NASA Green Lights Study for Orbital Mission to Pluto

Pluto and its largest moon Charon (upper left), as seen by New Horizons on July 14, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

When the New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto after a decade-long flight in 2015, the data it returned to Earth revealed more questions than answers about the tiny mysterious world and its five moons […]

Leading Planetary Scientists Discuss Prospect of Missions to Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune: the Solar System’s unique ice giant planets, of which we only got brief glimpses during the Voyager 2 flybys in the 1980s, beckon for further, more detailed exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Last year’s historic close flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft put the outer Solar System firmly back […]

NEXT Establishes New Test Duration for Xenon Engine

NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) has completed 48,000 hours—or 5.5 years—of operation, marking the longest duration of any space propulsion test in history. Photo Credit: NASA/Astronautix.com

NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) has established a new record for the longest test duration of any type of space propulsion system in history, having successfully operated […]

New 'Clipper' Mission Proposed to Study Europa's Ocean

Jupiter’s moon Europa, an ice-covered waterworld. Could life exist there?Photo Credit: NASA / JPL / Ted Stryk.

Jupiter’s moon Europa is often referred to as a “waterworld,” and for good reason: a global ocean almost definitely exists below its outer icy crust, making it a primary focus of interest in the search for […]