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.

  • X-ray navigation could open up new frontiers for robotic spacecraft
    on January 12, 2018 at 3:39 am

    In a technology first, a team of engineers has demonstrated fully autonomous X-ray navigation in space -- a capability that could revolutionize NASA's ability in the future to pilot robotic spacecraft to the far reaches of the solar system and beyond. […]

  • Magnified and stretched out image of extremely distant galaxy
    on January 11, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    An intensive survey deep into the universe by NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes has yielded the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack: the farthest galaxy yet seen in an image that has been stretched and amplified by a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. […]

  • Steep slopes on Mars reveal structure of buried ice on Red Planet
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Researchers have found eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars' surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes. The ice was likely deposited as snow long ago. The deposits hold clues about Mars' climate history and also may make frozen water more accessible than previously thought to future robotic or human exploration missions. […]

  • Astronomers to build space telescope to explore nearby stars
    on January 11, 2018 at 3:05 am

    A new mission will launch a small satellite telescope into space to study the environment in other solar systems around the Galaxy's most common type of star. […]

  • NASA's newly renamed Swift Mission spies a comet slowdown
    on January 10, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    NASA's Swift spacecraft, now renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory after the mission's late principal investigator, has detected the most dramatic change in a comet's rotation ever seen. […]

  • NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission locates elusive electron act
    on January 3, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    New research helps improve our understanding of how electrons move through the complex region around Earth -- information that will help untangle how such particle acrobatics affect the planet. […]

  • Genes in Space-3 successfully identifies unknown microbes in space
    on December 29, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Being able to identify microbes in real time aboard the International Space Station, without having to send them back to Earth for identification first, would be revolutionary for the world of microbiology and space exploration. The Genes in Space-3 team turned that possibility into a reality this year, when it completed the first-ever sample-to-sequence process entirely aboard the space station. […]

  • Six-decade-old space mystery solved with shoebox-sized satellite called a CubeSat
    on December 14, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    A 60-year-old mystery about the source of energetic, potentially damaging particles in Earth's radiation belts has been solved using data from a shoebox-sized satellite built and operated by students. The satellite is called a CubeSat. […]

  • Mars mission sheds light on habitability of distant planets
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Insights from NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission about the loss of the Red Planet's atmosphere can help scientists understand the habitability of rocky planets orbiting other stars. […]

  • Giant storms cause palpitations in Saturn's atmospheric heartbeat
    on December 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Immense northern storms on Saturn can disturb atmospheric patterns at the planet's equator, finds the international Cassini mission. […]

  • Electrical and chemical coupling between Saturn and its rings
    on December 12, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    A Langmuir probe, flown to Saturn on the Cassini spacecraft, has made exciting discoveries in the atmosphere of the planet. They discovered that there is a strong coupling, both chemically and electrically, between the atmosphere of Saturn and its rings. […]

  • Voyager 1 fires up thrusters after 37 years
    on December 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    A set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft successfully fired up Wednesday after 37 years without use. Since 2014, engineers have noticed that the thrusters Voyager 1 has been using to orient the spacecraft, called "attitude control thrusters," have been degrading. […]

  • Turbulence in astrophysical plasmas
    on December 1, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Researchers provides better explanations of the turbulent behavior of plasmas in space. […]

  • All missions on board for NASA heliophysics research
    on November 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Scientists have been studying the near-Earth environment for the better part of a century, but many mysteries -- like where the energetic particles that pervade the area originate and become energized -- still remain. In a new type of collaborative study, scientists combined data from 16 separate NASA and Los Alamos National Laboratory spacecraft to understand how a particle phenomenon in the magnetic environment around Earth occurs. These events, called substorms, can cause auroras, disrupt GPS communications and, at their most intense, damage power grids. […]

  • Frictional heat powers hydrothermal activity on Enceladus
    on November 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    A computer simulation shows how icy moon heats water in a porous rock core. This study also offers among others an answer to the long-standing question of where the energy that can support water in liquid form on a small, cryovulcanic moon far from the sun comes from. […]

  • Unexpected atmospheric vortex behavior on Saturn's moon Titan
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Recently reported unexpected behavior on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, is due to its unique atmospheric chemistry. Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, is bigger than the planet Mercury, and is the only moon in our solar system to have a substantial atmosphere. […]

  • Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study. […]

  • Taking a spin on plasma space tornadoes with NASA observations
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Tornado-like swirls of space plasma create tumultuous boundaries in the near-Earth environment, letting dangerous high-energy particles slip into near Earth space, new NASA mission results show. […]

  • Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
    on November 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the composition of its atmosphere was much higher than actual measurements taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. A new study proposes a novel cooling mechanism controlled by haze particles to account for Pluto's frigid atmosphere. […]

  • Space missions locate whistling space electrons' origins
    on November 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Plasma waves in space are likely responsible for accelerating high-energy particles into Earth's atmosphere, new research shows. […]

  • Dawn spacecraft explores dwarf planet Ceres' interior evolution
    on November 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Surface features on Ceres -- the largest world between Mars and Jupiter -- and its interior evolution have a closer relationship than one might think. A recent study analyzed Ceres' surface features to reveal clues about the dwarf planet's interior evolution. […]

  • Next Mars rover will have 23 'eyes'
    on November 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    NASA's Mars 2020 mission will have more "eyes" than any rover before it: a grand total of 23, to create sweeping panoramas, reveal obstacles, study the atmosphere, and assist science instruments. They will provide dramatic views during the rover's descent to the Red Planet. […]

  • Return of the comet: 96P spotted by ESA, NASA satellites
    on November 3, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Sun-gazing missions SOHO and STEREO watched the return of comet 96P/Machholz when it entered their fields of view between Oct. 25-30. It is extremely rare for comets to be seen simultaneously from two different locations in space, and these are the most comprehensive parallel observations ever taken of this comet. […]

  • Study unveils changes in the brain during extended missions in space
    on November 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    A neuroradiologist conducted a study titled 'Effects of Spaceflight on Astronaut Brain Structure as Indicated on MRI,' the results of which will be featured in the Nov. 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. […]

  • NASA investigates invisible magnetic bubbles in outer solar system
    on November 1, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Forty years ago, the twin Voyagers spacecraft were launched to explore the frontiers of our solar system, and have since made countless discoveries, including finding magnetic bubbles around two of the outer planets. […]

  • Jupiter's X-ray auroras pulse independently
    on October 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Jupiter's intense northern and southern lights pulse independently of each other according to new research. […]

  • A light in the dark: NASA sounding rocket probes the dark regions of space
    on October 27, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Spread out over unfathomable distances, this cold, diffuse gas between galaxies -- called the intergalactic medium, or IGM for short -- hardly emits any light, making it difficult to study. […]

  • Comet mission reveals 'missing link' in our understanding of planet formation
    on October 25, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    The missing link in our understanding of planet formation has been revealed by the first ever spacecraft to orbit and land on a comet, say scientists. […]

  • Fireworks in space
    on October 25, 2017 at 3:28 am

    Some of the most exciting things that we've seen from looking at gene expression in space is that we really see an explosion, like fireworks taking off, as soon as the human body gets into space. […]

  • NASA's MAVEN mission finds Mars has a twisted magnetic tail
    on October 19, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Mars has an invisible magnetic 'tail' that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft. […]