Just Days Before Historic New Horizons Flyby, SOFIA Makes Observations of Pluto

From NASA: "Image is an artist's conception of the Pluto occultation seen close-up, not a photo." NASA's SOFIA jetliner recently observed Pluto during an occultation, prior to New Horizons' historic flyby. Image Credit: NASA

From NASA: “Image is an artist’s conception of the Pluto occultation seen close-up, not a photo.” NASA’s SOFIA jetliner recently observed Pluto during an occultation event, prior to New Horizons’ historic flyby. Image Credit: NASA

In a year brimming with ongoing discoveries about distant, unknown worlds, including the Solar System’s planets and a comet, […]

Two Weeks to Pluto: New Horizons and New Perspectives (Part 2)

Technicians working on the New Horizons spacecraft in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The black shape of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) is clearly visible at left. Photo Credit: NASA/KSC

Sixteen days from now, the first robotic emissary from Earth will encounter the dwarf world Pluto, its […]

Falcon 9 Fails, Dooming Dragon Cargo Ship and First Commercial Crew Docking Adapter

Close to the end of first-stage flight, the nine Merlin 1D engines appeared to flare, ahead of vehicle disintegration. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

Close to the end of first-stage flight, the nine Merlin 1D engines appeared to flare, ahead of vehicle disintegration. Photo Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace

Following 18 successful launches since June 2010, the heart was torn from SpaceX earlier today (Sunday, 28 June), following the disintegration of a Falcon 9 v1.1 booster during its flight to […]

'To Work Co-operatively': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 4)

Mir Commander Vladimir Dezhurov (left) and STS-71 Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson shake hands after hatch opening on 29 June 1995. Photo Credit: NASA

Two decades have passed, this week, since one of the most remarkable instances of international co-operation ever seen in human history. For 10 days, between 27 June and 7 July 1995, six […]

Two Weeks to Pluto: New Horizons and New Perspectives (Part 1)

A timeline detailing New Horizons long journey to Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

The “Month of Pluto” is now upon us, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft—launched atop an Atlas V 551 booster from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., way back in January 2006—enters the final two weeks […]

'To Work Co-operatively': 20 Years Since the First Shuttle-Mir Docking Mission (Part 3)

Russia’s space station Mir, as pictured by the crew of STS-71. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty years ago, today, on 27 June 1995, a new era began. Space Shuttle Atlantis rocketed into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, as she had done 13 times previously, over the course of almost a full […]

SpaceX Primed for Record-Setting Third Space Station-Bound Dragon Flight of 2015

The CRS-7 mission is the seventh dedicated Dragon cargo flight under the language of SpaceX’s $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Credit: NASA

Less than six weeks since its most recent cargo ship returned from the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX—the Hawthorne, Calif.-based launch services operator, headed by entrepreneur Elon Musk—will […]

ESA's Historic Rosetta Mission Extended Through September 2016

Rosetta & Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P. Credit: ESA–C. Carreau/ATG medialab

The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Rosetta mission, which saw the spacecraft successfully orbit a comet and set a lander down upon its surface in a series of historic firsts, has been extended. Just days after it was revealed Philae, Rosetta’s lander, […]

Let's Hear It for Leon: Hard-to-Find Space Artifacts To Be Auctioned From Leon Ford's Collection

This backpack strap, worn on the lunar surface by Apollo 12 commander Charles "Pete" Conrad, is one of the items from Leon Ford's collection up for auction this week. Photo Credit: RR Auction

This backpack strap, worn on the lunar surface by Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, is one of the items from Leon Ford’s collection up for auction this week. Photo Credit: RR Auction

In the world of space enthusiasts and collectors, one couldn’t find someone more dedicated than the late Leon Ford, who passed […]

Three Weeks to Pluto: A World of Tiny Moons and Missed Mission Opportunities (Part 2)

An artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its closest approach to Pluto and Charon on 14 July. This spacecraft is the only successful outcome in a long line of unrealized missions to Pluto. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

When a Kansan farmboy-turned-astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh discovered […]