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NASA Invites Public to Submit Names to Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover

NASA Invites Public to Submit Names to Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover

Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled […]

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid’s surface. Bennu also revealed itself to be more rugged than expected, challenging the mission team to alter its flight and sample collection plans, due to the rough […]

SUMMERS: NASA’s Center For Life Detection Is On The Hunt For Life In The Universe

SUMMERS: NASA’s Center For Life Detection Is On The Hunt For Life In The Universe

Michael Summers | Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy . Knowing if something is alive or not is easy. Right? Barking dogs and flying birds are alive. Rocks are not. Turtles and polar bears are alive. Water is not. And so on. The difficulty of knowing what is, and is not, alive comes about when […]

NASA Selects Mission to Study Space Weather from Space Station

NASA Selects Mission to Study Space Weather from Space Station

NASA has selected a new mission that will help scientists understand and, ultimately, forecast the vast space weather system around our planet. Space weather is important  because it can have profound impacts – affecting technology and astronauts in space, disrupting radio communications and, at its most severe, overwhelming power grids. The new experiment will, for […]

We’ve Found 3,989 Planets In Earth’s Neighborhood – And The Number Is Rising

We’ve Found 3,989 Planets In Earth’s Neighborhood – And The Number Is Rising

Michael Summers | Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy   The universe is awash in planets. As of this writing, there are 3,989 exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system) that have been confirmed by astronomers. Several thousand more have been detected, but await confirmation. The online Exoplanet Encyclopedia keeps tabs of exoplanet discoveries, and it must […]

SUMMERS: What Happens Once People Land On Mars?

SUMMERS: What Happens Once People Land On Mars?

Michael Summers | Professor of Planetary Science and Astronomy . NASA robotic missions to Mars have revealed a world with an amazingly complex history, including periods in which it was much warmer, with oceans, volcanoes, and was habitable for many types of simple Earth life. Even now, Mars still has abundant subsurface water and organic […]

Farewell – NASA’s Record-Setting Rover Mission on Mars Comes to an End this Week

Farewell – NASA’s Record-Setting Rover Mission on Mars Comes to an End this Week

One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA’s Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Red Planet. The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in […]

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of Universe

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of Universe

NASA has selected a new space mission that will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy’s planetary systems. The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission is a planned two-year mission funded at $242 million […]

NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018

NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018

 With our Moon to Mars effort underway, a new administrator takes over to lead the charge, and – oh yeah – we stuck another nearly flawless landing on Mars! All that and more as we look back at what happened This Year @ NASA! Credits: NASA Television NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy […]

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Moon Outside Our Solar System

Astronomers Find First Evidence of Possible Moon Outside Our Solar System

Using NASA’s Hubble and Kepler space telescopes, astronomers have uncovered tantalizing evidence of what could be the first discovery of a moon orbiting a planet outside our solar system. This moon candidate, which is 8,000 light-years from Earth in the Cygnus constellation, orbits a gas-giant planet that, in turn, orbits a star called Kepler-1625. Researchers caution that the moon […]

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