All Systems Go for OSIRIS-REx Departure from Asteroid Bennu and Historic Sample Return to Earth

Artist’s illustration of OSIRIS-REx leaving the asteroid Bennu on May 10, 2021. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has been a huge success. The spacecraft has been studying the asteroid Bennu in great detail, and last October, it collected samples of rock, sand and […]

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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Curiosity Marks 3rd Anniversary on Mars With Amazing Science Discoveries

Self-portrait of the Curiosity over in Gale crater on Mars. Part of Mount Sharp is in the background. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s Curiosity rover has just reached its third anniversary milestone on Mars, after landing in Gale crater on Aug. 5, 2012, and since then has made some incredible science discoveries, with more […]

Building Blocks of DNA Can Potentially Be Created in Space, According to New Study

An artist’s impression of the material that has been ejected from the Supernova 1987A in the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud. The violent deaths of stars during supernova exoplosions, expel most of the stellar material into interstellar space, reseeding it with large amounts of dust as well as complex organic compounds which form the […]

Astronomers Detect Complex Organics Around Nearby Young Star; Produce Them in Simulated Conditions in the Lab

Artist’s impression of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the young star MWC 480. Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, or ALMA, have detected the complex organic molecule methyl cyanide in the outer reaches of the star’s protoplanetary disk, where comets are believed to form. This discovery suggests that complex organic chemistry and potentially […]

Rosetta Captures Spectacular Comet Jets Blasting Away Ahead of Valentine’s Day Encounter

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko belching gas and dust This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 28.7 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 3 February and released on 9 February 2015. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames measure 2.5 km across. The mosaic measures […]

Rosetta Reveals Cracked Comet Covered With Dust and Spewing Pits

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko regional maps The 19 regions identified on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are separated by distinct geomorphological boundaries. Following the ancient Egyptian theme of the Rosetta mission, they are named for Egyptian deities. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Scientists leading Europe’s Rosetta orbiter mission have discovered a wondrous array of rugged surface terrain, […]

Rosetta Team Focusing on Upcoming Comet and Lander Science, Planning Ultra Close Flyby

From the location where it came to rest after bounces, the Philae lander of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission captured this view of a cliff on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The feature is called “Perihelion Cliff.” The image is from the lander’s CIVA camera. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

The team guiding Europe’s history-making […]

NASA Curiosity Rover Discovers Methane and Organics on Mars

This image illustrates possible ways methane might be added to Mars’ atmosphere (sources) and removed from the atmosphere (sinks). NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has detected fluctuations in methane concentration in the atmosphere, implying both types of activity occur on modern Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SAM-GSFC/Univ. of Michigan

NASA’s Curiosity rover has made a double dose […]