June 29, 2017

Jupiter surprises in first trove of data from NASA’s Juno mission

May 26, 2017

The first months of observations of the solar system’s biggest planet from NASA’s Juno spacecraft have revealed huge swirling polar cyclones, previously-undetected structures and motions beneath Jupiter’s distinctive clouds, and the first evidence for what lies at the core of the gas giant, scientists said Thursday.

Juno spacecraft makes another pass by Jupiter

May 20, 2017

Making its fifth science pass close to Jupiter’s turbulent cloud tops, NASA’s Juno spacecraft sailed by the solar system’s king planet Friday to collect another treasure trove of data on the giant world’s atmosphere, internal structure, and magnetic field.

InSight lander’s troubled seismometer passes major test

March 28, 2017

A balky interplanetary seismic instrument that ran into technical problems in 2015, forcing a two-year delay in the launch of NASA’s InSight lander to Mars, cleared a major test last week after engineers redesigned part of the sensor package, boosting confidence that the mission will be ready to blast off in May 2018.

Scientists say thinning atmosphere drove the drying and cooling of Mars

March 27, 2017

Data collected by NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft in its first two years at Mars confirm suspicions that the solar wind is blasting away the planet’s atmosphere and helped transform the world from a warmer, wetter and potentially habitable world into the barren landscape seen today, scientists said.

SpaceX nabs GPS launch contract as Air Force opens more missions for bidding

March 18, 2017

The U.S. Air Force this week awarded SpaceX a contract to launch a Global Positioning System satellite in early 2019, concluding the second of as many as 15 competitions the military plans to run over the next year to pit SpaceX against United Launch Alliance for rights to lift defense and intelligence-gathering payloads into orbit.

Orion’s parachutes tested under launch abort conditions

March 9, 2017

A model of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, in development to loft astronaut crews into deep space, was dropped from a U.S. Air Force cargo plane over Arizona on Wednesday in the latest in a series of tests to verify the capsule’s parachutes are up to the job of safely landing with humans on-board.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft to remain in current orbit around Jupiter

February 21, 2017

Concerns about the health of the Juno spacecraft’s main engine have compelled NASA managers to keep the research probe in its current arcing, high-altitude orbit around Jupiter, a decision that will delay the full science return from the $1.1 billion mission but should still allow it to meet all predetermined objectives.

Juno dives over Jupiter’s cloud tops with main engine still offline

February 2, 2017

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a high-speed pass less than 3,000 miles over Jupiter’s turbulent clouds Thursday, taking dozens of pictures, measuring radiation and plasma waves, and peering deep inside the planet’s atmosphere, but officials still have not cleared the orbiter’s main engine for a planned maneuver to position the probe in its intended science orbit.

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