August 21, 2017

NASA counts down final month of Cassini’s tour of Saturn

August 15, 2017

NASA’s Cassini orbiter sailed through the tenuous outermost reaches of Saturn’s atmosphere without trouble Monday, performing the first of five close swings nearer to the planet than any previous spacecraft before a final dive Sept. 15 to end the probe’s nearly 20-year mission.

New Horizons’ next target might be a binary pair

August 8, 2017

Ground observations of the New Horizons spacecraft’s next target last month revealed the distant object, lurking in the outer solar system more than four billion miles from Earth, might have an unconventional elongated shape, or even consist of two icy bodies orbiting one another in an age-old cosmic dance.

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.

Opportunity rover peers into ‘Perseverance Valley’

July 21, 2017

NASA’s Opportunity rover, now showing nearly 28 miles on its odometer since landing on Mars, recorded a panoramic view last month of its next scientific destination, a valley that may have been carved by water, an icy or muddy debris flow, or ancient Martian winds.

First images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot reach Earth

July 12, 2017

Two days after NASA’s Juno spacecraft streaked over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, pictures of the solar system’s largest, most powerful storm, have been transmitted to Earth, giving eager scientist close-up views of the 10,000-mile-wide anticyclone where 400-mph winds have been howling for at least 187 years and possibly much longer.

NASA marks 20 years of continuous Mars exploration

July 4, 2017

NASA’s Mars Pathfinder probe dropped to the surface of Mars for an airbag-cushioned landing 20 years ago Tuesday, bouncing 15 times across an ancient flood plain before deploying a mobile robot to usher in two decades of uninterrupted Martian exploration.

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