Archives

December 2018



A team of space scientists has captured new images of a volcanic plume on Jupiter's moon Io during the Juno mission's 17th flyby of the gas giant.


New Horizons has phone home and is healthy. Data should arrive later today.


At 2:43 p.m. EST on December 31, while many on Earth prepared to welcome the New Year, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) away, carried out a single, eight-second burn of its thrusters - and broke a space exploration record.


The European Space Agency (ESA) can look back at a fulfilling year. It has been a year marked by new Earth Observation missions to analyse and protect our planet, in particular the completion of the first wave of Copernicus Sentinel satellites and the launch of Aeolus.


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.


This festive NASA Hubble Space Telescope image resembles a holiday wreath made of sparkling lights.


When I was growing up in the 60s you needed a guide book to figure out the constellations in the night sky. Flash forward. Now all you need is an app on your iPhone.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the island of South Georgia. Linked with the South Sandwich Islands to form a British Overseas Territory, this southern Atlantic island is a haven for a vast array of wildlife.


The December 2018 close approach by the large, near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 has provided astronomers an outstanding opportunity to obtain detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the island of South Georgia. Linked with the South Sandwich Islands to form a British Overseas Territory, this southern Atlantic island is a haven for a vast array of wildlife.


This image shows what appears to be a large patch of fresh, untrodden snow - a dream for any lover of the holiday season.


What's the coldest place you can think of? Temperatures on a winter day in Antarctica dip as low as −120ºF (−85ºC). On the dark side of the Moon, they hit −280ºF (−173ºC). But inside NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory on the International Space Station, scientists are creating something even colder.


As the brilliant comet 46P/Wirtanen streaked across the sky, NASA telescopes caught it on camera from multiple angles.


A new look at Hubble images of galaxies could be a step toward illuminating the elusive nature of dark matter, the unobservable material that makes up the majority of the universe, according to a study published online today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.


NASA's InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, completing a major mission milestone.


Three members of the International Space Station's Expedition 57 crew, including NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, returned to Earth Thursday, safely landing at 12:02 a.m. EST (11:02 a.m. local time) in Kazakhstan.


NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos undocked from the International Space Station at 8:40 p.m. EST to begin their trip home.


Russian spacewalker Oleg Kononenko (suit with red stripes) works outside the International Space Station over 250 miles above Earth to inspect the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.


A relic cloud of gas, orphaned after the Big Bang, has been discovered in the distant universe by astronomers using the world's most powerful optical telescope, the W. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii.


The Expedition 57 commander handed over control of the International Space Station today in a traditional ceremony. He and two of his crewmates will then head back to Earth Wednesday just in time for the holidays.


An adolescent star in the midst of a dramatic growth phase has been observed with the help of two NASA space telescopes.


NASA's InSight lander is due to set its first science instrument on Mars in the coming days. But engineers here on Earth already saw it happen -- last week.


Today - Airway Monitoring: Today the crew performed the setup activities for the upcoming Airway Monitoring US Lab (ambient) session.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite takes us over Mount Triglav in Slovenia. At 2800 m above sea level, the mountain is the highest in the country and a significant source of national pride, even featuring on the Slovenian coat of arms.


New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 & 2 observations made decades ago.


A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our Solar System.


Today - Molecular Muscle: Crewmembers removed the Molecular Muscle samples from the Kubik-5 facility and inserted the samples into the MELFI-3 (Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS).


The coastal plains and swamps of the Atlantic coast nation of Guinea-Bissau are pictured as the International Space Station orbited 252 miles above the African continent.


A new NASA-led study has determined that an increase in snowfall accumulation over Antarctica during the 20th century mitigated sea level rise by 0.4 inches.


As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on Dec. 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface.


Image taken by ESA Astronaut Alex Gerst @Astro_Alex aboard the ISS. Larger view


Half of the Expedition 57 crew is getting ready to depart International Space Station while the other half is getting used to life on orbit. Amidst those preparations, all six space residents are researching what microgravity does to their bodies while keeping the orbital lab in tip-top shape.


A cloud of unhealthy air pollution shrouded the skies of northern India again this week.


A NASA-led, international study finds Asia's high mountain glaciers are flowing more slowly in response to widespread ice loss, affecting freshwater availability downstream in India, Pakistan and China.


On Nov. 26, NASA's InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars.


Fishermen would be puzzled if they netted only big and little fish, but few medium-sized fish.


The Expedition 57 crew were allowed to catch a few extra hours of sleep today after a lengthy spacewalk Tuesday by the two cosmonauts on board.


