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AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch CRS-5 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
6 Jan 15 11:18:00 GMT
6 Jan 15 6:18:00 EST

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Kepler Finds 'Super-Earth' Exoplanet in First Discovery of New Mission

Artist’s conception of super-Earth HIP 116454b. Credit: David A. Aguilar (CfA)

The Kepler space telescope has found its first new exoplanet, a “super-Earth,” of its secondary mission phase. The discovery adds to a current tally of 996 confirmed exoplanets and 4,183 planetary candidates already found by the revolutionary planet-hunting telescope.

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Dawn Spacecraft Takes Its Best-Yet Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres

The best image of dwarf planet Ceres obtained so far by the Dawn spacecraft, from 740,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) away. Images will get much better as the spacecraft approaches Ceres over the next few months. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The Dawn spacecraft continues to make its way closer to a world which still hasn’t […]

Landing Site Selected for First-Ever Attempt to Land on a Comet

Landing site J, marked by the white + sign, on the head of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A landing site has now been chosen for the Rosetta spacecraft’s lander, Philae, on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, it was announced this morning. After several candidate landing sites had been considered, site J has now […]

Astronomers Witness Asteroid Smash-Up Around Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of an asteroid collision around the Sun-like star NGC 2547-ID8. Such impacts around young stars lead to planetary formation later on. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Solar systems, including ours, are thought to begin as massive clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars; over billions of years, planets form from repeated impacts of […]

ISEE-3 Makes Lunar Flyby, Waves 'Goodbye' Days Before Launch Anniversary

From the ISEE-3 Reboot Project: “An artist’s rendering depicts the satellite ISEE-3/ICE during its planned lunar fly-by in August 2014.” This past weekend, ISEE-3 made its flyby and waved “goodbye” to the Earth-Moon system. Image Credit: Mark Maxwell/ISEE-3 Reboot Project

Only a few days after one of its successors approached a comet in deep […]

To Navigate the Seas of the Sun: NASA's Solar Probe Plus Mission to the Nearest Star

Artist’s impression of NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft approaching the Sun. Set to launch in 2018, Solar Probe Plus will orbit our home star a total of 24 times while gradually approaching closer with each concecutive orbit, until it eventually achieves a minimum distance of 8.5 solar radii, or 3.7 million miles from the […]

Propulsion Issues Put Plans for 'Vintage' ISEE-3 Spacecraft on Ice

From the ISEE-3 Reboot Project: “An artist’s rendering depicts the satellite ISEE-3/ICE during its planned lunar fly-by in August 2014.” Image Credit: Mark Maxwell/ISEE-3 Reboot Project

While the spacecraft may have been frozen in time, the excitement over its reawakening was brand new.

But the effort to re-purpose the long-dormant International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) […]

NASA Gives Citizen Scientists 'Keys' to Long-Decommissioned ISEE-3 Spacecraft

This diagram shows the torturous path the ISEE-3 (later ICE) spacecraft made over its 19-year operational life. NASA recently signed an agreement with the ISEE-3 Reboot Project team, who are working on breathing new life into the defunct spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA

On Wednesday, May 21, it was announced that NASA gave a group […]

Searching for Our Birthplace in the Galaxy: Astronomers Discover Potential Solar 'Sibling'

A visible image of the star HD 162826 (at right) in the constellation of Hercules, taken from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS). A new study has identified the star as a being a solar sibling, thought to have been formed inside the same interstellar gas cloud that also gave birth to the Sun. Image […]

Exoplanet Bonanza: Kepler Confirms More than 700 New Worlds

Illustration showing multiple-transiting planetary systems, such as those found by Kepler. Image Credit: NASA

There was more exciting exoplanet news this week from the Kepler mission: the space telescope has confirmed 715 new exoplanets! This brings the current total number of such worlds to 1,766, of which 961 have been found by Kepler. There are […]