NASA News

Testing Environment for Future Astronaut Expeditions into Deep Space

May 19, 2015

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VF-5 Testing for Future Astronaut Expeditions into Deep Space

NASA’s Glenn Research Center Vacuum Chamber 5 provides a testing environment for Glenn’s advanced Solar Electric Propulsion technology needed for future astronaut expeditions into deep space, including to Mars. When you need to test hardware designed to operate in the vast reaches of space, you start in a vacuum chamber. NASA’s Glenn Research Center in […]

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Asteroid 1999 FN53 to Flyby Earth on Thursday

May 14, 2015

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Asteroid 1999 FN53

Asteroid 1999 FN53 will safely flyby Earth on May 14 at a distance of no less than 6.3 million miles. An asteroid, designated 1999 FN53, will safely pass more than 26 times the distance of Earth to the moon on May 14. To put it another way, at its closest point, the asteroid will get […]

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TEMPO Space-Based Pollution Monitoring Instrument Passes NASA Review

May 13, 2015

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TEMPO Pollution Monitoring Instrument Passes Critical Review

A new space-based instrument that will monitor major air pollutants across North America on an hourly basis has successfully completed a critical review by NASA. Cambridge, Massachusetts – The Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) instrument passed a major milestone April 10, 2015 by successfully completing a critical NASA confirmation review. It has been confirmed […]

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New Horizons Photographs Pluto’s Faintest Known Moons for the First Time

May 13, 2015

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New Horizons Spots Pluto’s Faintest Known Moons

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has photographed Kerberos and Styx – the smallest and faintest of Pluto’s five known moons. It’s a complete Pluto family photo – or at least a photo of the family members we’ve already met. Following the spacecraft’s detection of Pluto’s giant moon Charon in July 2013, and Pluto’s smaller moons Hydra […]

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The Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array Searches the Entire Sky 24/7

May 12, 2015

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Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array

The Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array has the ability to image the entire sky at radio wavelengths with unmatched speed, helping astronomers to search for objects and phenomena that pulse, flicker, flare, or explode. The new tool, the Owens Valley Long Wavelength Array (OV-LWA), is already producing unprecedented videos of the radio sky. Astronomers hope […]

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Serene Saturn – Cassini Image of Saturn and Mimas

May 11, 2015

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Cassini Views Saturn

Taken by NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft, this image shows Saturn and Mimas using a spectral filter centered at 752 nanometers, in the near-infrared portion of the spectrum. From a distance Saturn seems to exude an aura of serenity and peace. In spite of this appearance, Saturn is an active and dynamic world. Its atmosphere is a […]

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New Images by NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Show Mysterious Bright Spots on Ceres

May 11, 2015

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Ceres Animation Showcases Bright Spots

A new sequence of images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft shows the mysterious bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken on May 3 and 4, 2015 from a distance of 8,400 miles (13,600 kilometers). In this closest-yet view, the brightest spots within a crater in the northern hemisphere are revealed to […]

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NIAC Program Working on Ideas for an Ecosystem on Mars

May 7, 2015

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Planting an Ecosystem on Mars

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program is funding cutting-edge work that is testing the viability of using ecosystem-building pioneer organisms to churn out oxygen by using Martian regolith. Taming the brutal environment of Mars for future human explorers to survive and thrive there may demand a touch of “ecopoiesis” – the creation of an ecosystem […]

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Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Moves Closer to the Lunar Surface

May 5, 2015

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NASA's LRO Close to the Lunar Surface

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is now within 20 kilometers of the lunar South Pole, the closest the spacecraft has ever been to the lunar surface. On Monday, May 4, 2015 flight controllers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland performed two station keeping burns to change LRO’s orbit. The new orbit allows LRO […]

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NASA’s NExSS Coalition to Search for Life on Distant Worlds

April 22, 2015

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NExSS Coalition to Search for Life on Distant Planets

NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or “NExSS”, coalition brings experts from a variety of scientific fields together for an unprecedented initiative dedicated to the search for life on planets outside our solar system. The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science, or “NExSS”, hopes to better understand the various components of an exoplanet, as well as […]

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Cassini Image Shows Surface Features on Rhea

April 21, 2015

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NASA Takes a Closer Look at the Surface Features of Rhea

Taken this past February, this Cassini image shows surface features on Saturn’s moon Rhea. Surface features on Rhea – mostly impact craters in this image – are thrown into sharp relief thanks to long shadows. Viewing this terrain near the day/night terminator makes it easier to appreciate just how violent Rhea’s geological history has been. […]

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NASA Missions are Finding Water in Surprising Places

April 8, 2015

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NASA is Finding Water in Surprising Places

As NASA scientists explore our solar system and search for new worlds, they are finding water in surprising places. Water is but one piece of our search for habitable planets and life beyond Earth, yet it links many seemingly unrelated worlds in surprising ways. “NASA science activities have provided a wave of amazing findings related […]

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Black Hole ‘Wind’ Influences Evolution of Its Host Galaxy

March 26, 2015

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Astronomers Link Black-Hole Wind to a Galactic Gush of Star-Forming Gas

A newly published study is the first to directly connect a galaxy’s actively ‘feeding’ black hole to features found at much larger physical scales, revealing that it’s responsible for blowing star-forming gas out of the galaxy’s central regions. By combining observations from the Japan-led Suzaku X-ray satellite and the European Space Agency’s infrared Herschel Space […]

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NASA Announces Progress on Asteroid Redirect Mission & Future Expeditions to Deep Space

March 26, 2015

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NASA Announces Next Steps on Journey to Mars and Progress on Asteroid Initiative

In a new press release, NASA details its Asteroid Redirect Mission and reveals that it has increased the detection of near-Earth asteroids by 65 percent since launching its asteroid initiative three years ago. For ARM, a robotic spacecraft will capture a boulder from the surface of a near-Earth asteroid and move it into a stable […]

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Curiosity Finds Evidence of Nitrates on Mars

March 24, 2015

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Curiosity Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered evidence of nitrates in scooped samples of windblown sand and dust at the “Rocknest” site, providing further evidence that the ingredients needed for life were present on Mars billions of years ago. Nitrogen is essential for all known forms of life, since it is used in the building blocks of […]

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Terra Satellite Sees Shadows of Solar Eclipse in the Arctic Ocean

March 23, 2015

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Terra Satellite Views Shadows of Solar Eclipse

NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the clouds in the Arctic Ocean during last week’s total solar eclipse. During the morning of March 20, 2015, a total solar eclipse was visible from parts of Europe, and a partial solar eclipse from northern Africa and northern Asia. NASA’s Terra satellite passed over the Arctic Ocean […]

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NASA Begins Testing Electric Propulsion Technologies

March 17, 2015

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LEAPTech to Demonstrate Electric Propulsion Technologies

Over the next several months, NASA researchers will perform ground testing on the electric propulsion technologies from the Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology project. The arrival of a unique experimental demonstrator at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center on February 26 may herald a future in which many aircraft are powered by electric motors. The Leading […]

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