New Images and Animation Released of Future Asteroid Mission

NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. Image Credit: NASA

NASA’s Asteroid Initiative is a potential flagship mission, which could begin as early as 2015, to capture and investigate a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) and explore it with both unmanned and crewed spacecraft. On Thursday, Aug. 22, the agency released concept artwork […]

NASA's WISE Finds Mysterious Centaurs May Be Comets

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The true identity of centaurs, the small celestial bodies orbiting the Sun between Jupiter and Neptune, is one of the enduring mysteries of astrophysics. Are they asteroids or comets? A new study of observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) finds most centaurs are comets.

[…]

Comet ISON Fizzes Like a Soda Pop

Photo Credit: NASA / SST

Coming soon to a region of space near you: comet ISON, which is expected to put on a spectacular show toward the end of the year. Currently, ISON is about 258 million miles from the Sun, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Its tail already stretches out […]

New Era in Space Exploration? Planetary Resources Crowdfunded Arkyd Space Telescope Reaches Goal

Image Credit: Planetary Resources

After a month-long campaign, Planetary Resources, Inc., a company with its eye on mining asteroids, reached its goal on Sunday, June 30 of raising $1.5 million through crowdfunding. The money, pledged by 17,600 supporters through the Kickstarter website, will go toward launching the world’s first public-use space telescope—Arkyd. Due […]

NASA Announces Asteroid Grand Challenge

Image Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON — NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.

[…]

First Radar Glance Reveals that Asteroid 1998 QE2 has a Moon

That’s no moon. … Oh, yes it is! Image Credit: NASA/JPL

The asteroid 1998 QE2, which is making its pass this week, apparently has a moon, as shown in the video below.

[…]

New Members of Asteroid Families Discovered by WISE

An asteroid “family” is comprised of fragments of a parent body that was broken up during a collision. Image Credit: NASA / JPL / Caltech

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) has found new members of asteroid families. This was accomplished by reviewing millions of images collected during the asteroid-hunting part of the […]

Comet ISON Meteor Shower

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/_eSYxvUWwVk[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of NASA

Anticipation is building as Comet ISON plunges into the inner solar system for a close encounter with the sun in November 2013. Blasted at point-blank range by solar radiation, the sungrazer will likely become one of the finest comets in many years.

[…]

How to Target an Asteroid

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact’s impactor spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD

Like many of his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space […]

The Long and Storied Path to Human Asteroid Exploration

This June 1978 artist’s concept shows a space solar power system surrounded by an active asteroid retrieval mission. A NASA-sponsored study on space manufacturing held at Ames Research Center provided much of the technical basis for the painting.Image Credit: NASA/Denise Watt

Within NASA’s new FY2014 budget proposal lies a project known as the […]