AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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Living On the Edge: The Mysterious Lakes of Titan (Part 4)

Titan’s colorful globe passes in front of Saturn and its rings, in this true color image taken in 2011 from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The moon’s opaque atmosphere hides a fascinating surface that is rich in methane lakes, water ice, and organic compounds. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

“On Titan, the molecules that have [...]

Living On the Edge: The Icy Plains of Enceladus (Part 3)

Lit by reflected light from Saturn, Enceladus appears to hover above the gleaming rings with its well-defined ice particle jets spraying a continuous hail of tiny ice grains, in this image taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft in 2006 from a distance of 1.303 million kilometers. The 500-km-wide moon has excited the scientific community and [...]

They Came From Outer Space! The Mystery of the Fast Radio Bursts

Artist’s impression of a fast radio burst appearing in the sky above the 64-m Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. A handful of these elusive cosmic radio flashes, whose exact origin remains unknown, have been detected during the last decade. Image Credit: CSIRO/Harvard/Swinburne Astronomy Productions

In 2007, David Narkevic, then a physics and political science [...]

Where's the Kaboom? Astronomers Detect No X-Ray Emission From Recent Supernova Explosion

The supernova SN 2014J, as imaged by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This image contains Chandra data, where low-, medium-, and high-energy X-rays are red, green, and blue respectively. The boxes in the bottom of the image show close-up views of the region around the supernova in data taken prior to the explosion (left), as [...]

A Troubled Start to a Triumphant Mission: 37 Years Since the Launch of the Voyagers

Voyager 2 begins its journey of exploration, 37 years ago today (20 August), with a rousing liftoff atop a Titan IIIE-Centaur booster from Launch Complex (LC)-41 at Cape Canaveral. Photo Credit: NASA

A quarter-century ago, this week, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft became the first machine fashioned by human hands to travel close to the [...]

Dust in the (Interstellar) Wind: Seven Particles of Possible Interstellar Origin Identified in Samples Returned by NASA's Stardust Spacecraft

A team of researchers has identified seven dust particles that were returned to Earth in 2006 by NASA’s Stardust spacecraft, which might have originated in the interstellar medium. This false-color image shows a diffraction pattern created by one of these particles, named Orion. Image Credit: Zack Gainsforth

Following a preliminary analysis of the dust [...]

The Improbable Case of the High-Energy Novae: NASA's Fermi Space Telescope Detects New Gamma Ray Sources

Novae typically originate in binary systems containing Sun-like stars, as shown in this artist’s rendering. NASA’s Fermi Space Telescope discovered that a nova in a system like this likely produces gamma rays (magenta) through collisions among multiple shock waves in the rapidly expanding shell of debris. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S. Wiessinger

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ESA's 'Discovery Machine' Gets Ready for Science: Gaia Concludes Commissioning Phase, Begins Primary Five-Year Mission

Artist’s concept of the Gaia. Having recently completed a rigorous test and commissioning phase, the space observatory began its five-year primary science mission of mapping and cataloguing approximately 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Image Credit: ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

Following the successful conclusion of a very demanding and extensive six-month commissioning period, [...]

To Navigate the Seas of the Sun: NASA's Solar Probe Plus Mission to the Nearest Star

Artist’s impression of NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft approaching the Sun. Set to launch in 2018, Solar Probe Plus will orbit our home star a total of 24 times while gradually approaching closer with each concecutive orbit, until it eventually achieves a minimum distance of 8.5 solar radii, or 3.7 million miles from the [...]

Exploring Uncharted Territory: ESA's Venus Express Spacecraft Completes Aerobraking Campaign, Raises Orbit Prior to End of Mission

An artist’s concept of Venus Express during the aerobraking manoeuvre, which saw the spacecraft orbiting Venus at an altitude of approximately 130 km from 18 June to 11 July. These low passes through the atmosphere of Venus allowed the spacecraft to conduct scientific observations that weren’t possible from higher altitudes. Image Credit: ESA–C. Carreau

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