The Limits of Relaxed: Remembering STS-30, Thirty Years On

The Magellan spacecraft departs the payload bay on STS-30. At just 97 hours, this mission was the shortest flight in Atlantis’ entire career and the second-shortest operational mission in shuttle program history. Photo Credit: NASA, via Joachim Becker/SpaceFacts.de

Thirty years ago, this week, shuttle Atlantis sat patiently primed on Pad 39B at the Kennedy […]

Parker Solar Probe Makes Second Fiery Flyby of the Sun

Artist’s conception of the Parker Solar Probe making a close approach to the Sun. Image Credit: Steve Gribben/NASA/JH-APL

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) made its second close approach of the Sun yesterday – the closest that any spacecraft has ever flown past any star.

PSP passed through the outermost layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, […]

Could There Be Microbes Floating in Venus' Clouds? New Research Paper Bolsters Incredible Possibility

Venus as seen in ultraviolet light by NASA’s Pioneer Venus Orbiter spacecraft in 1979. The dark patches in the upper atmosphere have been a mystery for nearly a century. Could they actually contain living microbes? Photo Credit: NASA

When it comes to searching for evidence of life elsewhere in the Solar System, certain […]

What Are Those Weird Dark Streaks on Venus? NASA CubeSat Mission Could Find Out

The unusual dark streaks in Venus’ upper atmosphere, seen only in ultraviolet light. Image Credit: NASA

Even though Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor, it is still one of the most mysterious. Numerous landers and orbiters have visited this extremely hostile world, but there are still many unanswered questions to be resolved. Now, […]

Venus Beckons Part 2: A New NASA Collaborative Mission With Russia?

Artist’s conception of the Venera-D spacecraft in orbit around Venus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Last week, AmericaSpace reported on why NASA should return to Venus, and new technology being developed to help make that happen, especially as in longer-lived landers or rovers. With its extremely hostile conditions, Venus has been much less of a […]

Venus Beckons: Why NASA Should Return and How New Tech Will Help

First color images from the surface of Venus (Soviet Venera missions). Image Credit: NASA National Space Science Data Center/Harvard Micro Observatory/Don P. Mitchell

The Solar System has been a busy place in recent years, with missions to a diverse range of worlds, from Mars, Jupiter and Saturn to distant Pluto and even comets […]

Solar Probe Plus Mission Moves Closer to 'Touching the Sun' in 2024

Artist’s conception of the Solar Probe Plus spacecraft near the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

The Solar System is a busy place, with spacecraft currently visiting most of the planets as well as some dwarf planets and comets. Akatsuki is at Venus, several rovers and orbiters are at Mars, the Juno spacecraft just reached […]

GJ 1132b: Nearest Earth-Sized Exoplanet Discovered So Far May Be a 'Venus Twin'

Artist’s conception of GJ 1132b, an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting a nearby star. Conditions on this world, however, are probably more like Venus than Earth. Image Credit: Dana Berry

Astronomers have discovered another Earth-sized exoplanet that is the closest one to our own Solar System found so far, but it might not be a […]

New NASA Planetary Science Proposals Include Venus and 'Metallic Asteroid' Missions

Artist’s conception of the VERITAS spacecraft in orbit around Venus. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Looking ahead to future planetary missions, NASA has selected five new science investigations for refinement over the next year. Later, one or two of those missions will be chosen to actually be launched, perhaps as early as 2020. The selections […]

Venus, Unmasked: 25 Years Since the Arrival of Magellan at Earth's Evil Twin

Radar image of the northern hemisphere of Venus, taken by the Magellan spacecraft. During its 50 months in orbit around Earth’s evil twin, which began 25 years ago today, Magellan radar-mapped 98 percent of the surface. Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Twenty-five years ago, today, a spacecraft slipped silently into orbit around Venus to begin […]