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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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 [...]

Three new exoplanets discovered in star cluster

Artist’s conception of one of the newly-found planets in the Messier 67 star cluster. Image Credit: ESO

Three more exoplanets have just been found, adding to a long and rapidly growing list, but their location makes them a bit more unique – they orbit three different stars in a star cluster rather than other isolated stars [...]

Ghost of Comet ISON Fading Fast

The leftovers of comet ISON are fading from view very quickly as the debris races away from the Sun. Photo Credit: NASA / ESA / SOHO

Comet ISON—or whatever is left of it—is fading fast, and the latest images from the NASA/ESA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) LASCO-C3 camera may be showing [...]