NASA Selects Two Asteroid Discovery Missions

NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed …Read More

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Unexpected Discoveries On A Metal World

Astronomers have discovered possible evidence for water on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. Named 16 Psyche, the object is one of the most massive in the asteroid belt, measuring 186 miles across and consisting of almost pure nickel-iron metal. It is thought to be the remnant core of a …Read More

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JPL Seeks Robotic Spacecraft Development For Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking design, development and build of the robotic spacecraft that will capture a multi-ton asteroid boulder from deep space during the first segment of the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The RFP is open to the four industry partners that previously …Read More

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White House, NASA To Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission’s Importance For Journey To Mars, Planetary Defense

NASA will provide three virtual updates on two planned Asteroid Redirect Missions (ARM) Wednesday, September 14 at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA Television will provide coverage at 11 a.m. EDT of the first briefing to discuss ARM’s contributions to the Journey to Mars and protection of our planet. ARM will …Read More

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NASA Swarmathon: Seeking College Teams For Virtual Robotics Competition

The NASA Swarmathon is now accepting applications for the 2017 NASA Swarmathon Virtual Competition. The NASA Swarmathon is a challenge to develop cooperative robotics to revolutionize space exploration. The Swarmathon Virtual Competition will challenge students to develop search algorithms for robotic swarms, and these algorithms will be tested by competition organizers in a virtual environment. …Read More

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Sulfur, Sulfur Dioxide And Graphitized Carbon Observed On Asteroid For First Time

Hubble Space Telescope observations of the dwarf planet Ceres have discovered the first evidence of sulfur, sulfur dioxide and graphitized carbon found on an asteroid. The sulfur species are likely associated with regions of recent activity, reports Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Amanda Hendrix. The discoveries were made by comparing Ceres’ ultraviolet-visible spectra to laboratory …Read More

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Imaging Tiny Comet Dust In 3D

Rosetta has imaged the smallest grains of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dust yet, with its Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System, MIDAS. MIDAS works by collecting and then physically scanning grains with an Atomic Force Microscope. This uses a very fine tip, a bit like an old-fashioned record player needle, that is scanned over a particle. The deflection of …Read More

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NASA To Hold Asteroid Mission Briefings, Launch

NASA is gearing up to launch the United States’ first mission to sample an asteroid, with activities at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning Tuesday, September 6, and culminating with the spacecraft launch Thursday, September 8. Various activities are open to media and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. …Read More

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Bennu: How A Little Asteroid Became A Rock Star

July 7, 2016 – Carl Hergenrother fingers a stack of white, 8½- by 11-inch paper that sits before him on his desk. As he flips through the inch-thick dossier, lines of type are clearly visible. “This is everything we know about Bennu,” said Hergenrother, glancing down at the pile of paper. Hergenrother is a staff …Read More

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Gamers Tackle Virtual Asteroid Sampling Mission

OSIRIS-REx Project Scientist Jason Dworkin challenged players of the popular online game Kerbal Space Program to replicate NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Gamers will use the virtual tools and supplies provided by the game to construct their own OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (also known as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), collect an asteroid sample, and return …Read More

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