AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CRS-3 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL scheduled for 18 Apr 14 19:25:00 GMT

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The Sea of Enceladus: Cassini Confirms Underground Ocean on Saturn's Geyser Moon

Diagram of what the interior of Enceladus is now thought to look like, with the icy outer shell, liquid water ocean, and inner rocky core. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Coming just after the news of the ringed asteroid and new dwarf planet, some more exciting news from the outer Solar System was announced [...]

Bathed in Crimson Light: New Exoplanet Discoveries and the Prospect of Habitability Around Red Dwarf Stars

An artist’s impression of a sunset on Gliese 667 Cc, a habitable Super Earth-sized planet around the triple star system Gliese 667, located 22 light-years away from Earth. Are views, such as this envisioned here, common on planets around red dwarfs stars in the galaxy? Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

“Call them the Firstborn. [...]

Of Exoplanets and Habitability: Exploring the Possibility of 'Superhabitable Worlds'

Artist’s impression of an exoplanet with a mass approximately 3.6 times that of Earth, discovered orbiting just inside of the habitable zone of the Sun-like star HD 85512. Are “Super-Earths” such as this the most promising candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life? Image Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

“For there is a single general space, a single [...]

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 [...]

Panspermia on the Moons of Jupiter? New Study Finds It Possible, While Another Finds Evidence of Clay-Like Minerals on Europa

New studies strengthen the case for the possibility of life, carried by asteroids or comets on places like Europa. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk.

Even though Mars receives most of the spotlight today when it comes to searching for places in the Solar System—besides Earth—where life might have arisen, there are many in the scientific [...]

A Story of Planetary Seduction: The Captivating Charms of Europa

An enchanting image of Europa hanging above Jupiter’s limb, as seen by the New Horizons probe in 2007, on its way to Pluto. When will we return there and answer one of the most important questions ever asked: Is there life beyond Earth? Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Here’s [...]

Will Curiosity Find New Clues to Ancient Martian Habitability, or Perhaps Even Life, at Hematite Ridge?

Hematite Ridge, as seen from near Curiosity’s landing site, a few kilometres away.Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / annotated by A. Fraeman

As the Curiosity rover gets ever closer to its major destination of Mount Sharp, there is an interesting feature there which has become a priority target, one which may help scientists to further [...]

Kepler Recovery Efforts Conclude, Other Missions Mulled

Image Credit: NASA

After several months’ worth of review and testing, the team operating the Kepler Space Telescope has opted to close its efforts to make Kepler fully operational again. This follows the loss of one of the crucial components that controls the alien planet-hunting spacecraft. In an Aug. 15 teleconference, Charles Sobeck, deputy [...]

Can Kepler Be Saved? Engineering Team to Attempt Recovery of Ailing Space Telescope

Artist’s illustration of Kepler in orbit. Image Credit: NASA / Kepler mission / Wendy Stenzel

The Kepler space telescope has been nothing short of incredible, revolutionizing our understanding of exoplanets and showing just how common and diverse they really are (as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction). Recently, however, additional mechanical problems [...]

Searching for Life in Europa's Ocean - With a Tiny Submarine

Artist’s conception of DADU exploring ice-covered waters.Image Credit: Jonas Jonsson / Angstrom Space Technology Centre of Uppsala University

For decades, Jupiter’s moon Europa has been the focus of fascination and debate. Why? Because it has a global ocean—a deep, salty ocean similar to those on Earth, except that in Europa’s case it is always covered by a [...]