the moons of the outer solar system are shaping up to be some of the most dynamic destinations in terms of planetary exploration. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

Far from the warm inner regions of the solar system, in orbit around the great gas giants are moons full of surprises. […]