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.

  • 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. […]

  • Last of universe's missing ordinary matter
    on June 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Researchers have helped to find the last reservoir of ordinary matter hiding in the universe. […]

  • Surgery in space
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    With renewed public interest in manned space exploration comes the potential need to diagnose and treat medical issues encountered by future space travelers. […]

  • Distant moons may harbor life
    on June 15, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Researchers have identified more than 100 giant planets that potentially host moons capable of supporting life. Their work will guide the design of future telescopes that can detect these potential moons and look for tell-tale signs of life, called biosignatures, in their atmospheres. […]

  • 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. […]

  • The true power of the solar wind
    on June 12, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    The planets and moons of our solar system are continuously being bombarded by particles from the sun. On the Moon or on Mercury, the uppermost layer of rock is gradually eroded by the impact of sun particles. New results show that previous models of this process are incomplete. The effects of solar wind bombardment are much more drastic than previously thought. […]

  • 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. […]

  • The case of the relativistic particles solved with NASA missions
    on May 29, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Encircling Earth are two enormous rings -- called the Van Allen radiation belts -- of highly energized ions and electrons. Various processes can accelerate these particles to relativistic speeds, which endanger spacecraft unlucky enough to enter these giant bands of damaging radiation. Scientists had previously identified certain factors that might cause particles in the belts to become highly energized, but they had not known which cause dominates. […]

  • 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 introduce cosmochemical model for Pluto formation
    on May 25, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Scientists integrated NASA's New Horizons discoveries with data from ESA's Rosetta mission to develop a new theory about how Pluto may have formed at the edge of our solar system. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Unusual laser emission from the Ant Nebula
    on May 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Astronomers have discovered an unusual laser emission that suggests the presence of a double star system hidden at the heart of the 'spectacular' Ant Nebula. The extremely rare phenomenon is connected to the death of a star and was discovered in observations made by European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Frequency-stable laser systems for space
    on May 14, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    For the first time a frequency reference based on molecular iodine was successfully demonstrated in space! What sounds a bit like science fiction is an important step towards laser interferometric distance measurements between satellites as well as for future global navigation satellite systems based on optical technologies. The frequency reference tests were carried out on May 13 on board the sounding rocket TEXUS54. […]

  • New magnetic process in turbulent space
    on May 9, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Explorations in Earth's space environment by NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft have discovered a surprising new magnetic event in turbulent plasma. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Hubble detects helium in the atmosphere of an exoplanet for the first time
    on May 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have detected helium in the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b. This is the first time this element has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the Solar System. The discovery demonstrates the ability to use infrared spectra to study exoplanet extended atmospheres. […]

  • One detector doesn't 'fit all' for smoke in spacecraft
    on May 1, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Researchers describe how they looked at the smoke particles produced by five materials commonly used aboard crewed spacecraft, defined their characteristics and evaluated how well they could be detected by two traditional smoke detection systems. […]

  • Old data, new tricks: Fresh results from NASA's Galileo spacecraft 20 years on
    on April 30, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Newly analyzed data from the Galileo spacecraft's flybys of one of Jupiter's moons two decades ago is yielding fresh insights: the magnetic field around the moon Ganymede makes it unlike any other in the solar system. […]

  • NASA planet hunter on its way to orbit
    on April 19, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life. Researchers will use spectroscopy to determine a planet's mass, density and atmospheric composition. Water, and other key molecules, in its atmosphere can give us hints about a planets' capacity to harbor life. […]

  • Optimizing space travel efficiency
    on April 18, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Sending a human into space and doing it efficiently presents a galaxy of challenges. Scientists have explored ways to integrate the logistics of space travel by looking at a campaign of lunar missions, spacecraft design, and conducting research, to create a framework to optimize fuel and other resources. […]

  • Martian moons model indicates formation following large impact
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Scientists posit a violent birth of the tiny Martian moons Phobos and Deimos, but on a much smaller scale than the giant impact thought to have resulted in the Earth-moon system. Their work shows that an impact between proto-Mars and a dwarf-planet-sized object likely produced the two moons. […]

  • Artificial intelligence helps predict likelihood of life on other worlds
    on April 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Developments in artificial intelligence may help us to predict the probability of life on other planets. The study uses artificial neural networks (ANNs) to classify planets into five types, estimating a probability of life in each case, which could be used in future interstellar exploration missions. […]

  • Anticipating the dangers of space
    on April 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Astronauts and future space tourists face risks from radiation, which can cause illness and injure organs. Researchers used supercomputers to investigate the radiation exposure related to the Manned Orbital Laboratory mission, planned for the 1960s and 70s, during which a dangerous solar storm occurred. They also explored the historical limitations of radiation research and how such limitations could be addressed in future endeavors. […]

  • Is there life adrift in the clouds of Venus?
    on March 30, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    In the search for extraterrestrial life, scientists have turned over all sorts of rocks. Mars, for example, has geological features that suggest it once had -- and still has -- subsurface liquid water. Scientists have also eyed Saturn's moons as well as Jupiter's as possible havens for life in the oceans under their icy crusts. Now, however, scientists are dusting off an old idea that promises a new vista in the hunt for life beyond Earth: the clouds of Venus. […]

  • Supernova may have 'burped' before exploding
    on March 28, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    The slow fade of radioactive elements following a supernova allows astrophysicists to study them at length. But the universe is packed full of flash-in-the pan transient events lasting only a brief time, so quick and hard to study they remain a mystery. Only by increasing the rate at which telescopes monitor the sky has it been possible to catch more Fast-Evolving Luminous Transients (FELTs) and begin to understand them. […]