NASA Begins Testing of InSight Mars Lander for Launch in 2016

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Testing of the solar arrays on the InSight lander at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

While Curiosity and Opportunity are still busy roving Mars, NASA has begun testing its next lander, InSight, scheduled to launch in March 2016. It will be the first mission devoted to studying the interior of […]

To Europa! NASA Announces Science Instruments for New Mission to Ocean Moon

The cracked icy surface of Europa. Could the ocean below support life? The Europa Clipper mission will try to answer that question. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

An exciting new development in planetary exploration was announced today: NASA has chosen the science instruments which will be included in a new mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. […]

'Ocean Worlds Exploration Program': New Budget Proposal Calls for Missions to Europa, Enceladus and Titan

Artist’s conception of Europa’s interior, with water rising through cracks in the surface, depositing salts similar to sea salt on Earth. The ocean below may be a habitable environment for some kind of life. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The exploration of the outer Solar System has revealed a plethora of amazing worlds, the likes of which […]

Curiosity Sees Blue Sunset on Red Planet

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover recorded this view of the sun setting at the close of the mission’s 956th Martian day, or sol (April 15, 2015), from the rover’s location in Gale Crater. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M Univ. See dramatic blue Martian sunset animation and matching daylight view below!

After nearly three years of laboring on […]

Dark Material in Fractures on Europa's Surface Is Sea Salt, New Research Suggests

The darker-colored material within the fractures and elsewhere on Europa’s surface might be sea salt brought up from the ocean below. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Ted Stryk

For over a decade, scientists have been curious about the long fractures on Europa’s icy surface and the darker-colored material they contain, as well as other relatively young geological […]

Highest-Resolution Views Yet Reveal Ceres' Mysterious Bright Spots, Seemingly Comprised of Multiple ‘Icy Spots’

This image of Ceres was taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft on May 4, 2015, from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers), in its RC3 mapping orbit. The brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to be composed of many smaller spots. The image resolution is 0.8 mile (1.3 kilometers) […]

Enceladus' Water Geysers May Be 'Curtain Eruptions' According to New Study

The water vapor jets on Enceladus are now thought to mostly be more like diffuse “curtains” rather than separate plumes. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/PSI

The water vapor geysers on Saturn’s moon Enceladus are one of the most fascinating phenomena in the Solar System; the jets spray far out into space in a dazzling display unseen […]

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Volcanic Activity On a Super-Earth Exoplanet

Artist’s conception of super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, before and after volcanic activity on its day side. The surface may be partially molten. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Discovering new exoplanets has become rather routine in the last few years, but determining just what conditions exist on any of them is naturally more difficult, since […]

NASA Actively Working to ‘Save Opportunity and LRO’ From Budget Cutters' Axe

Opportunity at Spirit of Saint Louis crater scanning into Marathon Valley and Endeavour crater from current location on Mars in April 2015 in this photo mosaic. The crater, featuring an odd mound of rocks, is the gateway to Marathon Valley and exposures of water altered clay minerals. This pancam camera photo mosaic was assembled […]

Discovery of Salty Aquifer Beneath Antarctica May Have Implications for Life on Mars

The SkyTEM sensor suspended beneath a helicopter over Blood Falls and the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica. Photo Credit: L. Jansan

Scientists have discovered a vast network of salty aquifers beneath the surface of Antarctica, thanks to an airborne imaging system used there for the first time. The finding may have interesting implications for the […]