Visiting Saturn: 40 Years Since Pioneer 11's Mission to Giant Ringed Planet

Pioneer 11 became the first robotic visitor to Saturn, passing the ringed world in September 1979. Photo Credit: NASA

Spectacular Saturn—the Solar System’s second-largest planet—has been known to humanity for millennia, although only in the last few centuries since the invention of the telescope has its nature and its glorious system of rings entered […]

Back to Europa! NASA Confirms Next Phase of Mission to Ocean Moon

Artist’s concept of Europa Clipper during a flyby of Europa. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s next mission back to Jupiter’s moon Europa just took another big step towards reality. The next phase of Europa Clipper has been confirmed, giving the go-ahead for the mission to proceed to final design, construction and testing.

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Titan Quadcopter or Comet Sample-Return? NASA Announces Competition Finalists For 2020s Mission

Dragonfly is a drone-like dual-quadcopter which could land on Titan and then fly to various locations up to hundreds of miles apart. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben

Wednesday was an exciting day for space exploration enthusiasts, as NASA announced the two finalist missions selected as part of its New Frontiers Program – […]

Cassini Prepares For One Last Look at Titan Before Spectacular End of Mission

Two views of Titan from Cassini, using the narrow-angle camera on March 21, 2017, revealing bright methane clouds in the thick, opaque nitrogen atmosphere, and dark dunes, lakes and seas on the surface. Natural color on left, false color on right. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

There are now less than five orbits […]

'Strange Life' on Titan? New Organic Molecule Discovery Could Mean It's Possible

Titan, as seen in radar images from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, is a complex world with methane/ethane rain, rivers, lakes and seas. Could it support life of some kind? Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Saturn’s largest moon Titan is a bizarre place with a thick and hazy nitrogen atmosphere, vast hydrocarbon dunes and methane/ethane rain, rivers, […]

Grand Final Part 4: Cassini Completes Eighth Ring Crossing, and a 'Tour of Saturn's Moons'

A haunting raw image view of Saturn and its rings taken on June 7, 2017 by Cassini. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

As Cassini’s “Grand Finale” journey continues, the spacecraft has completed its eighth dive past the innermost rings of Saturn (known as a ring crossing), and there are now just under 100 […]

Grand Finale Part 3: Cassini Completes Third Ring Dive, Sees Bright Clouds on Titan

Two versions of the image of Titan’s clouds, taken on May 7, 2017. The first is with stronger enhancement, and the second is with softer enhancement. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

NASA’s Cassini probe has now survived its third dive into Saturn’s rings, specifically the gap between the innermost rings and the planet itself. This […]

Grand Finale Part 2: Cassini Completes Second Epic Dive into Saturn's Rings

Illustration of Cassini crossing the ring plane between Saturn and its innermost rings .Cassini has now completed its second dive into the rings of Saturn, with 20 left to go during the Grand Finale. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Cassini’s “dance” with Saturn’s rings continues – the probe has now completed its second dive into […]

Cassini Sends Back Spectacular New Images From First-Ever Dive Between Saturn and its Rings

Three of the new raw images taken during Cassini’s first dive between Saturn and its innermost rings. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

After waiting with bated breath last night, everyone following Cassini’s first-ever dive through the gap between Saturn and its rings let out a collective sigh of relief – the spacecraft made […]

Cassini Completes Last Flyby of Titan and First Dive Between Saturn and Rings in 'Grand Finale'

Raw image from Cassini’s last-ever flyby of Titan, taken on April 21, 2017. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has now officially entered the last phase of its mission – the “Grand Finale,” with the last-ever close flyby of Titan and the first of 22 final orbits which will take the […]