NASA’s Orion Moon Capsule Is Back. What Happens Next?

After circling the moon for the past three weeks, NASA’s Orion capsule splashed down under parachute yesterday morning off the coast of Baja California near Guadalupe Island, marking an end to the Artemis program’s first major lunar mission. Orion was then scooped up by a recovery crew and sent to port in San Diego, carried […]

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NASA’s Huge SLS Rocket Finally Launches the Artemis 1 Moon Mission

After years of delays and several false starts, the wait is finally over: NASA’s massive Space Launch System rocket and the Orion capsule lifted off at 1:48 am Eastern time, heading for a historic lunar flyby. Crowds of onlookers watched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the thunder of a NASA rocket could […]

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NASA’s DART Spacecraft Smashes Into an Asteroid—on Purpose

“This is the first time we’ve actually attempted to move something in our solar system with the intent of preventing a [potential] natural disaster that has been part of our planet’s history from the beginning,” says Statler. The DART probe, which is short for the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, has been in the works since […]

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Hurricane Ian Blows Back NASA’s Artemis Launch

NASA’s team leading the Artemis program of lunar missions really wants to get on with their inaugural spaceflight—which was slated for tomorrow morning. But with a strengthening Hurricane Ian barreling toward the Florida launchpad, it’s time to move the massive Space Launch System rocket to safety. The space agency will roll the rocket back to […]

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NASA’s Perseverance Rover Digs Up Organic Molecules on Mars

After trundling around the Jezero crater for 550 Martian days, NASA’s Perseverance rover has amassed nearly half its planned rock collection—including some containing organic molecules, a possible sign that life could have thrived there more than 3 billion years ago. These are compounds that contain carbon, and often hydrogen or oxygen, which are likely crucial […]

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The Capstone Launch Will Kick Off NASA’s Artemis Moon Program

A toaster-sized probe will soon scope out a special orbit around the moon, the path planned for NASA’s Lunar Gateway space station. The Gateway, to be rolled out later this decade, will be a staging point for the astronauts and gear that will be traveling as part of NASA’s Artemis lunar program. The launch of […]

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NASA’s Giant SLS Rocket Is One Step Closer to Launch

NASA engineers finally tanked the massive Space Launch System rocket with fuel Monday night, getting through most of the last crucial test before its inaugural flight. After reviewing their trove of data from the test, the team will decide this summer’s launch date for the world’s most powerful rocket, part of the first major mission […]

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How Lori Garver Launched NASA’s Commercial Space Partnerships

From the start, were you trying to support commercial partnerships with the space industry, or did that develop out of necessity? I would describe the goal as being to increase the efficiency of the tax dollar and to reduce the cost of getting to orbit. Because then at that point NASA can be doing more […]

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NASA’s Plan to Get Ingenuity Through the Martian Winter

Ingenuity, NASA’s autonomous Mars helicopter, was only meant to complete five flights. But since its history-making first flight in April 2021, the helicopter has flown 28 times, and preparation is underway for the 29th. Depending on dust levels and the schedule of the rover Perseverance, that flight could take place as soon as later this […]

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NASA’s InSight Mars Lander’s Days Are Numbered

While InSight’s pair of solar panels, each one shaped like a decagonal (10-sided) pie, efficiently provide solar power to the lander, dust has always been its Achilles’ heel. While dust storms come by frequently—though not as intensely as portrayed in The Martian—they emerge more often during the summer, says Raymond Arvidson, a planetary scientist at […]

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NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Heads to Cape Canaveral

In 2011, Lindy Elkins-Tanton and a couple of colleagues wrote a paper exploring ideas about how tiny would-be planets called planetesimals might have formed billions of years ago, and speculated about whether their remnants might still orbit in the asteroid belt. Afterwards, officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California approached her. “Would you […]

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