NASA’s Lucy asteroid spacecraft still has a wonky solar array as it flies through space

Three months after launch, a new NASA asteroid spacecraft is still getting settled into its life beyond Earth. NASA’s Lucy mission launched Oct. 16 with a mission to explore the Trojan asteroids, which orbit the sun ahead of and behind Jupiter. No spacecraft has ever visited the Trojan asteroids, which scientists believe are “fossils” from … Read more

NASA’s ‘Nuclear Option’ May Be Crucial for Getting Humans to Mars

The pathway to humans on Mars lies through the atom, split. Far from Earth, whether in the void or on another world, power is life. A steady, strong flow of electricity is as crucial for operating computers and engines as it is for assuring access to corporeal necessities such as light and heat, breathable air … Read more

55 years after Apollo 1 fire, NASA’s lessons live on as Orion aims for the moon

NASA’s last moonbound program for astronauts lifted off under the shadow of a fatal incident on the Apollo 1 spacecraft, 55 years ago today (Jan. 27). Apollo 1 was expected to fly to Earth orbit later in 1967 with astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White on board. During a test on the launch … Read more

NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos

(Image credit: NASA via collectSPACE.com) While Artemis 1 will be uncrewed, it plans to carry several mannequin-type devices to test out how the lunar environment will affect humans.  One example is “Commander Moonikin Campos,” named after Apollo 13 engineer Arturo Campos in a NASA contest. Campos will fly in the commander’s seat and wear an … Read more

NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission finishes countdown test

NASA’s first moonbound mission for the Artemis program is in final testing. The team executed its second launch countdown sequencing test Monday (Jan. 24), with no major issues reported, according to an agency blog post. “The test demonstrated the ground launch software and ground launch sequencer, which checks the health and status of the rocket … Read more

What’s next for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope after its nearly million-mile journey to destination

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has reached its deep-space destination, but it’ll be a while yet before the $10 billion observatory starts its science work. On Monday (Jan. 24), Webb slipped into orbit around the Earth-sun Lagrange Point 2, a gravitationally stable spot in space about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet. The … Read more

NASA’s gamma-ray observatory is in safe mode after a possible wheel failure

A visualization of the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory.  (Image credit: NASA) NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory has temporarily stopped its science observations while the mission team investigates an issue. On Tuesday night (Jan. 18), the observatory, a gamma-ray hunting space telescope originally called the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Explorer, went into safe mode and paused all … Read more

NASA’s InSight Mars lander awakens from ‘safe mode’ after Red Planet dust storm

A NASA spacecraft has safely emerged from a precautionary “safe mode” after an intense Martian dust storm. The solar-powered InSight lander, which is designed to study the interior of Mars, entered safe mode to save power on Jan. 7; it went back to “more normal operations” by Jan. 19, the mission said in a Twitter … Read more

NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission readies for ‘wet dress rehearsal’

The first moonbound rocket and spacecraft of NASA’s Artemis program are expected to do a “wet dress rehearsal” on the launch pad in February, the agency said. Engineers on the mission, expected to launch later this year, put the mission hardware through a series of checks to make sure they’re ready for the milestone, which … Read more

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Drilled Holes Into Mars, And Found Something Very Strange

As it’s the foundation for all life on Earth, discovering carbon on other planets always gets scientists excited – and the Curiosity Rover on Mars has found an unusual mix of the chemical element that could hypothetically point to the existence of alien life.   That’s by no means certain, but it’s a possibility. It’s … Read more