NASA

Curiosity rover can now choose some targets autonomously

Curiosity rover can now choose some targets autonomously

Now that the Curiosity rover has been cruising around on the surface of Mars for a long time, NASA is giving the machine the ability to choose some of its own targets for more study. Curiosity is now able to select rocks to target its laser spectrometer on autonomously. NASA says that this is the first time that an instrument of this kind has been autonomously operated on any robotic planetary mission.

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NASA’s new R&D institute focuses on long-term astronaut health

NASA’s new R&D institute focuses on long-term astronaut health

Spending a lot of time in space can have severe health ramifications for astronauts; those on the International Space Station must be careful to adhere to a strict exercise regimen, for example, and NASA has been using them as part of its wider research on the health effects of space. To further its work in this area, NASA has teamed up with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to launch a new R&D institute focused on astronaut health.

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NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA atmosphere study: two exoplanets could possibly support life

NASA says a pair of exoplanets may have habitable atmospheres based on an atmospheric study researchers recently performed. The scientists focused on exoplanets similar in size to Earth that are described as being ‘temperate.’ The study was done using the Hubble Space Telescope, and found that the exoplanets TRAPPIST-1c and TRAPPIST-1b have atmospheres that could possibly support life.

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NASA study shows global surface temps are setting records in 2016

NASA study shows global surface temps are setting records in 2016

NASA is continuing to conducting its studies on two key indicators of surface temperatures around the globe. Those two key indicators are global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent. According to NASA during the first half of 2016, each of the six months set a record as the warmest respective month globally. Those records are compared to when the modern global temperature recording began in 1880.

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NASA spots two potentially life-supporting alien planets

NASA spots two potentially life-supporting alien planets

Two freshly-identified planets could feasibly support life, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab has concluded, the latest crop of Earth-like possibilities spotted by the Kepler Space Telescope. Though 181 light years away from our own Earth, the two new discoveries are half of a quartet of "promising" planets that could be rocky, among other life-sustaining criteria.

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NASA imagines landing on Pluto’s surface in new video

NASA imagines landing on Pluto’s surface in new video

This month celebrates the one year anniversary of New Horizons' visit to Pluto, everyone's favorite dwarf planet. Launched back in 2006, New Horizons was our first opportunity to get up close and personal with Pluto, and even though the flyby was a brief one, the pictures and measurements New Horizons was able to capture are awe-inspiring. To celebrate the one year anniversary of the flyby, NASA is imagining what it would be like to land on the surface of Pluto with a new video that strings together more than 100 images from the New Horizons mission.

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NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA shows off its next Mars rover, plans 2020 launch

NASA’s Curiosity rover is rolling around Mars, and has provided researchers with all kinds of data on the Red Planet, not to mention the cache of photos. While Curiosity is busy doing its thing, NASA is already working on its next Mars-destined rover, and it recently showed off a detailed render of the contraption. According to the space agency, the rover’s design has passed “a major development milestone” and will soon be getting its finalized design.

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Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

Watch the sun spin in NASA’s crazy spacecraft maneuver

NASA told its Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to do a barrel roll, and it listened. The result is an incredible collection of photos that, when assembled together into an animation, appear to show our sun spinning in space at crazy-fast speeds. Though the spin is shown at a rapid clip, the SDO’s actual rotation took place over the course of seven hours, with one photo being captured every 12 seconds during that time.

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Juno’s first image of Jupiter shows the red spot and moons

Juno’s first image of Jupiter shows the red spot and moons

Juno arrived in orbit around Jupiter on July 4 and a few days later the spacecraft was snapping images of the planet and its moons. The very first image that the spacecraft took after going into orbit has been shared by NASA and it's an image showing roughly half of Jupiter and a trio of the planet's moons. In the image along with Jupiter are Io, Europa, and Ganymede.

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Curiosity rover resumes full functionality after going into safe mode

Curiosity rover resumes full functionality after going into safe mode

Earlier this month, NASA's Curiosity rover, which is currently prowling the surface of our neighbor Mars, went into safe mode for an unknown reason. Though NASA scientists weren't exactly sure why Curiosity went into safe mode, it has been announced that the rover resumed full functionality as of July 9. Since then, scientists have been working to find the reason for the mishap, and now they're saying they have a good idea of what happened.

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Ceres may hold ice deposits in permanently shadowed regions

Ceres may hold ice deposits in permanently shadowed regions

The search for water in our solar system is one that hasn't turned up too many results, but scientists may have a lead on water in a rather unlikely place. According to new research, the dwarf planet Ceres has spots on its surface that are permanently dark, and could therefore remain cold enough to trap water ice and keep it at stable temperatures.

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NASA spies Florida’s crazy algae bloom from space

NASA spies Florida’s crazy algae bloom from space

Florida’s having serious issues with algae blooms this year, and NASA has managed to take a stunning photo of the problem from space. In recent days, NASA released a high-resolution photo of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee and the algae bloom that covers more than 30 square miles of it. The photo was taken on July 2 by the Landsat 8 satellite, the same satellite responsible for much of the satellite imagery found in Google’s latest Maps refresh.

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