AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
27 Oct 14 22:44:00 GMT
27 Oct 14 18:44:00 EDT

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It's Back! 'Mystery Island' in Titan Sea Makes Unexpected Reappearance

Three radar images, taken from April 2007 to August 2014, showing how the “mystery island” in Ligeia Mare has changed in appearance over time. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

The mystery of an unusual feature in one of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the “mystery island,” has taken an interesting turn. After apparently disappearing following its initial [...]

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 [...]

Living On the Edge: The Inviting Waters of Europa (Part 2)

Jupiter’s moon Europa, as seen by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft. A long line of evidence has shown that Europa has an underground ocean of liquid water, which for many scientists constitutes the best place in the Solar System to search for alien life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

“Since ’tis certain that Earth and Jupiter have [...]

Living On the Edge: Life Under the Ice (Part 1)

After drilling through the 800-meter-thick ice sheet that covers subglacial Lake Whillans in western Antarctica, a U.S. research team discovered a thriving microbial ecosystem on the lake floor that hasn’t been reached by sunlight possibly for up to a million years. The image shows the view down the bore hole as the drill melted [...]

Bacteria Discovered in Lake of Oil: Implications for Extraterrestrial Life?

Pitch Lake in Trinidad, where life has been found inside water droplets within the oil deposits. Photo Credit: Martina Jackson/Wikimedia Commons

A recent discovery by scientists may have implications for possible extraterrestrial life: Bacteria have been found thriving in a lake of oil in Trinidad, again showing how life can exist in even the [...]

NASA Seeks Science Instrument Proposals for Future Mission to Europa

The Europa Clipper is a leading contender for a return mission to Jupiter’s ocean moon. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

For many space enthusiasts, a new mission to Jupiter’s ocean moon Europa is high up on their wishlists. Today, NASA announced that they are seeking proposals for science instruments for just such a mission, bringing it one step [...]

Titan's Hidden Ocean Might Be as Salty as the Dead Sea

Illustration of what Titan’s interior is thought to look like, with a rigid ice shell above the salty water ocean below. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Saturn’s moon Titan is known for its methane seas, lakes, and rivers; surprisingly Earth-like in appearance yet distinctly alien at the same time. But there is also evidence for another [...]

Solar System's Largest Moon Ganymede May Have 'Club Sandwich' Oceans

Illustration depicting the “club sandwich” layers of oceans and ice in Ganymede’s interior. Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

Europa and Enceladus, for good reason, have captured the attention and imagination of those searching for evidence of life elsewhere in our Solar System. Both moons are now thought to have subsurface oceans with conditions where [...]

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 [...]

Why NASA's Plans for an Early 2020s Mission to Europa Are Likely to Happen

Europa mission concepts under study by NASA. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

For years scientists and dreamers alike have looked toward Jupiter’s moon Europa with a keen interest, because decades of observations and research of the frozen world (thanks to spacecraft like Galileo and Voyager) have shown us that the Jovian satellite is easily one of [...]