November 20, 2019

NASA, ESA officials seek formal approvals for Mars sample return mission

September 16, 2019

After crystallizing a partnership to retrieve samples from the surface of Mars and return them to Earth, NASA and European Space Agency officials are seeking government funding commitments before the end of this year to carry out a multibillion-dollar robotic mission that could depart Earth with a pair of rocket launches as soon as 2026.

Water plumes on Europa detected by Galileo spacecraft

May 14, 2018

A review of data captured by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft as it orbited Jupiter in the 1990s indicates it likely flew through a plume of water vapor spewing from cracks in the surface of the moon Europa, providing independent evidence water is being released from a vast sub-surface ocean beneath its frozen crust, scientists said Monday.

Planetary protection is serious business at NASA

August 3, 2017

A NASA post advertising an opening for a new Planetary Protection Officer provided a field day for headline writers who apparently couldn’t resist having a bit of fun at the agency’s expense by suggesting, in large type, that whoever filled the post would be defending Earth from aliens. And making good money to boot.

Study suggests Saturn’s moon Dione has underground ocean

October 11, 2016

Scientists crunching data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft believe Saturn’s moon Dione has a liquid ocean buried 60 miles under a thick icy shell, potentially adding to a growing list of ocean worlds in the frigid outer solar system.

One of NASA’s cleanest spacecraft ever is ready to fly

August 23, 2016

Five years after winning $1 billion from NASA to mount the first U.S. asteroid sample return mission, scientists and engineers will get their last look at the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft this week as it is closed up inside the nose cone of an Atlas 5 rocket for launch in September.

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