NASA's SOFIA Observatory Makes First Direct Detection of Water in Sunlit Lunar Soil

Illustration depicting water molecules trapped in lunar soil, along with SOFIA onboard a modified Boeing 747SP jetliner. Image Credit: NASA/Daniel Rutterit

The Moon is generally thought of as a very dry place, with no surface water or even water vapor clouds. Nothing but arid, dusty regolith and rocks. That’s true for the most part, […]

NASA's Upcoming WFIRST Space Telescope Renamed in Honor of Nancy Grace Roman

Artist’s conception of the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (WFIRST). Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s upcoming next-generation space telescope, the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), now has a brand new name: the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (or just the Roman Space Telescope for short). It is named in honor of Nancy Grace Roman, […]

NASA Joins ESA's 'ARIEL' Mission to Study Atmospheres of Hot Exoplanets

Artist’s concept of the ARIEL spacecraft on its way to Lagrange Point 2 (L2). Image Credit: ESA/STFC RAL Space/UCL/Europlanet-Science Office

Thousands of exoplanets have been discovered so far – just over 4,000 now actually – with thousands more expected to be found in the near future. But these worlds are very far away, so […]

James Webb’s Critical Science Component Completes Essential Tests, While Telescope Is “Optically Complete”

NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six of eighteen flight ready James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror segments are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (photo previously published). Photo Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham

Less than 36 months from its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope […]

All Webb Telescope's 18 Primary Gold-Coated Mirrors Now Installed to Unravel Mysteries of the Universe

From NASA: “Inside a massive clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland the James Webb Space Telescope team used a robotic am to install the last of the telescope’s 18 mirrors onto the telescope structure.” NASA/Chris Gunn

Construction of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), a NASA, European Space […]

Data From New Horizons Reveals More Water Ice on Pluto Than Previously Thought

False-color, infrared maps of Pluto from New Horizons, showing regular detection method of water ice on the left and the more sensitive technique on the right. Image Credit: NASA/JHUIAPL/SwRI

New Horizons has shown Pluto to be a diverse world, more so than many scientists had anticipated, with tall mountain ranges, vast glaciers, a […]

Mystery Deepens: New Study Shows Comets Don't Explain Odd Dimming of Kepler's 'Weird Star'

The mystery surrounding KIC 8462852 may not involve comets after all, but it is still an enigma for astronomers. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

As has been reported previously on AmericaSpace, and elsewhere, there is something weird going on around a star which is a little over 1,400 light-years away. Astronomers are still baffled as […]

Webb Telescope Component Completes Critical Tests as Mirror Installations Continue

Less than three years from its launch, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), an international collaboration between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), continues to take shape. As 2015 rolled into 2016, engineers working on the JWST have been busy testing one of its essential science components. On […]

Dawn Spacecraft Begins Extensive Study of Dwarf Planet Ceres from Lowest Orbit

Artist’s conception of Dawn orbiting Ceres. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Dawn spacecraft just recently entered its lowest and final orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, providing the closest look ever at the puzzling world. Dawn will, of course, be taking thousands more high-resolution photographs, but what else will it be doing during the […]

Ariane 5 Contracted for Early Morning Webb Telescope Launch from Amazon in October 2018

Arianespace Ariane 5 French Guiana ESA Ariane 5 rocket GSAT 1 image credit Arianespace posted on AmericaSpace

The massive Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket, seen here in action, is now contracted to launch the James Webb Space Telescope from ESA’s launch site in French Guiana. The rocket and its multi-billion dollar space observatory, if launched on the current schedule, will fly into early morning skies from the edge of the Amazon […]