AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch GPS IIF-7 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Aug 14 3:23:00 GMT
1 Aug 14 23:23:00 EDT

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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 [...]

Pluto's Unnamed Moons Given Names by IAU

Two newly discovered moons orbiting Pluto have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union. Image Credit: NASA / STSci

Two of Pluto’s small moons, previously known just as P4 and P5, have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Pluto is the god of the underworld in classical mythology, [...]

Undiscovered Country: Of New Horizons and the Kuiper Belt

Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, seen here in an image from the Voyager 2 flyby, is thought to be a captured Kuiper Belt Object. Photo Credit: NASA.

Starting at about the orbit of Neptune and stretching out to roughly 50 astronomical units (1 AU = Earth-Sun distance), or 7.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, is [...]

NASA Announces Asteroid Grand Challenge

Image Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.

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What Will Dawn Find At Ceres?

The Dawn spacecraft has left Vesta and is currently on its way to Ceres, which it should reach in 2015. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft was launched September 27, 2007, on a unique  mission: to explore the two most massive objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres. Propelled by an ion engine, [...]

How to Target an Asteroid

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact’s impactor spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

Like many of his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator [...]

The Long and Storied Path to Human Asteroid Exploration

This June 1978 artist’s concept shows a space solar power system surrounded by an active asteroid retrieval mission. A NASA-sponsored study on space manufacturing held at Ames Research Center provided much of the technical basis for the painting.Image Credit: NASA/Denise Watt

Within NASA’s new FY2014 budget proposal lies a project known as the Asteroid [...]

What Will We Find At Pluto?

NASA’s first mission to the dwarf planet Pluto is two years away from its destination. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Buie Southwest Research Institute

Something odd happened a few months after NASA’s deep space probe New Horizons was launched Jan. 19, 2006—its target got demoted from a planet to a “dwarf planet.” In [...]

Mystery Gullies Discovered on Asteroid Vesta

Gullies in the crater Cornelia on Vesta. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA/MPS / DLR / IDA

The Dawn spacecraft left behind the giant asteroid Vesta last September, and is now en route to the even bigger dwarf planet Ceres, but scientists are still busy studying all of the data that was sent [...]

Dawn Finds Hydrated Minerals on Surface of Vesta

Computer-generated graphic of NASA’s Dawn spacecraft in orbit around the asteroid Vesta. Image Credit: NASA/Caltech

Two weeks after leaving asteroid Vesta behind, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed the presence of hydrated minerals on the surface of the tiny, pockmarked world. Although the space agency has been quick to stress that Dawn did not find [...]