Rest In Pieces: MESSENGER Ends Orbital Operations, Impacts Mercury's Surface

The MESSENGER spacecraft, depicted in this artist’s rendering, began studying Mercury in 2011. Today, its mission ended with its impact on the far side of the planet. Image Credit: NASA

Here’s MESSENGER by the numbers: Years since launching: 10+; Years in Mercury’s orbit: Four; Number of orbits: 4,105; Size of its impact crater: Estimated […]

In Their Own Words: Astronauts on 25 Years of Hubble (Part 2)

The Hubble Space Telescope appears to “fly” over Earth as it is photographed during STS-109. Photo Credit: NASA

Today marks 25 years since the launch of the STS-31 mission (Discovery), which lofted the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) into orbit. AmericaSpace continues its tribute to the service life and achievements of HST, which began yesterday […]

Rosetta and Philae Capture First Detailed Magnetic Measurements of a Comet Nucleus

Comet 67P/C-G’s activity! This stunning montage of 18 images from Rosetta’s navcam camera shows off the comet’s activity from many different angles. It covers the time period between 31 January (top left) and 25 March (bottom right), 2015, when the spacecraft was at distances of about 30 to 100 km from the comet. The […]

In Their Own Words: Astronauts on 25 Years of Hubble (Part 1)

IMAX view of the release of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in April 1990. Photo Credit: NASA

While the astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Discovery may not have yet known it, April 24, 1990, was a watershed date not just in spaceflight history, but in human history: STS-31 launched from LC-39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space […]

MESSENGER Mission Nears Its End, Set for Mercury Impact April 30

A global map of Mercury, composed of thousands of individual images from MESSENGER. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

One of the most oft-repeated quotes in the English lexicon is: “There’s no place like home.” One spacecraft’s long journey, begun in 2004, will end as it impacts upon the […]

SpaceX Approaches 50-Percent Complete on NASA Contract as CRS-6 Dragon Prepares for Monday Launch

Landing legs at the base of the SpaceX Falcon-9 CRS-6 booster, which is scheduled to launch to the ISS for NASA (and attempt to land on an offshore barge) on April 13. Photo Credit: SpaceX

More than six years after signing the $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) agreement with NASA to deliver 12 […]

Rosetta Team Completely Rethinking Comet Close Encounter Strategy

This single frame Rosetta navigation camera image was taken from a distance of 77.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 22 March 2015. The image has a resolution of 6.6 m/pixel and measures 6 x 6 km. The image is cropped and processed to bring out the details of the comet’s activity. […]

Buried Glaciers Have Enough Ice to Cover Entire Surface of Mars, According to New Study

Image of dust-covered glaciers on Mars from the High Resolution Stereo Camera on Mars Express. The glaciers are composed of water ice. Image Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin

When the topic of ice on Mars comes up, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the polar ice caps which are prominent even in small […]

Comet Debris Causes Significant Navigation Issues During Rosetta’s Latest Close Flyby

This stunning scene was created from two NAVCAM frames acquired at 19.9 km from the comet centre on 28 March. The scale is about 1.7 m/pixel and the image measures 3.1 x 1.7 km. The image has been adjusted for intensity and contrast, and the vignetting has been fixed. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA […]

Rosetta Makes First Detection of Cometary Molecular Nitrogen, Seeks Signals From Philae Lander

Rosetta has made the first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet. The results provide clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko formed. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; comet: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Rosetta, humankind’s first spacecraft to orbit a comet, has now made the first detection of molecular nitrogen (N2) at […]