Space Missions

Space Missions News -- ScienceDaily Space Missions to Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon. Learn about new space missions being planned. Read astronomy articles on recent space missions by NASA, ESA and more.

  • New virtual approach to science in space
    on June 21, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    A new approach to scientific exploration has been revealed by researchers, which they call exploration telepresence. […]

  • MAVEN's top 10 discoveries at Mars
    on June 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Since its launch in November 2013 and its orbit insertion in September 2014, MAVEN has been exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. MAVEN is bringing insight to how the sun stripped Mars of most of its atmosphere, turning a planet once possibly habitable to microbial life into a barren desert world. […]

  • Collateral damage from cosmic rays increases cancer risks for Mars astronauts
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    The cancer risk for a human mission to Mars has effectively doubled following a study predicting a dramatic increase in the disease for astronauts traveling to the red planet or on long-term missions outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field. The new predictive model shows radiation from cosmic rays extends from damaged to otherwise healthy 'bystander' cells. […]

  • Emergency medicine in space: Normal rules don't apply
    on June 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Scientists are considering the unusual and challenging problem of how to perform emergency medical procedures during space missions. […]

  • Study estimates amount of water needed to carve Martian valleys
    on June 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    A new study calculates the amount of water needed to carve the ancient network of valleys on Mars and concludes the planet's surface was once much more watery than previously thought. The study bolsters the idea that Mars had a warmer climate and active hydrologic cycle, with water evaporating from an ancient ocean, returning to the surface as rainfall and eroding the extensive network of valleys. […]

  • Rover findings indicate stratified lake on ancient Mars
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    A long-lasting lake on ancient Mars provided stable environmental conditions that differed significantly from one part of the lake to another, according to a comprehensive look at findings from the first three-and-a-half years of NASA's Curiosity rover mission. […]

  • Frost on moon's surface: New evidence
    on May 31, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Scientists using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter have identified bright areas in craters near the moon's south pole that are cold enough to have frost present on the surface. […]

  • Peek into your genes: NASA one-year mission investigators identify links to vision problems
    on May 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Coinciding with May -- Healthy Vision Month, NASA's One-Year Mission investigators are peering into their new findings to help address astronaut vision issues. […]

  • 'Halos' discovered on Mars widen time frame for potential life
    on May 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Lighter-toned bedrock that surrounds fractures and comprises high concentrations of silica -- called "halos" -- has been found in Gale crater on Mars, indicating that the planet had liquid water much longer than previously believed. […]

  • Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit
    on May 29, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Images from LRO show a brief violent movement of one of the Narrow Angle Cameras on NASA's Lunar Orbiter in October of 2014. […]

  • Fruit flies journey to International Space Station to study effects of zero gravity on the heart
    on May 25, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Researchers have announced that six boxes of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) to study the impact of weightlessness on the heart. The fruit flies are scheduled to launch on June 1, 2017, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and will travel to the ISS via a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. […]

  • Juno mission to Jupiter delivers first science results
    on May 25, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    NASA's Juno mission is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released today. The Juno spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since July 2016, passing within 3,000 miles of the equatorial cloudtops. […]

  • History of Titan's landscape resembles that of Mars, not Earth
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    In a paper published in Science, researchers report that Titan, like Mars but unlike Earth, has not undergone any active plate tectonics in its recent past. The upheaval of mountains by plate tectonics deflects the paths that rivers take. The team found that this telltale signature was missing from river networks on Mars and Titan. […]

  • How hard did it rain on Mars?
    on May 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Heavy rain on Mars reshaped the planet's impact craters and carved out river-like channels in its surface billions of years ago, according to a new study. Scientists show that changes in the atmosphere on Mars made it rain harder and harder, which had a similar effect on the planet's surface as we see on Earth. […]

  • Mars rover Opportunity begins study of Perseverance Valley's origin
    on May 15, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission -- an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater's rim. […]

  • Ancient Mars impacts created tornado-like winds that scoured surface
    on May 12, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Plumes of vapor generated by ancient impacts on Mars created tornado-like winds possibly swirling at more than 500 miles per hour, which explain mysterious streaks seen near large impact craters on the Martian surface. […]

  • Astronauts experience decrease in blood vessel function during spaceflight
    on May 9, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    A kinesiology study has found that astronauts aboard the International Space Station have decreased physical fitness because of a decrease in the way oxygen moves through the body. […]

  • Cassini spacecraft dives between Saturn and its rings
    on April 27, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. […]

  • Engineers investigate a simple, no-bake recipe to make bricks from Martian soil
    on April 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Explorers planning to settle on Mars might be able to turn the planet's soil into bricks without needing to use an oven or additional ingredients. Instead, they would need to apply pressure to compact the soil--the equivalent of a blow from a hammer. […]

  • Cassini's first grand finale dive: Milestones
    on April 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. […]

  • Cassini completes final -- and fateful -- Titan flyby: Dive to Saturn next
    on April 25, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has had its last close brush with Saturn's hazy moon Titan and is now beginning its final set of 22 orbits around the ringed planet. […]

  • Lull in Mars' giant impact history
    on April 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    From the earliest days of our solar system's history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. […]

  • NASA's Cassini, Voyager missions suggest new picture of Sun's interaction with galaxy
    on April 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    New data from three NASA missions show that the heliosphere -- the bubble of the Sun's magnetic influence that surrounds the inner solar system -- may be much more compact and rounded than previously thought. […]

  • Detailed map of potential Mars rover landing site
    on April 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Mineral deposits in a region on Mars called Northeast Syrtis Major suggest a plethora of once-habitable environments. By mapping those deposits in the region's larger geological context, the research could help set the stage for a possible rover mission. […]

  • Mission control: Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty
    on April 17, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    We've all heard it: eating salty foods makes you thirstier. But what sounds like good nutritional advice turns out to be not true in the long run. In a study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars, an international group of scientists has found exactly the opposite to be true. 'Cosmonauts' who ate more salt retained more water, weren't as thirsty, and needed more energy. […]

  • Landslides on Ceres reflect hidden ice
    on April 17, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Massive landslides, similar to those found on Earth, are occurring on the asteroid Ceres. That's according to a new study adding to the growing evidence that Ceres retains a significant amount of water ice. […]

  • NASA team explores using LISA Pathfinder as 'comet crumb' detector
    on April 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Scientists hope to take advantage of LISA Pathfinder's record-breaking sensitivity to acceleration to map out the distribution of tiny dust particles shed by asteroids and comets far from Earth. […]

  • New method for 3-D printing extraterrestrial materials
    on April 12, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    3-D printing with lunar and Martian dust-based inks presents a new, sustainable method for extraterrestrial manufacturing of soft and hard structures and objects. […]

  • Scientist measures brightness of the universe with NASA's New Horizons spacecraft
    on April 11, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Images taken by NASA's New Horizons mission on its way to Pluto, and now the Kuiper Belt, have given scientists an unexpected tool for measuring the brightness of all the galaxies in the universe. […]

  • NASA's MAVEN reveals Mars has metal in its atmosphere
    on April 10, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new results. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars. […]