Satellites and space missions

High-resolution geological map of asteroid Vesta published

Images from NASA's Dawn Mission have been used to create a series of high-resolution geological maps of the large asteroid Vesta, revealing the variety of surface features in unprecedented detail. These maps are included with a series of 11 scientific papers publish

November 18, 2014

Philae completes it primary mission before hibernation

Rosetta's lander Philae has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ESA proudly announced today. With its batteries now depleted and without enough sunlight available to recharge, Philae has fallen into

November 15, 2014

New solar monitoring instrument "EXIS" passes final review

EXIS, the new solar monitoring instrument that will fly aboard new NOAA's GOES-S satellite has completed its final review, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center said yesterday.The Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS) Flight Model 2 instrument that will

November 14, 2014

Philae alive, sends first images from a comet 511 million km away from Earth

In a media briefing held at ESOC today, ESA confirmed "Philae" lander is alive and operational after three touchdowns on Comet 67/P, located some 511 million kilometers away from Earth. First analysis of the touchdown data suggests that the lander bounced twic

November 13, 2014

Landing success! Philae makes history with first-ever landing on a comet

ESA Operations have just confirmed - Rosetta's lander named "Philae" successfully landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. The touch down happened about 15:34 UTC, while the confirmation signal, as expected, arrived shortly aft

November 12, 2014

Five years of soil moisture and ocean salinity

The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) has orbited more than one billion kilometers around Earth for the past five years observing Earth's water cycle changes over the years. ESA's Earth Explorer SMOS mission was launched on November 2, 2009 from Plesetsk

November 04, 2014

LRO finds young volcanic deposits on the Moon

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) found scores of young volcanic deposits estimated to be less than 100 million years old and provided researchers with strong evidence the Moon's volcanic activity slowed gradually instead of stopping abruptly a billion

October 14, 2014

Comet 67P has 19 000 km long coma and Rosetta is less than 30 km from its surface

ESA has released a montage of four images of Comet 67P/C-G taken on September 26, from a distance of 26.3 km (16 miles) from the center of the comet, showing spectacular region of activity at the neck of the comet. What we’re seeing is the product of ices

October 04, 2014

Swift observes mega flares from a mini star

On April 23, NASA's Swift satellite detected the strongest, hottest, and longest-lasting sequence of stellar flares ever seen from a nearby red dwarf star. The initial blast from this record-setting series of explosions was as much as 10 000 times more powerful than

September 30, 2014

NASA and partners target megacities' carbon emissions

As world leaders attended the UN Climate Summit 2014, NASA has joined others in an international initiative to monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of Earth's most populous cities.NASA recently launched Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite which can detec

September 30, 2014

Humanity's first attempt to soft-land on a comet scheduled for November 12, 2014

Launched on March 2, 2004, from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, ESA's comet chaser Rosetta is scheduled to deploy it's lander, Philae, to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on November 12, 2014. This will be humanity's fi

September 30, 2014

Turning International Space Station into a giant Earth observer

With the inclusion of six new Earth science instruments NASA wants to take the earth watching capability of ISS to a whole new level. The upgrading process started on September 20th when a SpaceX resupply rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral carrying the first NASA Ea

September 29, 2014

Curiosity rover takes first sample of Mount Sharp

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has collected its first sample of the layered mountain whose scientific allure drew the mission to choose this part of Mars as a landing site.Late Wednesday, September 24, the rover's hammering drill chewed about 6.7 centimeters (2.6

September 27, 2014

ISERV Viewer - New online tool for viewing images of Earth from ISS

A new user-friendly online resource interface - ISERV Viewer - with nearly two years of Earth images taken from a space station camera was recently released to the public. The interface is a world map that links to thousands of images made by the ISERV camera.ISERV (Int

September 27, 2014

MAVEN returns its first Mars observations

Just after arrival, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), the first spacecraft sent to explore the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars, has started working on it's mission. Within 24 hours of being placed in the Red Planet's orbit, the spacec

September 26, 2014

India's first Mars satellite 'Mangalyaan' enters orbit

India's first interplanetary mission to planet Mars, Mars Orbiter Mission, arrived in the Martian orbit on September 24, 2014 making India the first nation to enter the Mars's orbit in it’s first attempt and the first Asian nation to reach the Red planet.I

September 24, 2014

MAVEN arrives to Mars one month before Comet Siding Spring

At 02:24 UTC today NASA's MAVEN spacecraft reached planet Mars and entered its orbit. MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars. It is expected to begin its primary mission in a

