The Philae lander, the first probe to ever touch down on a comet, hasn’t made a peep in 11 days, prompting fears that it has shifted its position, and not for the better. »
Data is streaming in from New Horizons after yesterday’s historic flyby of Pluto — and it’s painting a picture of the dwarf planet that we could have scarcely imagined.
After nine years and over 3.26 billion miles, the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto earlier today. Assuming it survived the encounter, the probe is now drifting away from the dwarf planet as it heads deeper into the Kuiper Belt. »
We all dream of journeying (or living) among the stars. But space is a spectacularly awful place for humans, and we’re not suited for life there at all. And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are all the ways we’ll need to re-engineer the human body, in order to make space our home. »
This past weekend, the Philae Lander awoke from its 211-day hibernation on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The dramatic receipt of signals from the probe triggered renewed activity among mission planners who are now trying to figure out what to do next. Here’s how things could unfold.
While I talked with the legendary roboticist Red Whittaker in his lab at Carnegie Mellon, a half-moon shaped remnant of a Lifesaver was resting on his knee. He nibbled on it as we talked about sending autonomous robots to explore the Moon. That’s when he told me about the Moon caves that could be humanity’s future… »
After months of searching, the European Space Agency says it may have finally caught a glimpse of the missing Philae Lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. »
In less than five weeks, New Horizons will zip past the Pluto-Charon system in a brief but historic encounter. Given the huge interest in Pluto, it’s fair to ask: Why won’t mission planners let the probe hang out a while? »
Cornell University’s Institute for Pale Blue Dots has a new name. Now called the Carl Sagan Institute: Pale Blue Dot and Beyond, the multidisciplinary research institute is dedicated to investigating the life-harboring potential of other planets, and to acquiring a richer understanding of our own. »
NASA has chosen its next batch of proposals under its advanced concepts program, including the use of soft-robotic rovers for exploring gas-giant moons, and autonomous robots capable of crawling, hopping, and rolling around the surface of the Moon. »
If we’re going to venture out into the Solar System and beyond, we’re going to need versatile and reliable spaceships. One possible solution comes in the form of “spacecoaches” — reusable vessels that are self-sufficient and capable of carrying explorers to virtually any destination. Here’s how they’ll work. »
New Horizons is still 70-million miles (113-million km) from Pluto, but the spacecraft starting to see some surface features on the dwarf planet, including a possible ice cap at its pole. »
After four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA’s MESSENGER mission is coming to an end. With its maneuvering propellant depleted, the probe is expect to crash onto Mercury’s surface tomorrow. Here are some of the last pics taken by MESSENGER we’ll ever see.
The unpiloted Russian Progress 59 cargo spacecraft, just launched yesterday, is spinning out of control. Mission controllers are unable to communicate with the craft, and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that it will be able to deliver more than 6,000 pounds of food, fuel, and supplies to the International Space… »
These two blobs may not look like much, but it's a watershed moment for the New Horizons mission. It's the first color photo of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, taken by an approaching spacecraft. Taken on April 9 from a distance of 71-million miles, it's a teaser of things to come. »
Yesterday's failed attempt by SpaceX to land Falcon9 on a sea barge marked another setback in the company's attempt to build a reusable rocket. But a newly released video shows just how close the rocket came to making a successful landing. They're definitely getting closer. »
Today's launch of Falcon9 and Dragon was a rousing success as essential supplies are now making their way to the ISS. As for the Falcon9 rocket, it reportedly "landed" on the droneship, but with considerable force. »
After months of anticipation, NASA scientists have finally produced a detailed color map of Ceres. Our first detailed look at the dwarf planet's pitted surface reveals it is a geologically complex place. »
With only a few weeks to live, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft has been capturing some of the most detailed images we've ever seen of the Solar System's innermost planet. Here's the latest batch of Mercury porn. »
Experiments aboard the International Space Station with common pavement ants have shown just how badly microgravity impairs the insects' ability to search unexplored areas. Remarkably, however, tumbling ants demonstrated an uncanny ability to regain contact with the surface. »