NASA

This stressed asteroid could put a new spin on NASA’s comet blasting plan

This stressed asteroid could put a new spin on NASA’s comet blasting plan

Groundbreaking analysis of a distant, fast-moving comet has revealed new details in how asteroids form, shedding light on the formation of unusual shapes and, potentially, paving the way for more effective protection of the Earth from meteor impacts. The asteroid, Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, is around 2.7 miles across and moving at as much as 84,000 miles per hour, but scientists have long been fascinated by its unusual shape.

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NASA to 3D print sensors, wireless circuit on a single silicon

NASA to 3D print sensors, wireless circuit on a single silicon

3D printing has been a real game changer in the modern world. It has made it possible to fabricate all kinds of objects without being subject to the mercy of large production lines. One can even 3D print food to some extent. Now researchers funded by NASA will apply that technology and manufacturing approach to print sensors and even a partial circuitry for wireless communication on a single board that's no larger than your phone.

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NASA to buy seats on Russian Soyuz through 2020 for ISS trips

NASA to buy seats on Russian Soyuz through 2020 for ISS trips

NASA has been using the Russian Soyuz vehicle for trips to the International Space Station since 2011, but it's working to change that with its commercial crew program. Despite progress, a safety panel published a report last year pointing toward delays in the program, warning that NASA needed a contingency plan in order to avoid disruption to its ISS operations. The solution is Russian's Soyuz spacecraft.

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NASA commercial lunar payload service CLPS starts this year

NASA commercial lunar payload service CLPS starts this year

This year NASA wants to get their Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) started, and it want it to happen as fast as possible. In fact, they want it to happen so fast, "We do not expect that every one of those launches, or every one of those landings, will be successful." That was said by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, who spoke up about the future of lunar delivery on a webcast. "We care about speed. We want to start taking shots on goal."

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NASA space sensor tech could light a rocket under smartphones

NASA space sensor tech could light a rocket under smartphones

Technologist Mahmooda Sultana created the design for a nanomaterial-based detector platform. Because of her work, combined with a next-gen 3D printing program, a new generation in computing may be about to emerge. It all centers on the 2-inch by 3-inch device able to detect minute concentrations of gases, vapor, atmospheric pressure, and temperature.

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NASA’s MacGyver of sensors is a 3D printed nanomaterial marvel

NASA’s MacGyver of sensors is a 3D printed nanomaterial marvel

A potentially groundbreaking nanomaterial sensor could revolutionize how NASA explores planets, dramatically shrinking existing technologies into a far more capable form-factor. After refinement, the 3D printed sensor could find itself equipping future NASA missions to the moon and Mars, monitoring astronauts, and on the robotic arms of robots like the ill-fated Opportunity rover.

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NASA SPHEREx mission aims to investigate the origins and evolution of the universe

NASA SPHEREx mission aims to investigate the origins and evolution of the universe

NASA has announced that it has selected a new space mission with a target launch for 2023. The new mission is called SPHEREx, which stands for Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer. The mission is planned to last two years and is funded at $242 million.

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Opportunity Mars rover’s watch is ended [UPDATE: NASA now live]

Opportunity Mars rover’s watch is ended [UPDATE: NASA now live]

NASA's Opportunity Rover mission's craft has spoken its last, and after 5,352 days on Mars, its watch is ended. NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA science division chief, are expected to hold a conference at 2PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019, to make this announcement official. The day this rover died will be Sol 5352 (Martian solar days in operation), after 15 years and 20 days in service, having started roving on January 25th, 2004.

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Van Allen Probes enter last phase of radiation belt exploration

Van Allen Probes enter last phase of radiation belt exploration

NASA has announced that the twin Van Allen Probes that have been orbiting the Earth for over six years are entering their final phase of exploration. The probes have been exploring the Earth's radiation belts since they launched in 2012. During their mission, the Van Allen Probes have confirmed scientific theories and revealed new structures and processes to scientists.

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NASA MAVEN spacecraft changes orbit to support Mars 2020 rover operations

NASA MAVEN spacecraft changes orbit to support Mars 2020 rover operations

NASA's next big mission will be the launch and landing of the Mars 2020 rover on the surface of the Red Planet. To support that mission, an existing NASA spacecraft is changing its orbit. That spacecraft is MAVEN, Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution. MAVEN is currently on a new mission preparing to get new responsibility as a data relay satellite for the Mars 2020 rover.

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NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera snaps Chang’e 4 pics

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera snaps Chang’e 4 pics

China has been operating its Chang'e 4 mission for a while now and has so far shared much of the data with the world. As the Chang'e 4 and its Yutu-2 rover are at work on the ground, the NASA LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) is working in orbit above the moon. On January 30 the LRO made an orbit over the Von Karman crater, the landing site for the Chinese mission.

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New Horizons final Ultima Thule images reveal true shape

New Horizons final Ultima Thule images reveal true shape

Given the vastness of outer space, it's no surprise we know very little about it. Most of the time, we can only make guesses based on images our terrestrial telescopes and a few orbital satellites have captured of celestial objects few spacecraft have reached. It wasn't until New Horizons made its historic flyby of Pluto that we finally got our up-close look at the demoted planet. Now New Horizons is bidding farewell to another long-distance neighbor, but not before throwing scientists new puzzles to munch on about the odd Ultima Thule.

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