NASA

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

Mars’ ancient lakes may have supported life

The news and discoveries related to water on Mars just keep flowing! Shortly after NASA's exploration of the red planet recently confirmed that water in liquid form still exists, new data has suggested that there once may have been enough to support life. NASA's Curiosity rover has been studying the Gale crater, discovering evidence that it was once the site of a lake-like body of water, and for a long period as well.

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Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

Astronauts on Mars: NASA details 3-phase plan

NASA details the three phases in reaching Mars with human astronauts, including Earth Reliant, Proving Ground, and Earth Independent. The first of these, Earth Reliant, requires that we make certain we're capable of existing outside of our own atmosphere for long periods of time. This includes astronaut missions aboard the International Space Station. Part of NASA's plan requires that we extend ISS operations until at least the year 2024. NASA also suggests that they'll need to pursue an evolvable SLS via Exploration Upper Stage before advanced solid rocket boosters if they're ever to make a craft that'll bring humans to Mars AND be able to bring them back to Earth.

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Pluto’s sky and ice revealed: blue and red

Pluto’s sky and ice revealed: blue and red

The sky on Pluto is blue, NASA showed the world today, and the ground has water ice. While other sorts of more "volatile" ices appear to mask the water ice found around the planet, some water ice can be seen in photos captured by New Horizons spacecraft earlier this year. Much of this water ice is surrounded by what NASA scientists call "reddish tholin colorants" on the surface of Pluto. Many of these photos are still arriving in the NASA labs for analyzation.

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NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity takes photo of future stomping grounds

NASA’s Curiosity rover is still puttering around the Red Planet, drilling small holes and taking pictures and giving its human operators better insight into humanity’s future home away from home. Over the weekend, the space agency published a composite image of the upper region of Mount Sharp, Curiosity’s future stomping grounds, taken by the rover on September 9. In it we get a look at a beautiful landscape not so different from our own.

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A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

A small, frosty Mars avalanche was caught on camera

Earth isn’t the only place with cold avalanches; Mars, the big Red Planet that is maybe the next stepping stone for the human race, is also home to avalanches, though they’re not quite the same as the ones we’re familiar with. HiRISE recently caught one of those frosty events on camera, which from the perspective it was taken looks merely like a puff of cotton on a cracked, barren red stone landscape.

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NASA shares tips on how to grow space lettuce

NASA shares tips on how to grow space lettuce

Space: the final frontier! Or so the TV show says. But before that becomes a full fledged reality, we humans first need to solve a few puzzles, one of which is how to sustain life on prolonged journeys and expeditions. And part of that means having to grow your own food. Last August, astronauts on the International Space Station tasted the almost literal first fruits of their labors of growing vegetables, particularly lettuce in outer space. Now NASA has released a short clip that reveals some insights on the process.

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NASA gives better look at Ceres’ surface with colorful map

NASA gives better look at Ceres’ surface with colorful map

Ceres, a dwarf planet, has proven quite the mystery for NASA, and it has been working steadily for several months to unravel those mysteries. To help it better understand the composition of the planet's surface, the space agency used several images to create a map of the surface using bright, highly saturated colors. This map, particularly the use of the colors, highlights elements of the surface that otherwise wouldn't be apparent.

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Pluto’s biggest moon is a beautiful, scarred wonder

Pluto’s biggest moon is a beautiful, scarred wonder

NASA has published a new photo giving us a startlingly clear look at Pluto’s biggest moon, Charon. It shows many battle wounds, pocked with impact craters and traced over with deep grooves. Those scars show a history, says NASA, one that is “surprisingly complex and violent.” Images were taken by the space agency’s New Horizons spacecraft, and they were then combined together and the color was enhanced. The final result is a high resolution photo full of distinct features.

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NASA investigates five science missions for possible flight in 2020

NASA investigates five science missions for possible flight in 2020

NASA has announced that it is currently investigating five different science missions that have been selected as candidates for potential space flight. The space organization plans to take the first steps in choosing one of two of the missions next year for flight opportunities as early as 2020. The proposals under consideration would study Venus, near-Earth objects, and a variety of asteroids.

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Ceres’ lonely moutain: NASA seeks help to solve mystery

Ceres’ lonely moutain: NASA seeks help to solve mystery

NASA has found more than one mystery on the dwarf planet Ceres, including those shiny spots that it has been drawing closer to over the past several months. Joining those shiny spots is a very tall mountain that is likewise shiny, and the space agency is stumped about how it formed. To help speed up the mystery solving process, NASA has decided to turn to the public, giving amateur researchers a shot at finding the answer.

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Adobe details how NASA edits space photos

Adobe details how NASA edits space photos

Those incredible space photos we see from NASA don't look that way fresh off the camera -- they're commonly composite photos composed of multiple images that were taken with different parameters and then heavily edited and adjusted during post-processing. That's not to say they've been altered in such a way that makes them fake, only more appealing to the eye.

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Blood Moon: NASA shares HD photos from CO, WA, NYC

Blood Moon: NASA shares HD photos from CO, WA, NYC

Last night's perigee full moon (supermoon) was seen above the United States along with a total lunar eclipse. A "blood moon" is created when a supermoon happens at the same time as a total lunar eclipse, making the moon's face look as if it's painted in a deep red. The combination of these two events is relatively rare, happening every few decades - the last event occurred in 1982, while the next will happen in 2033. NASA captured a collection of high quality photos from the location of one of their associated photographers Joel Kowsky, Bill Ingalls, and Aubrey Gemignani for you to see today.

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