The International Space Station flies 252 miles above the island nation of Cuba and the Gulf of Batabano in the Caribbean Sea.


While testing a new subsystem on the SPHERE planet-hunting instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers were able to capture dramatic details of the turbulent stellar relationship in the binary star R Aquarii with unprecedented clarity -- even compared to observations from Hubble.


On Dec. 21, at 8:49:48 a.m. PST (11:49:48 a.m. EST) NASA's Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter's cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour).


Expedition 57 Flight Engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos completed a spacewalk lasting 7 hours and 45 minutes.


NASA's InSight lander isn't camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie -- a mosaic made up of 11 images.


Today - Molecular Muscle: Crewmembers performed sample inserts into the Kubik incubator facility, photography documentation, and a status check of the experiment run.


When traveling in space, astronauts experience physiological changes normally associated with aging, such as bone loss, muscle deterioration and altered immune systems.


A supernova discovered by an international group of astronomers including Carnegie's Tom Holoien and Maria Drout, and led by University of Hawaii's Ben Shappee, provides an unprecedented look at the first moments of a violent stellar explosion.


Three days after its launch from Florida, the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was installed on the Earth-facing side of the International Space Station's Harmony module at 10:36 a.m. EST.


For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA's Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere - the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun.


A team of international scientists from BAS, University of Iowa and GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences has discovered a new method to explain how radiation belts are formed around the planet Saturn.


Based on computer simulations and new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), researchers have found that the rings of gas surrounding active supermassive black holes are not simple donut shapes.


NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds on the Red Planet.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Chachani mountain in Peru. Standing at over 6000 m, Chachani is the tallest of the mountains near the Peruvian city of Arequipa.


A Dragon is chasing the International Space Station today to be gracefully captured by a robotic arm early Saturday. The expanded Expedition 57 crew prepared for Dragon's arrival while conducting science, spacesuit checks and a variety of other station activities.


Scientists have generated a map of the deformation of Earth's surface caused by the November 30, 2018 magnitude 7.0 earthquake beneath the Anchorage area of Alaska.


New images from NASA's Mars InSight lander show its robotic arm is ready to do some lifting.


On Dec. 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid.


Astronomers have discovered a distant planet with an abundance of helium in its atmosphere, which has swollen to resemble an inflated balloon.


"Super-Earths" and Neptune-sized planets could be forming around young stars in much greater numbers than scientists thought, new research by an international team of astronomers suggests.


There was yet another space policy event in Washington, DC today aimed at another session of choir practice in an echo chamber by the proverbial usual suspects in the space policy clique.


Today - SpaceX (SpX)-16 Launch: SpX-16 launched today from Kennedy Space Center at 12:16 PM CT.


Experiments in forest observation, protein crystal growth and in-space fuel transfer demonstration are heading to the International Space Station following the launch Wednesday of SpaceX's 16th mission for NASA under the agency's Commercial Resupply Services contract.


BepiColombo, the joint ESA/JAXA spacecraft on a mission to Mercury, is now firing its thrusters for the first time in flight.


Astronomers have detected a bright X-ray outburst from a star in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a nearby galaxy almost 200,000 light-years from Earth.


Measurements of atmospheric ozone from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite are now being used in daily forecasts of air quality.


The launch of the SpaceX Dragon cargo vessel slipped one day to Wednesday at 1:16 p.m. EST with meteorologists forecasting 90% favorable weather for launch.


Twenty-five years ago this week, NASA held its collective breath as seven astronauts on space shuttle Endeavour caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope 353 miles (568 kilometers) above Earth. Their mission: to fix a devastating flaw in the telescope's primary mirror.


The results are included in a new paper from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and the VIRGO gravitational-wave detector, which presents analysis of 10 stellar-mass binary black hole mergers and one neutron star merger.


Heavy precipitation recently fell in areas of California that were recently devastated by deadly wildfires such as the Camp Fire and the Woolsey fire.


At the post-launch news conference for the Expedition 58 crew, Roscosmos and NASA officials announced that NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, who were forced to abort their recent mission Oct. 11 to the International Space Station, are now scheduled to launch again Feb. 28, 2019, from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


NASA's Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft completed its 1.2 billion-mile (2 billion-kilometer) journey to arrive at the asteroid Bennu Monday.


Three crew members are adjusting to life on the International Space Station after a successful launch and docking of their Russian Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft Monday.


Our InSight mission arrives at Mars, announcing the companies that will help us get to the Moon, and the space station's next crew wraps up prelaunch activities ... a few of the stories to tell you about - This Week at NASA.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.