Satellites and space missions

Contact with STEREO-B solar observatory reestablished after 22 months

After 22 months of failed communication attempts, NASA's Deep Space Network has finally reestablished communication with STEREO-B solar observatory. The STEREO Missions Operations team plans further recovery processes to assess observatory health, re-establish...

August 23, 2016

OSIRIS-REx to launch toward Asteroid Bennu and come back with its sample in 2023

In September or early October 2016, NASA will launch its first mission to return a sample of an asteroid to Earth. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft will travel to the near-Earth...

August 17, 2016

World's first quantum communication satellite launched

China has successfully launched the world's first quantum communication satellite - Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS) - from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern Gobi Desert at 17:40 UTC on August 16, 2016 (01:40 local time on August 17)....

August 16, 2016

A flotilla of CubeSats will be launched from the ISS to study Earth's thermosphere

A flotilla of 50 CubeSats, miniaturized satellites weighing an average of 2 kg (4.4 lb) each, will be launched from the ground and the International Space Station in the European-led QB50 mission to explore the little-understood region above Earth known as the...

August 10, 2016

Solar Probe Plus to fly into the Sun's upper atmosphere and touch the star

NASA's Solar Probe Plus mission has moved one step closer to its launch, scheduled for summer 2018, after passing a design review. After the successful review, the mission will transition to final assembly and implementation. It is the first mission into the...

August 09, 2016

Venus weather patterns reveal planet's surface

New research, based on data from ESA's Venus Express satellite, for the first time reveals how the weather patterns on Venus are directly connected to the surface topography of the planet. Results suggest the Venus' thick cloud cover could offer further...

July 30, 2016

Juno’s arrival: Photos of a giant

Juno is on the trip of a lifetime! By now you’ve heard that this spacecraft has successfully reached Jupiter and is currently orbiting the planet. But you haven’t seen pictures of its journey. Until now. The final view taken by the JunoCam instrument on...

July 21, 2016

OneWeb’s 700-satellite constellation is right on schedule

There is nothing better than finding a free open Wi-Fi signal when you’re wandering around the world, especially if you’re using your navigation app or something else that eats up a lot of your phone’s data plan. If that sounds good, imagine this...

July 14, 2016

Juno enters orbit around Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft has successfully entered Jupiter's orbit during a 35-minute engine burn on July 5, 2016 (UTC). The confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 03:53 UTC (Earth-receive time, currently 48 minutes after the actual...

July 05, 2016

Next-generation space weather forecasts, DSCOVR ready to replace ACE on July 27

NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory - DSCOVR - has completed instrument validation after reaching the first sun-Earth Lagrange point (L1), approximately 1.6 million km (1 million miles) from Earth, and is ready to go operational on July 27, 2016, taking over...

June 24, 2016

Juno's arrival is getting closer

On the fourth of July, many Americans will be looking skyward in celebration of their nation’s independence. On the same date, NASA, and astronomers worldwide will also look skyward in celebration of another great achievement – Juno’s arrival to...

June 22, 2016

Electric fields around Venus stripped its atmosphere of water components

Scientists using data obtained by ESA's Venus Express have discovered a strong electric field around the planet Venus. Venus' electric field is at least 5 - 10 times stronger than Earth's and it seems it played a crucial part in removing water components...

June 20, 2016

ISS makes 100 000 orbits around Earth

As it passed Earth's equator at 06:10 UTC on May 16, 2016, the International Space Station (ISS) started its 100 000th orbit around Earth. It took 17 years for ISS to reach this important milestone. During the 100 000 orbits since the first component of the...

May 17, 2016

X-ray observatory captures expanding debris from a stellar explosion

Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and many other telescopes astronomers are observing the debris field from supernova explosion first extensively observed and written about by Danish...

May 15, 2016

Mercury's rich topography revealed for the first time

A team of scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA have produced a first comprehensive, high-resolution topographic map of...

May 13, 2016

Flying through explosive magnetic phenomenon to understand space weather

Analyzing data obtained by four identical spacecraft that passed directly through a magnetic reconnection site on the boundary between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere, researchers have observed how this explosive physical process converts stored...

May 13, 2016

Earth's magnetic field changes mapped in detail

A group of experts utilized the data collected by the ESA's SWARM satellites to show how the magnetic field is pulsating, where it's weakening and strengthening, and how fast these changes occur. For the first time, experts have mapped both the changes...

May 11, 2016