Flight Plan for New Horizons' Historic Pluto Flyby Uploaded to Spacecraft as Surface Details Begin to Emerge

New Horizons scientists combined the latest black and white map of Pluto’s surface features (left) with a map of the planet’s colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet’s northern hemisphere (center). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

New Horizons scientists combined the latest black-and-white map of Pluto’s surface features (left) with a map of the planet’s colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet’s northern hemisphere (center). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

New Horizons is now just 11 days from its historic flyby exploration of the Pluto system, some three billion miles […]

New Color Images Show 'Two Faces' of Pluto and Odd Dark Spots Along Equator

New color images of Pluto sent back by New Horizons showing two different "faces" or hemispheres of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

New color images of Pluto sent back by New Horizons showing two different “faces” or hemispheres of the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

First there were the unusual bright spots on Ceres, which are still awaiting an explanation, and now as New […]

New Horizons Is GO for Best Flight Path to Pluto, Mission Team Determines No Hazards Ahead

These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC on June 26, 2015, from a range of 21.5 million kilometers (approximately 13 million miles) to Pluto. The known small moons, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx, are visible as adjacent bright and dark pairs of dots, due to their motion in the 105 minutes between the two image sets. Credits: NASA/JHU-APL/SwRI

These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC on June 26, 2015, from a range of 21.5 million kilometers (approximately 13 million miles) to Pluto. The known small moons, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and […]

Flying the Friendly Martian Skies: NASA to Test Mars Airplane Prototype

Artist's conception of the Prandtl-m airplane flying above the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA Illustration/Dennis Calaba

Artist’s conception of the Prandtl-m airplane flying above the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA Illustration/Dennis Calaba

For several decades, Mars has been a busy place, with orbiters, landers, and rovers providing unprecedented views of the Red Planet. Another exciting possibility which has yet to be realized is an airplane, which could soar through […]

On the Final Path: New Horizons Executes Last Course Correction Maneuver Prior to Pluto Closest Approach

Flight controllers in the New Horizons Mission Operations Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, monitor data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on June 30, after a short course-correction maneuver refined New Horizons path toward a flyby of Pluto on July 14. Image Credit/Caption: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

With just under two weeks remaining before New Horizons flies through the Pluto system on July 14, the spacecraft has successfuly executed its last scheduled course correction maneuver, which put it right on top of the mission’s intended trajectory through the Pluto system. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

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Raytheon's US Student Rocketry Team Wins International Rocketry Challenge and Encourages Youth in STEM

Team from left to right [front row] Mark Keaton (coach), Chelsea Suddith, Katie Burns, Cady Studdard Back row Tracy Burns (mentor), Evan Swinney, Andrew Heath, Niles Butts, Cristian Ruiz, Joseph Cole (coach).

Team from left to right [front row] Mark Keaton (coach): Chelsea Suddith, Katie Burns, Cady Studdard. Back row: Tracy Burns (mentor), Evan Swinney, Andrew Heath, Niles Butts, Cristian Ruiz, Joseph Cole (coach). Image Credit: Raytheon

Team America took home the gold after winning first place in the International Rocketry Challenge at the 2015 Paris Air Show. […]

The Case of the Helium-Shrouded Exoplanet With the Hydrogen, Comet-Like Tail

An artist's concept of the vast envelope of atomic hydrogen that envelopes the nearby helium-dominated exoplanet Gliese 436b. The radiation pressure from the planet's host star causes the gradual escape over time of significant amounts of hydrogen from Gliese 436b's atmosphere into space, which subsequently forms a large comet-like tail that follows the planet in its orbit around its star. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)

An artist’s concept of the vast envelope of atomic hydrogen that envelopes the nearby helium-dominated exoplanet Gliese 436b. The radiation pressure from the planet’s host star causes the gradual escape over time of significant amounts of hydrogen from Gliese 436b’s atmosphere into space, which subsequently forms a large comet-like tail that follows the planet […]

Muddy Mars: New Evidence for Liquid Water Flows Within Past Million Years

Illustration of debris flows inside Istok crater on Mars, which have provided evidence of large amounts of flowing water and mud in the past. The flows are very similar to ones on Earth in Arctic regions such as Iceland. Image Credit: Nature Communications

The fact that Mars used to have large amounts of liquid […]

More Details on Pluto and Charon Emerge in Latest Images as New Horizons Begins Approach Phase 3

A series of images of Pluto, taken by New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI, showing numerous large-scale features on the distant planet's surface. These images are displayed at four times the native LORRI image size, and have been processed using a method called deconvolution, which sharpens the original images to enhance features on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

A series of images of Pluto, taken by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI, showing numerous large-scale features on the distant planet’s surface. These images are displayed at four times the native LORRI image size, and have been processed using a method called deconvolution, which sharpens the original images to enhance features […]

Sinkholes on Titan: New Study Shows How Hydrocarbon Lakes May Form by Earth-Like Erosion

Wider view of lakes and seas near Titan's north pole. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/USGS

Colored mosaic of lakes near Titan’s north pole. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/USGS

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, has seas and lakes of liquid methane and ethane dotting its surface, but one question scientists have been trying to figure out is how the hollows in the ground, which hold the lakes, form to begin with. Now, a […]