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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Landing Site Selected for First-Ever Attempt to Land on a Comet

Landing site J, marked by the white + sign, on the head of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A landing site has now been chosen for the Rosetta spacecraft’s lander, Philae, on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, it was announced this morning. After several candidate landing sites had been considered, site J has now [...]

Living On the Edge: The Mysterious Lakes of Titan (Part 4)

Titan’s colorful globe passes in front of Saturn and its rings, in this true color image taken in 2011 from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The moon’s opaque atmosphere hides a fascinating surface that is rich in methane lakes, water ice, and organic compounds. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

“On Titan, the molecules that have [...]

Rosetta Update: Spacecraft Takes 'Selfie' by Comet as Team Determines Landing Site

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “Using the CIVA camera on Rosetta’s Philae lander, the spacecraft have snapped a ‘selfie’ at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

You may have taken a selfie before, but not one quite as cool as this: This week in Rosetta news, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) comet-orbiting spacecraft took [...]

Plate Tectonics May Increase Chances for Life on Europa

Europa, with its subsurface ocean, and now evidence for plate tectonics, is a primary goal of exploration in the search for alien life. Processed image copyright: Ted Stryk. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ted Stryk

Jupiter’s moon Europa is a fascinating little world, but particularly so for one reason: water. It’s deep alien ocean underneath the surface [...]

Alice in Comet-Land: NASA Instrument Aboard Rosetta Returns First Scientific Results

From NASA: “Four-image montage comprising images taken by Rosetta’s navigation camera on 2 September from a distance of 56 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet nucleus is about 4 km across.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

NASA announced that one of its three instruments aboard Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA) spacecraft currently orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, [...]

Rainfall on Titan May Create Propane Aquifers, Study Suggests

Illustration of a cross-section of Titan’s surface and near-subsurface, showing the surface lakes/seas, underground aquifers, clathrate layers, and icy crust. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is a very alien yet eerily Earth-like world, with rain, rivers, lakes, and seas; seen from above, the landscape has a familiar look to it. But [...]

Claude Nicollier, First Swiss Astronaut and Europe's First Shuttle Spacewalker, Turns 70 Today

Despite being Switzerland’s first spacewalker, Claude Nicollier wore a U.S. flag (as opposed to the Swiss flag) on the arm of his space suit during his EVA to service the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in December 1999. Photo Credit: NASA

Claude Nicollier—who became Switzerland’s first and so far only space traveler, the first non-U.S. [...]

Dream Chaser’s SUV-Like Flexibility and Runway Landing Offer Competitive Advantages: One-on-One Interview With SNC VP Mark Sirangelo (Part 5)

Astronaut crew exits commercial Dream Chaser after touchdown at Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) or other commercial runways, on return from ISS mission in this artist’s concept. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Story updated

The winged Dream Chaser’s “SUV-like” flexibility to act as both a crew transporter and “specialized research laboratory,” combined with a global [...]

Global Partnerships Pave Path Forward for Private International Dream Chaser for Multiple Purposes: One-on-One Interview With SNC VP Mark Sirangelo (Part 4)

Global partnerships could one day lead to European or Japanese versions of the Dream Chaser docking at the ISS in this artist’s concept. Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)

By amassing “global partnerships with 21 space agencies,” the private Dream Chaser space plane has a solid foundation and “a path to continue” forward, Mark Sirangelo, [...]

The Next Giant Leap for ESA: Rosetta Team Determining Possible Landing Sites for Philae

From the European Space Agency (ESA): “Artist’s impression of Rosetta’s lander Philae (front view) on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae will be deployed to the comet in November 2014 where it will make in situ observations of the comet surface, including drilling 23cm into the subsurface to extract material for analysis in its [...]