January 22, 2017

Future of asteroid deflection mission to be decided soon

January 19, 2017

Decisions on the future of a joint robotic mission between NASA and the European Space Agency to demonstrate the ability to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth have been put off until later this year after European governments declined to fully fund their part of the project in December.

Saturn’s shepherd moon Daphnis makes waves

January 19, 2017

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured the first close-up view of Daphnis, one of at least 62 moons found orbiting Saturn, plowing a path through the planet’s icy rings and raising waves in its wake.

Two asteroid missions get nod from NASA

January 11, 2017

NASA has selected two robotic missions to visit asteroids in the early 2020s from a field of proposed interplanetary probes, approving projects to explore a metallic relic from the early solar system and a half-dozen so-called Trojan objects left over from the formation of the outer planets.

Hunt for water at Ceres goes underground

December 23, 2016

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has continued its survey of the dwarf planet Ceres this year, discovering rock-bound ice hidden just beneath the airless world’s rugged surface and a handful of icy outcrops inside craters in the northern hemisphere, raising hopes that Ceres could have once held a buried habitable ocean of liquid water.

Mars rover’s drill out of action

December 18, 2016

The rock-coring drill fixed to the end of the Curiosity rover’s robot arm has suspended operations to allow engineers on the ground to diagnose, and officials hope correct, a problem traced to the mechanism that pushes the drill bit onto rocks to collect powder samples.

Europe’s new Mars orbiter gives first taste of science data

November 30, 2016

A first look at the red planet from the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, now in its second month at Mars, gave scientists a sample of the three-dimensional imagery and detailed atmospheric measurements expected over the spacecraft’s five-year mission.

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