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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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 [...]

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. [...]

Passing the Torch: Twenty-Five Years After Voyager 2, New Horizons Crosses Neptune's Orbit On Its Way to Pluto

Artist’s concept of the New Horizons spacecraft during its planned encounter with Pluto and its moon Charon in 14 July 2015. New Horizons has just completed a major milestone in its mission by crossing the orbit of Neptune on Aug. 25, exactly a quarter-of-a-century after Voyager 2 flew by the ice giant planet in [...]

A Windy World: 25 Years Since Voyager 2's Mission to Neptune (Part 3)

The Great Dark Spot and Bright Companion, together with the chevron-like “Scooter” and D-2, are visible in this Voyager 2 image of Neptune. Photo Credit: NASA

Twenty-five years ago, this week, humanity braced itself for its last, first-time, close-up glimpse of a new planet in the 20th century. NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in [...]

Where's the Kaboom? Astronomers Detect No X-Ray Emission From Recent Supernova Explosion

The supernova SN 2014J, as imaged by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This image contains Chandra data, where low-, medium-, and high-energy X-rays are red, green, and blue respectively. The boxes in the bottom of the image show close-up views of the region around the supernova in data taken prior to the explosion (left), as [...]

Astronomers Observe the Rhythm of Rare Type of Black Hole

Black holes can’t be observed directly, but the heated gasses surrounding them can, as they emit X-rays. Image Credit: NASA/Dana Berry/SkyWorks Digital

Black holes are one of the most unusual and fascinating phenomena in nature, and now astronomers are learning more about a peculiar type of black hole, thanks to archived data from NASA’s Rossi [...]

No Water, Please: The Case of the Surprisingly Dry 'Hot Jupiters'

This is an artistic illustration of the gas giant planet HD 209458b in the constellation Pegasus. The planet was recently studied by astronomers alongside two other similar extrasolar worlds, for their abundance in water. To the surprise of astronomers, they have found much less water vapor in the planets’ atmospheres than standard planet-formation models [...]

Popular Astronaut Mike Massimino Departs NASA for Position at Columbia University

NASA Astronaut Mike Massimino onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia during his first mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope in March 2002. Massimino left the space agency this week and is returning to his Alma mater, Columbia University, for a full-time position. Photo Credit: NASA

This week, after nearly two decades with NASA, one of the [...]

NASA Realigns Red Planet Armada to Reap Science Bonanza During Upcoming Comet Flyby and Protect Priceless Probes

This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the Sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, 2014, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earth’s invasion fleet at Mars is about to [...]

Achievement Unlocked: Testing Complete on James Webb Telescope's Backplane Structure

An artist’s concept of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Image Credit: NASA/ESA

NASA announced on July 8 that it had completed static load testing on the James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) Primary Mirror Backplane Support Structure (PMBSS). The testing was completed by two of the contractors tapped to work on JWST, the Northrop [...]