All Good Things: Countdown Begins Toward Cassini's 'Grand Finale' Around Saturn

Artist's concept of Cassini's final orbits between the Saturn's innermost rings and the planet's cloud tops. This set of orbits will consist the last leg of Cassini's mission, called 'The Grand Finale', which will culminate with a plunge on Saturn's atmosphere on September 2017. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Artist’s concept of Cassini’s final orbits between the Saturn’s innermost rings and the planet’s cloud tops. This set of orbits will consist the last leg of Cassini’s mission, called “The Grand Finale,” which will culminate with a plunge on Saturn’s atmosphere in September 2017. Image Credit: Image Credit: NASA/JPL

It has become something of […]

More Voyages To Jupiter: As Juno Inches Closer To Gas Giant, JUICE Comes Closer To Reality

Artist's impression of the JUICE mission. Image Credit: ESA/AOES

Artist’s impression of the JUICE mission. Image cropped for publication. Image Credit: ESA/AOES

While one NASA/JPL spacecraft is less than a year out from its rendezvous with our Solar System’s largest gas giant, another Jupiter-bound spacecraft is making its way from the drawing board to becoming science reality. On Wednesday, Dec. 9, the European […]

Back to the Ice Giants: Proposed New Mission Would Re-Visit Uranus or Neptune (or Both!)

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right). These two ice giants and their many moons are awaiting further exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right). These two ice giants and their many moons are awaiting further exploration. Image Credit: NASA

The outer Solar System has been a busy place lately, with the ongoing Cassini mission at Saturn and New Horizons’ recent spectacular flyby of Pluto. Literally in-between those two worlds, however, it has been […]

NASA Preparing for Juno's Historic Arrival at Jupiter, One Year Out

Artist's concept of the Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter in 2016. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

Artist’s concept of the Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter in 2016. Image Credit: NASA / JPL

“Jupiter’s welcome to more from his Juno if he can get it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

While NASA and space enthusiasts the world over are waiting for New Horizons’ unprecedented Pluto flyby, the space agency is […]

Just Add Water: Scientists Explain Saturn's Powerful Thunderstorms

A giant storm in Saturn’s northern hemisphere, which now extends around the planet, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Thunderstorms are a powerful force of nature, but the ones we experience on Earth are dwarfed by the ones on the gas giant planet Saturn. They are huge and can be larger […]

Huge Prospects for Science and Humans to Mars: Conversation With Hubble Astronaut/NASA Science Chief John Grunsfeld (Part 2)

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-125 and the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope on May 11, 2009, from Launch Complex-39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL — “A great path” lies ahead for “science and launching humans to Mars,” says astronaut […]

The Year in Space, 2014: New Beginnings, Continuing Discoveries

LIFTOFF! NASA’s Orion spacecraft begins its debut voyage at the dawn of Friday, Dec. 5. Orion’s successful Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) capped an exciting year in spaceflight. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace

As 2014 winds down to its end, this year can be remembered for its new beginnings in spaceflight, encompassing the […]

Untimely Passing of Record-Setting Russian Cosmonaut and Would-Be British Astronaut

Anatoli Berezovoi, pictured aboard Salyut 7 in 1982. His 211-day mission with Valentin Lebedev secured the record for the longest single spaceflight. Photo Credit: Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Two highly regarded cosmonauts—one flown, the other unflown—have added their names to the sad tally of spacefarers and would-be spacefarers who have passed away in 2014. Anatoli Berezovoi, […]

Juno Launched Three Years Ago (Aug. 5, 2011) on Five-Year Journey to Discover Jupiter’s Genesis

Juno three-year anniversary since blastoff on Aug. 5, 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Story updated

It’s three down and two to go for NASA’s Jupiter-bound Juno probe, which marks a major milestone today, Aug. 5, celebrating its launch exactly three years ago—on Aug. 5, 2011—from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on a journey to discover […]

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking—Now the Smallest Ever Seen

In this new image from the Hubble Space Telescope, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is seen at its smallest size ever recorded. Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / A. Simon (Goddard Space Flight Center)

The Great Red Spot on Jupiter is one of the most recognizable features in the Solar System: a massive hurricane-like oval-shaped storm […]