Mars Rover Tests Driving, Drilling And Detecting Life In The Desert

Due to its extreme dryness, the Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the most important environments on Earth for researchers who need to approximate the conditions of Mars. Working in 90-plus-degree heat in arguably the driest place on Earth, the team behind NASA’s Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies, or ARADS, project just completed its …Read More

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Mechanism Underlying Size-Sorting Of Rubble On Asteroid Itokawa Revealed

In 2005, the Hayabusa spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) landed on Itokawa, a small near-Earth asteroid named after the famous Japanese rocket scientist Hideo Itokawa. The aim of the unmanned mission was to study the asteroid and collect a sample of material to be returned to Earth for analysis. Contrary to …Read More

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NASA Study Hints At Possible Change In Water ‘Fingerprint’ of Comet

A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet – an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new NASA study suggests. Astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, observed the Oort cloud comet C/2014 Q2, also called Lovejoy, when it passed …Read More

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Asteroid Sleuths Go Back To The Future

Careful sleuthing through decade-old images has enabled ESA’s asteroid team to decide that a newly discovered space rock poses little threat of hitting Earth any time soon. Spotting a previously unknown asteroid for the first time always raises the big question: is there a risk it will impact Earth? Yet, upon discovery, analysts often have …Read More

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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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