AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CLIO on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
17 Sep 14 0:10:00 GMT
16 Sep 14 20:10:00 EDT

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Astronomers Witness Asteroid Smash-Up Around Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of an asteroid collision around the Sun-like star NGC 2547-ID8. Such impacts around young stars lead to planetary formation later on. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Solar systems, including ours, are thought to begin as massive clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars; over billions of years, planets form from repeated impacts of [...]

NASA Ramps Up Asteroid Initiative, Announces Studies

From NASA: “In this concept image, the Orion spacecraft docks with the robotic asteroid redirect vehicle.” Image Credit: NASA

A scenario hinted at in Hollywood movies is closer to happening in real life: NASA announced Thursday, June 19, that it selected 18 study proposals under a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) concerning a future possible [...]

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Passes Critical Design Review, Moves Toward Construction

An artist’s concept of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft approaching the asteroid Bennu in 2018. The mission has recently completed its Critical Design Review, moving toward construction and assembly. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

The next planetary mission in NASA’s New Frontiers program, the Near-Earth Asteroid sample return Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer, [...]

Surprise Discovery: Rings Around an Asteroid!

Artist’s conception of the asteroid Chariklo with its ring system. Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

When it comes to planetary rings, what do you think of? Saturn is the first obvious thing that comes to mind, with its famous majestic ring system surrounding the gas giant planet. The other gas and ice [...]

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 [...]

Comet or Asteroid? Herschel Space Observatory Detects Water Outgassing on Dwarf Planet Ceres

A team of astronomers using ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory have discovered clear signals of water vapour coming off Ceres. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab/Küppers et al.

A new study published online in the weekly scientific journal Nature on Jan. 22 reports on observations made by the Herschel Space Observatory of water vapour seen coming out [...]

Astronauts Practice Launching in NASA's New Orion Spacecraft

Astronauts Rick Linnehan and Mike Foreman try out a prototype display and control system inside an Orion spacecraft mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston during the first ascent and abort simulations for the program.Photo Credit: NASA

For the first time, NASA astronauts are practicing a launch into space aboard the agency’s [...]

Partnerships Make Missions Possible

A team of technicians at Textron Defense Systems apply Avcoat ablative material to the composite honeycomb structure attached to the Orion heat shield carrier structure. The ablative material is designed to protect the spacecraft from extreme temperatures during re-entry.Image Credit: NASA

A relationship that began more than 50 years ago between NASA and Textron [...]

On the Heels of Its Grand Challenge, NASA Selects 96 Ideas for Asteroid Initiative

Crewed missions to asteroids and near-Earth objects are slated to take place utilizing the Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. NASA announced that 96 ideas are being considered to make such a mission happen. Image Credit: NASA

NASA announced on Wednesday, Sept. 4 that it has chosen 96 concepts from [...]

New Images and Animation Released of Future Asteroid Mission

NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Asteroid Initiative is a potential flagship mission, which could begin as early as 2015, to capture and investigate a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and explore it with both unmanned and crewed spacecraft. On Thursday, Aug. 22, the agency released concept artwork and [...]