Space Probes

Space Probes News -- ScienceDaily Space Probes. Read the latest in space exploration using unmanned spacecraft. See images from Space Probe Cassini and Space Probe Galileo. Pictures of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and more.

  • NASA'S OSIRIS-REx spacecraft slingshots past Earth
    on September 22, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    NASA's asteroid sample return spacecraft successfully used Earth's gravity on Friday to slingshot itself on a path toward the asteroid Bennu, for a rendezvous next August. […]

  • Positive, negative or neutral, it all matters: NASA explains space radiation
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Charged particles may be small, but they matter to astronauts. NASA's Human Research Program (HRP) is investigating these particles to solve one of its biggest challenges for a human journey to Mars: space radiation and its effects on the human body. […]

  • Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
    on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life. […]

  • Solar eruption ‘photobombed’ Mars encounter with Comet Siding Spring
    on September 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    When Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed just 140,000 kilometers from Mars on 19th October 2014, depositing a large amount of debris in the Martian atmosphere, space agencies coordinated multiple spacecraft to witness the largest meteor shower in recorded history. It was a rare opportunity, as this kind of planetary event occurs only once every 100,000 years. […]

  • What do we need to know to mine an asteroid?
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    The mining of resources contained in asteroids, for use as propellant, building materials or in life-support systems, has the potential to revolutionise exploration of our Solar System. To make this concept a reality, we need to increase our knowledge of the very diverse population of accessible Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). […]

  • Nanosat fleet proposed for voyage to 300 asteroids
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises 50 spacecraft propelled by innovative electric solar wind sails (E-sails) and equipped with instruments to take images and collect spectroscopic data on the composition of the asteroids. Each nanosat would visit six or seven asteroids before returning to Earth to deliver the data. […]

  • Solar wind impacts on giant 'space hurricanes' may affect satellite safety
    on September 19, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Could the flapping of a butterfly's wings in Costa Rica set off a hurricane in California? For most people, this hypothetical scenario may be difficult to imagine on Earth -- particularly when a real disaster strikes. Yet, in space, similarly small fluctuations in the solar wind as it streams toward the Earth's magnetic shield actually can affect the speed and strength of 'space hurricanes,' a researcher explains. […]

  • NASA's Cassini spacecraft ends its historic exploration of Saturn
    on September 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    A thrilling epoch in the exploration of our solar system has come to a close, as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a fateful plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet. Cassini's plunge brings to a close a series of 22 dives between Saturn and its rings, a feat never before attempted by any spacecraft. […]

  • First global map of water in moon's soil
    on September 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    A new study maps the trace concentrations of water implanted in the lunar soil by the solar wind, a water source that could be used as resource in future lunar exploration. […]

  • New gravity map suggests Mars has a porous crust
    on September 13, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Scientists have found evidence that Mars' crust is not as dense as previously thought, a clue that could help researchers better understand the Red Planet's interior structure and evolution. […]

  • Astronauts don't develop anemia during spaceflight, NASA study suggests
    on September 12, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Space flight anemia -- the reduction of circulating red blood cells during time spent in space -- is an established phenomenon, but it may not be a major concern during long-duration space missions, according to a study. […]

  • Pluto features given first official names
    on September 7, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union has officially approved the naming of 14 features on the surface of Pluto. These are the first geological features on the planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015. […]

  • Does the organic material of comets predate our solar system?
    on September 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    The Rosetta space probe discovered a large amount of organic material in the nucleus of comet 'Chury.' Researchers now advance the theory that this matter has its origin in interstellar space and predates the birth of the solar system. […]

  • Equatorial jet in Venusian atmosphere
    on September 1, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Observations by Japan's Venus climate orbiter Akatsuki have revealed an equatorial jet in the lower to middle cloud layer of the planet's atmosphere, a finding that could be pivotal to unraveling a phenomenon called superrotation. […]

  • NASA's Lunar mission captures solar eclipse as seen from the moon
    on August 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    LRO captured an image of the Moon's shadow over a large region of the United States, centered just north of Nashville, Tennessee. […]

  • NASA's Webb Telescope will study our solar system's 'ocean worlds'
    on August 24, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    NASA's James Webb Space Telescope will use its infrared capabilities to study the "ocean worlds" of Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus, adding to observations previously made by NASA's Galileo and Cassini orbiters. The Webb telescope's observations could also help guide future missions to the icy moons. […]

  • Saturn-lit Tethys
    on August 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. […]

  • The moving Martian bow shock
    on August 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Physicists throw new light on the interaction between the planet Mars and supersonic particles in the solar wind. […]

  • 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. […]

  • RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy
    on August 9, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Defunct satellites: Reliably determine and predict attitude motion
    on August 2, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Uncontrollable flying objects in the Earth‘s orbit are an enormous risk for active satellites and for spacecraft in general. Since April 2012, the European environmental satellite ENVISAT has also been adrift in orbit. Now, experts have developed pioneering methods to precisely determine the attitude rotation of malfunctioning satellites and, thus, to support de-orbiting missions in the future. […]

  • Aalto-1 satellite sends first image
    on July 31, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    The photograph was taken with the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland developed hyperspectral camera's secondary camera. […]

  • Complex chemistry in Saturn's moon Titan's atmosphere
    on July 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Saturn's frigid moon Titan has a curious atmosphere. In addition to a hazy mixture of nitrogen and hydrocarbons, like methane and ethane, Titan's atmosphere also contains an array of more complex organic molecules, including vinyl cyanide, which astronomers recently uncovered in archival ALMA data. Under the right conditions, like those found on the surface of Titan, vinyl cyanide may naturally coalesce into microscopic spheres resembling cell membranes. […]

  • Large, distant comets more common than previously thought
    on July 25, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    There are about seven times more long-period comets measuring at least 1 kilometer across than previously predicted, suggests new research. The researchers also found that long-period comets are, on average, nearly twice as large as 'Jupiter family' comets, whose orbits are shaped by Jupiter's gravity and have periods of less than 20 years. […]