AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch GPS IIF-7 on a Atlas V 401 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
2 Aug 14 3:23:00 GMT
1 Aug 14 23:23:00 EDT

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The Continuing Saga of Planet X: Could More Massive Planets Hide Beyond Pluto?

An artist’s impression of Eris, the most massive dwarf planet known to date, with an aphelion of 97 AU from the Sun. Could bigger Super-Earth-type planets be orbiting even farther out? Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada and Nick Risinger

 

Just like the proverbial cat with nine lives, the notion of an unseen planet orbiting [...]

New Dwarf Planet Candidate Discovered at Solar System's Edge: Could a Hidden Planet Be Orbiting Farther Out?

The discovery images of 2012 VP113. Three images of the night sky, each taken about two hours apart, were combined into one. The first image was artificially colored red, the second green, and the third blue. 2012 VP113 moved between each image as seen by the red, green, and blue dots. The background stars [...]

Knocking On Hades' Door: T-Minus One Year Before NASA's 'New Horizons' Begins Encounter With Pluto

A Hubble Space Telescope image of Pluto and some of its moons. The New Horizons mission is just a year away from providing us with photographs that will greatly surpass the best images of Pluto that Hubble could ever capture. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Weaver (JHU/APL), A. Stern (SwRI), and the HST Pluto [...]

New Horizons Message Initiative Hopes to Send Self-Portrait of Humanity to the Stars

Image Credit: New Horizons Message Initiative (www.newhorizonsmessage.com)

To date, all four of the spacecraft NASA has blasted into the unknown depths of the outer Solar System have carried some kind of message from Earth to the stars. Pioneers 10 and 11, as well as Voyager 1 and 2, all carry an interstellar message from [...]

Pluto's Unnamed Moons Given Names by IAU

Two newly discovered moons orbiting Pluto have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union. Image Credit: NASA / STSci

Two of Pluto’s small moons, previously known just as P4 and P5, have been given official names by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Pluto is the god of the underworld in classical mythology, [...]

Undiscovered Country: Of New Horizons and the Kuiper Belt

Neptune’s largest moon, Triton, seen here in an image from the Voyager 2 flyby, is thought to be a captured Kuiper Belt Object. Photo Credit: NASA.

Starting at about the orbit of Neptune and stretching out to roughly 50 astronomical units (1 AU = Earth-Sun distance), or 7.5 billion kilometers from the Sun, is [...]

LADEE Arrives at Wallops for Moon Mission

The NASA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) arrives at NASA Wallops to begin final processing for its trip to the moon later this year. Photo Credit: NASA

The NASA Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) arrived today at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility to begin final processing for its trip to the [...]

LADEE Set to Investigate Lunar Atmosphere and Test High-Speed Data Link

Artist’s impression of the LADEE spacecraft in lunar orbit. Image Credit: NASA / Ames

The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is due for launch in September 2013 from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. LADEE will study the composition and structure of the tenuous lunar atmosphere, including dust that may be lofted up from [...]

What Will We Find At Pluto?

NASA’s first mission to the dwarf planet Pluto is two years away from its destination. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Buie Southwest Research Institute

Something odd happened a few months after NASA’s deep space probe New Horizons was launched Jan. 19, 2006—its target got demoted from a planet to a “dwarf planet.” In [...]

NASA's Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit for Fomalhaut B

This false-color composite image, taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the orbital motion of the planet Fomalhaut b. Based on these observations, astronomers calculated that the planet is in a 2,000-year-long, highly elliptical orbit. The planet will appear to cross a vast belt of debris around the star roughly 20 years from now. [...]