Pluto's Large Nitrogen Ice 'Sea' Probably Formed from Giant Impact, Scientists Say

The vast ice plains of Sputnik Planum on Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The vast ice plains of Sputnik Planum on Pluto. The basin, now filled with nitrogen ice, was probably created by a huge impact. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Instead of being little more than a frozen and unchanging rocky iceball, Pluto has been revealed to be a complex and dynamic little world, with mountains, valleys, vast icy […]

NASA Seeks American Industry Ideas on Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission Spacecraft Design

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon.
Caption and Credits: NASA

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon.Caption and Credits: NASA

NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) plans to send a robotic spacecraft to a near-Earth asteroid to pluck a boulder off the surface and move it into a stable orbit […]

OSIRIS-REx Taking Shape, Engineers Explain Innovative Asteroid Sample Return Mechanism

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx in the environs of Asteroid Bennu, sometime after 2018. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

While avid space watchers may thrill to missions such as Stardust (which returned a sample from a comet), Dawn (which visited an asteroid and dwarf planet), and Rosetta (which placed a lander upon a comet’s surface), […]

Spacecraft Assembly Begins for NASA's OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx, the first U.S. mission to return samples from an asteroid to Earth. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard

The first United States mission in history to launch a robotic spacecraft to an asteroid, retrieve samples, and return those samples back to Earth for study just passed a big milestone in its development this […]

NASA Goes With 'Option B' for Future Asteroid Redirect Mission

The Asteroid Redirect Vehicle, part of NASA's Asteroid Initiative concept, is shown traveling to lunar orbit using its solar electric propulsion system in this artist's concept. Image credit: NASA

The Asteroid Redirect Vehicle, part of NASA’s Asteroid Initiative concept, is shown traveling to lunar orbit using its solar electric propulsion system in this artist’s concept. Image credit: NASA

Asteroids are getting a lot of attention, today in particular, because asteroid 2014 YB35 will be coming within 0.03 Astronomical Units (AU) of Earth. There […]

Bigelow Aerospace Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) Completes Major Milestones

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be berthed to the Tranquility Node of the International Space Station for a two-year demonstration. It will be the first private space habitat of its kind. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) will be berthed to the Tranquility Node of the International Space Station for a two-year demonstration. It will be the first private space habitat of its kind. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

In early 2013, NASA awarded Bigelow Aerospace with a $17.8 million contract to develop an expandable space habitat. […]

Ceres Reveals Eye-Like Bright Spots, Mr. Spock Explains Dawn

This image was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft of dwarf planet Ceres on Feb. 19 from a distance of nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers). It shows that the brightest spot on Ceres has a dimmer companion, which apparently lies in the same basin. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A scientific mystery on dwarf planet Ceres—worthy of investigation […]

Ceres Shows Mystifying Faces and Perplexing White Spots to NASA’s Dawn

Two mystifying faces of Ceres These two views of Ceres were acquired by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on Feb. 12, 2015, from a distance of about 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) as the dwarf planet rotated. The images have been magnified from their original size. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

A fresh set of images of dwarf planet Ceres […]

Be an Asteroid Hunter in NASA's First Asteroid Grand Challenge Contest Series

One possible scenario for a future asteroid retrieval mission is pictured here. NASA completed an internal review of asteroid redirect mission concepts this week. Photo Credit: NASA.

NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest series will offer $35,000 in awards over the next six months to citizen scientists who develop improved algorithms that can be used […]

Hubble Eyes Asteroid Resembling Rotating Lawn Sprinkler With Multiple Comet-Like Tails

A never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt, designated P/2013 P5. Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Jewitt (UCLA)

Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) continue to discover surprises abound throughout the Solar System, some 23 years after it launched into orbit on NASA’s now retired […]