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 solar sailing technology for NASA
    on July 19, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Researchers is taking solar sailing to the next level with advanced photonic materials. This new class of materials could be used to steer reflected or transmitted photons and enable near-Earth, interplanetary and interstellar space travel. […]

  • Disruption tolerant networking to demonstrate Internet in space
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    The interplanetary Internet may soon become a reality. NASA is about to demonstrate Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking, or DTN -- a technology that sends information through space and ground networks to its destination. […]

  • Mars valleys traced back to precipitation
    on June 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    The valley networks of Mars bear a strong resemblance to those found in arid landscapes on Earth. Researchers have been able to demonstrate this using the branching angles of river valley confluences. Based on these observations, they infer that Mars once had a primeval climate in which sporadic heavy precipitation eroded valleys. […]

  • Mars dust storm may lead to new weather discoveries
    on June 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Mars is experiencing an estimated 15.8-million-square-mile dust storm, roughly the size of North and South America. This storm may not be good news for the NASA solar-powered Opportunity rover, but one professor sees this as a chance to learn more about Martian weather. […]

  • Meteorite 'Black Beauty' expands window for when life might have existed on Mars
    on June 28, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    New evidence for a rapid crystallization and crust formation on Mars has just been published. The study, based on the analysis of the rare Mars meteorite Black Beauty, significantly expands the window for when life might have existed on Mars. […]

  • Why bacteria survive in space
    on June 27, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Earth germs could be contaminating other planets. Despite extreme decontamination efforts, bacteria from Earth still manages to find its way into outer space aboard spacecraft. Biologist are working to better understand how and why some spores elude decontamination. […]

  • Martian dust storm grows global: Curiosity captures photos of thickening haze
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    A storm of tiny dust particles has engulfed much of Mars over the last two weeks and prompted NASA's Opportunity rover to suspend science operations. But across the planet, NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been studying Martian soil at Gale Crater, is expected to remain largely unaffected by the dust. The Martian dust storm has grown in size and is now officially a 'planet-encircling' (or 'global') dust event. […]

  • Learning about the Himalayas using Mars technology
    on June 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    he Himalayan Range includes some of the youngest and most spectacular mountains on Earth, but the rugged landscape that lends it the striking beauty for which it is known can also keep scientists from fully understanding how these mountains formed. […]

  • Explosive volcanoes spawned mysterious Martian rock formation
    on June 18, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Explosive volcanic eruptions that shot jets of hot ash, rock and gas skyward are the likely source of a mysterious Martian rock formation, a new study finds. The new finding could add to scientists' understanding of Mars's interior and its past potential for habitability, according to the study's authors. […]

  • Long suspected theory about the moon holds water
    on June 14, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Scientists have discovered a mineral known as moganite in a lunar meteorite found in a hot desert in northwest Africa. […]

  • Minerology on Mars points to a cold and icy ancient climate
    on June 8, 2018 at 4:31 am

    The climate throughout Mars' early history has long been debated -- was the Red Planet warm and wet, or cold and icy? New research published in Icarus provides evidence for the latter. […]

  • NASA finds ancient organic material, mysterious methane on Mars
    on June 7, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    NASA's Curiosity rover has found new evidence preserved in rocks on Mars that suggests the planet could have supported ancient life, as well as new evidence in the Martian atmosphere that relates to the search for current life on the Red Planet. […]

  • New data-mining technique offers most-vivid picture of Martian mineralogy
    on June 6, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    A team of scientists have revealed the mineralogy of Mars at an unprecedented scale, which will help them understand the planet's geologic history and habitability. Understanding the mineralogy of another planet, such as Mars, allows scientists to backtrack and understand the forces that shaped their formation in that location. […]

  • Majority of Americans believe it is essential that the US remain a global leader in space
    on June 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Roughly seven in 10 Americans (72 percent) say it is essential for the US to continue to be a world leader in space exploration. Strong public support is widely shared across gender, generational, educational and political groups. […]

  • Sintering solutions aboard the International Space Station
    on May 31, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    A centuries-old materials bonding process is being tested aboard the International Space Station in an experiment that could pave the way for more materials research of its kind aboard the orbiting laboratory. Sintering is the process of heating different materials to compress their particles together. […]

