OSIRIS-REx's 'Cup Runneth Over' with Overflowing Asteroid Samples

Series of three images showing that the sample collector head on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is full of rocks and dust collected from the surface of the asteroid Bennu. They also reveal that some particles are escaping into space since the sampler’s mylar flap lid (the black bulge on the left inside the ring) is […]

Success! NASA's OSIRIS-REx 'Touches' Asteroid Bennu, Gathers Samples for Return to Earth in 2023

Artist’s illustration of OSIRIS-REx collecting a sample from Bennu on Oct. 20, 2020. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

History was made yesterday as NASA’s OSIRIS-REx became the first U.S. spacecraft to successfully retrieve a sample of rock and dust from an asteroid, which will be later returned to Earth.

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OSIRIS-Rex Prepares to Land on Asteroid Bennu October 20

Artist’s illustration of OSIRIS-REx collecting a sample from Bennu on Oct. 20, 2020. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

In less than a couple weeks from now, on Oct. 20, 2020, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx will become the space agency’s first mission to obtain samples from an asteroid – Bennu – that will then be returned to […]

NASA's Psyche Mission to Metal Asteroid Enters Final Design Phase

Artist’s concept of the Psyche spacecraft near the metal asteroid Psyche. This type of asteroid has never been visited by any earthly spacecraft before. Image Credit: SSL/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Psyche mission is preparing to go someplace that no other planetary mission has been to before: a metal asteroid. Now, NASA Headquarters in Washington has […]

OSIRIS-REx Finds Plumes and Other Surprises on Asteroid Bennu

View of a particle plume erupting from the surface of Bennu, as seen by OSIRIS-REx on Jan. 19, 2019. This is the first time that such plumes have ever been observed on an asteroid. Photo Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

Close-up observations of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu have revealed many surprises, NASA announced today […]

New Horizons' Data of Pluto/Charon Show Rarity of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, as seen by New Horizons in 2015. The lack of smaller craters -less than expected – suggests that small objects less than a mile in size are rare in the Kuiper Belt. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker

The Kuiper Belt is a vast region of rocky debris in the outer Solar […]

New Horizons' Historic Flyby of Ultima Thule Reveals 'Entirely New Kind of World'

The first detailed image of Ultima Thule, showing two rounded lobes with a bright “neck” connecting them. It was taken at 5:01 Universal Time on Jan. 1, 2019, just 30 minutes before closest approach from a range of 18,000 miles (28,000 kilometers), with an original scale of 730 feet (140 meters) per pixel. Image […]

NASA's Lucy Mission to the Trojans Is a GO!

Artist’s concept of the Lucy mission at the Trojans near Jupiter. Image Credit: NASA/SwRI

NASA’s proposed mission to a group of primitive and still-unexplored asteroids has been given approval for further development – the Lucy mission will travel to the Trojans, a group of asteroids that share the same orbit as Jupiter. This […]

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft to Search for Trojan Asteroids Near Earth

Artist’s depiction of OSIRIS-REx in orbit around Bennu. Currently, the spacecraft is searching for other Trojan asteroids near Earth. Image Credit: NASA

Asteroids are some of the most ancient objects in the Solar System, relics left over from the time when the planets first started forming and evolving. For this reason, scientists are […]

Lucy and Psyche: NASA Selects Two New Asteroid Missions for Launch in 2020s

Artist’s conception of the two new missions announced: Lucy, flying by the Trojan asteroid Eurybates, and Psyche, the first mission to the metal world 16 Psyche. Image Credit: SwRI/SSL/Peter Rubin

NASA has chosen two new missions to explore the Solar System; it was announced today during a media teleconference. The missions are part […]