NASA

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

NASA Van Allen probes confirm Earth as giant particle accelerator

The NASA Van Allen twin probes launched last year have revealed that the Earth is a giant particle accelerator. Recently it was reported that particles in the magnetosphere sometimes accelerate across distances of a few hundred meters. But the newer discovery shows the acceleration can occur across hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The data will be helpful to to scientists helping satellite operators and the International Space Station to predict and prepare for the destructive tendencies of the seemingly random fluctuations that can occur in the magnetosphere.

Continue Reading

NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

NASA wants to grow turnips, flowers and more on the moon by 2015

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to exploring our solar system and spending time away from Earth is food and water. A spacecraft taking humans to explore the moon and beyond has to be able to carry the crew, air, fuel, water, and food to serve the entire mission. Finding ways to reduce the amount of one of those items that has to be packed in the ship leaves more space for others.

Continue Reading

Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Hubble spots five water-likely planets

Signs of water on five distant planets have been spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope, with scientists finessing their measurements so as to better differentiate which stand the best likelihood of potentially supporting life. Evidence of water had been initially spotted on several Jupiter-like exoplanets previously, but the team led by the University of Maryland in College Park was able to use infrared wavelength measurements to more specifically calculate the nature of the individual atmospheres.

Continue Reading

Comet ISON likely a ball of dust now says NASA

Comet ISON likely a ball of dust now says NASA

Astronomers ranging from the professional level down to the amateur sky watcher are all disappointed with comet ISON. The comet had the potential to be the brightest in hundreds of years and was called the comet of the century by some. Unfortunately, the comet didn't make it around the sun intact. NASA says that the investigation into exactly what happened to ISON and what remains is ongoing.

Continue Reading

Comet ISON’s fate will be clear Thursday

Comet ISON’s fate will be clear Thursday

We've talked plenty about the comet ISON around here as it makes its trip towards the sun. The comet has the potential to put on one of the best light shows in recent history, assuming it survives its brush with the sun. The sun has already been doing a number on ISON, shrinking it smaller size as it gets closer to its Thanksgiving Day brush with the sun.

Continue Reading

Moon Express completes successful free flight test with NASA Mighty Eagle lander

Moon Express completes successful free flight test with NASA Mighty Eagle lander

Moon Express is a company that is working with NASA on private space flights to the moon. Moon Express has a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement signed with NASA and part of that agreement means that NASA provides Moon Express with its robotic Mighty Eagle lander for testing purposes. Moon Express has announced the completion of a successful closed loop free flight test with that robotic lander.

Continue Reading

NASA and Planetary Resources pen partnership for crowdsourced asteroid hunting

NASA and Planetary Resources pen partnership for crowdsourced asteroid hunting

This past summer, NASA announced the beginning of its Grand Asteroid Challenge with something it calls Grand Challenges, a push by the Obama Administration to further innovations and increase new discoveries. Today the agency has announced its first partnership under this challenge, with NASA penning an agreement with Planetary Resources in Washington state to crowdsource the detection of asteroids.

Continue Reading

Mars flyby mission aiming for 2017 launch, says Dennis Tito

Mars flyby mission aiming for 2017 launch, says Dennis Tito

Back in February, Dennis Tito revealed his ambitious plan to send a married couple on a flyby mission to Mars, something he has detailed today to members of Congress in a push to get the US government on board (figuratively speaking). Despite the science fiction-esque sound of it all, Tito says that the project can take place within the next couple of years rather than decades, and that he is aiming for December 2017.

Continue Reading