  • Mars rocks may harbor signs of life from 4 billion years ago
    on May 25, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Iron-rich rocks near ancient lake sites on Mars could hold vital clues that show life once existed there, research suggests. […]

  • Scientists shrink chemistry lab to seek evidence of life on Mars
    on May 24, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    An international team of scientists has created a tiny chemistry lab for a rover that will drill beneath the Martian surface looking for signs of past or present life. […]

  • Why we won't get to Mars without teamwork
    on May 24, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    If humanity hopes to make it to Mars anytime soon, we need to understand not just technology, but the psychological dynamic of a small group of astronauts trapped in a confined space for months with no escape. […]

  • Deep space radiation treatment reboots brain's immune system
    on May 21, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    NASA and private company SpaceX plan to send humans to Mars within the next 15 years -- but need to figure out how to protect astronauts from the dangerous cosmic radiation of deep space. Now neuroscientists have identified a potential treatment for the brain damage caused by cosmic rays -- a drug that prevents memory impairment in mice exposed to simulated space radiation. […]

  • NASA's new planet hunter snaps initial test image, swings by Moon toward final orbit
    on May 18, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    After launching April 18, TESS has completed its lunar flyby to put it on track for its final science orbit, and has released a first test image. […]

  • Water plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa?
    on May 15, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter's moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. The data provide independent evidence that the moon's subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell. […]

  • Scientists use Dorset, UK, as model to help find traces of life on Mars
    on May 15, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    By studying a stream on the UK coast, experts have calculated how much organic matter we might find on Mars, and where to look. […]

  • Mission to study how Mars was made
    on May 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    NASA's Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is on a 300-million-mile (483-million-kilometer) trip to Mars to study for the first time what lies deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet. InSight is scheduled to land on the Red Planet around 3 p.m. EST (noon PST) Nov. 26, where it will conduct science operations until Nov. 24, 2020, which equates to one year and 40 days on Mars, or nearly two Earth years. […]

  • Mars growth was stunted by early giant planetary instability
    on May 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    An astrophysics team explains why the growth of Mars was stunted by an orbital instability among the outer solar system's giant planets in a new study on the evolution of the young solar system. The study builds on the widely accepted Nice Model, which invokes a planetary instability to explain many peculiar observed aspects of the outer solar system. The research shows how planet accretion (growth) is halted by the outer solar system instability. […]

  • May the forest be with you: GEDI moves toward launch to space station
    on May 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    GEDI (pronounced like 'Jedi,' of Star Wars fame) is a first-of-its-kind laser instrument designed to map the world's forests in 3-D from space. These measurements will help fill in critical gaps in scientists' understanding of how much carbon is stored in the world's forests, the potential for ecosystems to absorb rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, and the impact of forest changes on biodiversity. […]

  • Recent work challenges view of early Mars, picturing a warm desert with occasional rain
    on May 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    The climate of early Mars is a subject of debate. A recent study suggests that the early Martian surface may not have been dominated by ice, but instead it may have been modestly warm and prone to rain, with only small patches of ice. […]

  • Microbes living in a toxic volcanic lake could hold clues to possible life on Mars
    on May 2, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Researchers have discovered microbes living in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Their findings could guide scientists looking for signs of ancient life on Mars. […]

  • A Yellowstone guide to life on Mars
    on April 25, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    A geology student is helping NASA determine whether life existed on other planets. He is helping find a marker for ancient bacterial life on Mars. The research could help scientists put to rest one of our most fundamental mysteries. […]

  • Magma ocean may be responsible for the moon's early magnetic field
    on April 25, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Around four billion years ago, the moon had a magnetic field that was about as strong as Earth's magnetic field is today. How the moon, with a much smaller core than Earth's, could have had such a strong magnetic field has been an unsolved problem in the history of the moon's evolution. A new model proposes that a magma ocean may be responsible. […]

  • Clear as mud: Desiccation cracks help reveal the shape of water on Mars
    on April 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    As Curiosity rover marches across Mars, the red planet's watery past comes into clearer focus. […]