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.

  • NASA Protects its super heroes from space weather
    on August 17, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    When astronauts travel in space they can't see or even feel radiation. However, NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is studying the effects radiation plays on the human body and developing ways to monitor and protect against this silent hazard. […]

  • Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life
    on August 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    NASA's Mars 2020 mission, which will look for signs of past life on Mars, will use smart methods originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth, according the mission's Deputy Project Scientist. The 2020 mission will make coordinated measurements that could detect signs of ancient life - or biosignatures - in their original spatial context. These techniques, known as 'spatially resolved biosignature analysis' derive from geochemical analysis of early life on Earth. […]

  • NASA, ESA spacecraft track solar storm through space
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Using seven spacecraft, along with computer models, scientists have pieced together the journey of a coronal mass ejection from the Sun outward to Mars, Comet 67P, Jupiter and even the New Horizons spacecraft now beyond Pluto. […]

  • Cassini says goodbye to a true Titan
    on August 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Mere weeks away from its dramatic, mission-ending plunge into Saturn, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has a hectic schedule, orbiting the planet every week in its Grand Finale. On a few orbits, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been near enough to tweak Cassini's orbit, causing the spacecraft to approach Saturn a bit closer or a bit farther away. A couple of those distant passes even pushed Cassini into the inner fringes of Saturn's rings. […]

  • Tracking a solar eruption through the solar system
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Ten spacecraft, from ESA's Venus Express to NASA's Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event. […]

  • Cassini to begin final five orbits around Saturn
    on August 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, as it prepares to embark on a set of ultra-close passes through Saturn's upper atmosphere with its final five orbits around the planet. […]

  • Lunar dynamo's lifetime extended by at least 1 billion years
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Astronomers report that a lunar rock collected by NASA's Apollo 15 mission exhibits signs that it formed 1 to 2.5 billion years ago in the presence of a relatively weak magnetic field of about 5 microtesla. That's around 10 times weaker than Earth's current magnetic field but still 1,000 times larger than fields in interplanetary space today. […]

  • Astronauts to bring asteroid back into lunar orbit
    on August 7, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Future space exploration aims to fly further from Earth than ever before. New research examines the robotic phase of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). In addition to taking manned spaceflights deeper into space than ever before, the proposed mission would also bring some benefit for planetary science. […]

  • Moon has a water-rich interior
    on July 24, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Using satellite data, researchers have for the first time detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the moon, suggesting that its interior contains substantial amounts of indigenous water. […]

  • The moon is front and center during a total solar eclipse
    on July 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    In the lead-up to a total solar eclipse, most of the attention is on the sun, but Earth's moon also has a starring role. […]

  • Viewing Martian moon orbiting the red planet
    on July 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    While photographing Mars, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Hubble took 13 separate exposures over 22 minutes to create a time-lapse video showing the moon's orbital path. […]

  • Ancient, massive asteroid impact could explain Martian geological mysteries
    on July 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    A colossal impact with a large asteroid early in Mars' history may have ripped off a chunk of the northern hemisphere and left behind a legacy of metallic elements in the planet's interior. The crash also created a ring of rocky debris around Mars that may have later clumped together to form its moons, Phobos and Deimos. […]

  • NASA Neutron star mission begins science operations
    on July 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    The Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, payload completed commissioning and calibration and all systems are working as expected. […]

  • Squeezing innovation out of the NASA Twins study: Pipetting and cell isolation in space
    on July 11, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    NASA is evaluating more efficient research techniques to prepare for the journey to Mars. Innovative thinking could improve the way biological samples are processed and transported from space back to research labs on Earth for future studies. […]

  • Calm lakes on Titan could mean smooth landing for future space probes
    on July 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    The lakes of liquid methane on Saturn's moon, Titan, are perfect for paddling but not for surfing. New research has found that most waves on Titan's lakes reach only about 1 centimeter high. […]

  • Pipetting in space
    on June 30, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Astronauts are exposed to the risk of DNA damage in various ways: nearly zero gravity, cosmic radiation and psychologically challenging situations, to name but a few. In the face of current plans for long-term missions to Mars, NASA has been working intensively on this problem. The automated diagnostic procedure is currently being used in some research institutions and enterprises. It is based on a series of biochemical reactions that detect DNA damage in human blood cells. […]

  • Mars rover opportunity on walkabout near rim
    on June 30, 2017 at 2:42 am

    NASA's senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind. […]

  • NASA keeps a close eye on tiny stowaways
    on June 28, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Wherever you find people, you also find bacteria and other microorganisms. The International Space Station is no exception. […]

  • 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. […]