September 22, 2014

SpaceX to deliver RapidScat wind watcher and first 3-D printer to ISS

A new NASA mission designed to boost global monitoring of ocean winds, improve weather forecasting and climate studies is now on its way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft. The cargo ship launched on the Falcon 9 rocket from Space L

September 21, 2014

Rosetta’s lander Philae will target the 'head' of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

ESA announced today that the landing spot for Rosetta's lander Philae will be target Site J, an intriguing region on the 'head' of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The spot offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum

September 15, 2014

Rosetta mission findings: no room for dirty snowballs

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to the Comet 67P is attracting worldwide attention to comet science. While months remain until the team attempts to land a probe on the comet's surface, astonishing revelations are already confronting scientists on Ear

August 16, 2014

Insight into one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades

On January 21, 2014, astronomers around the world witnessed a supernova soon after it exploded in the Messier 82, or M82, galaxy. It is one of the closest supernovas discovered in decades. Telescopes across the globe and in space turned their at

August 15, 2014

Stardust's payload holds first potential interstellar space particles

A team of scientists has been combing through the payload of NASA's Stardust spacecraft since it returned to Earth in 2006. They found seven rare, microscopic interstellar dust particles, that most likely came from outside of our solar system. If

August 14, 2014

Colliding atmospheres - Mars vs Comet Siding Spring

It's a known fact that planets have atmospheres, but the same can't be said for comets. The atmosphere of a comet, called its "coma," is made of gas and dust that spew out of the sun-warmed nucleus and it's typically wider than Jupiter.La

August 13, 2014

Live event: Rosetta arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

On August 6, 2014, after a decade-long journey through space, ESA’s comet chaser "Rosetta" will become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Rosetta will also be the first mission in history to escort a comet as it or

August 05, 2014

Comet 67P too hot to be covered in ice

ESA’s comet chaser Rosetta has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and found that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.The observations of the comet we

August 01, 2014

Mysterious signal from the center of the Perseus Cluster unexplained by known physics

Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to explore the Perseus Cluster, a swarm of galaxies approximately 250 million light years from Earth, have observed the spectral line that appears not to come from any known type of matter. The signal

July 25, 2014

New images and 3D model of Rosetta's target - Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

As the ESA's comet chaser Rosetta approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) for an August rendezvous, the comet's core is finally coming into sharper focus. Yesterday, ESA released a new set of images taken by the OSIRIS spacecraft on July 20th

July 25, 2014

Fermi catches a never before seen 'transformer' neutron star

In late June 2013 astronomers using Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observed an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star which suddenly underwent a dramatic change in behavior. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at the same time the

July 23, 2014

NASA's RapidScat to unveil hidden cycles of sea winds

Ocean waves, the hot sun, sea breezes -- the right combination makes a great day at the beach. A different combination makes a killer hurricane. The complex interactions of the ocean and the air above it that can create such different outcomes are not yet fully known. S

July 10, 2014

Sun sends more 'tsunami waves' to Voyager 1

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has experienced a new "tsunami wave" from the sun as it sails through interstellar space. Such waves are what led scientists to the conclusion, in the fall of 2013, that Voyager had indeed left our sun's bubble, entering a n

July 08, 2014

STEREO probes operations will be curtailed for more than a year

NASA's revolutionary twin STEREO probes which allowed us to see the farside of the Sun and make 3D models of incoming CMEs will pass directly behind the Sun later this year making images from the probes unavailable for quite some time.While planning the

June 28, 2014

Athena to study the hot and energetic universe

ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second ‘Large-class’ science mission.The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the ‘L2’ slot in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–25 p

June 27, 2014

New NASA model gives glimpse into the invisible world of electric asteroids

Space may appear empty -- a soundless vacuum, but it's not an absolute void. It flows with electric activity that is not visible to our eyes. NASA is developing plans to send humans to an asteroid, and wants to know more about the electrical environment explorers wi

June 26, 2014

Swift calculates water production of Mars-bound comet Siding Spring

In late May, NASA's Swift satellite imaged comet Siding Spring, which will brush astonishingly close to Mars on October 19, 2014. These optical and ultraviolet observations are the first to reveal how rapidly the comet is producing water and allow astronomers to

June 20, 2014

Earth's magnetic field showing signs of significant weakening

The first set of high-resolution results from ESA’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveals the most recent changes in the magnetic field that protects us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth. Magnetic field is in a permanen

June 19, 2014