News From Space

The China National Space Administration made history on January 3, when the Chang’e-4 spacecraft became the first to make a soft landing on the lunar farside. Chang’e-4 touched down in Von Kármán crater, located within the immense South Pole-Aitken basin, becoming the first spacecraft to visit the oldest impact basin on the Moon. As direct […]
  Recently analyzed data from NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has revealed water locked inside the clays that make up its scientific target, the asteroid Bennu. During the mission’s approach phase, between mid-August and early December, the spacecraft traveled 2.2 million kilometers (1.4 million miles) on its journey from Earth to arrive […]
Scientists from NASA’s New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored — the Kuiper belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance, unlike anything we’ve seen before, illuminates the processes that built the planets 4.5 billion years ago. “This flyby is a historic achievement,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan […]
NASA has chosen Jezero Crater as the landing site for its upcoming Mars 2020 rover mission after a five-year search, during which details of more than 60 candidate locations on the red planet were scrutinized and debated by the mission team and the planetary science community. The rover mission is scheduled to launch in July […]
New NASA research confirms that Saturn is losing its iconic rings at the maximum rate estimated from Voyager 1 and 2 observations made decades ago. The rings are being pulled into Saturn by gravity as a dusty rain of ice particles under the influence of Saturn’s magnetic field. “We estimate that this ‘ring rain’ drains an […]
In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as ‘Oumuamua — the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. The infrared Spitzer was one of many telescopes pointed at ‘Oumuamua in the weeks after its discovery that October. ‘Oumuamua was too faint for Spitzer to detect when it looked […]
Twenty-five years ago, NASA held its collective breath as seven astronauts on space shuttle Endeavour caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope 568 kilometers (353 miles) above Earth. Their mission: to fix a devastating flaw in the telescope’s primary mirror. About the size of a school bus, the Hubble Space Telescope has a 2.4-meter (8-foot) primary mirror. […]
Robots invaded the Sahara Desert for Europe’s largest rover field test, taking place in a Mars-like part of Morocco. For two weeks, three rovers and more than 40 engineers tested automated navigation systems at up to five different sites. This marked the end of the first phase of the strategic research cluster on space robotics […]
A new study reveals that, contrary to first impressions, Rosetta did detect signs of an infant bow shock at the comet it explored for two years — the first ever seen forming anywhere in the solar system. From 2014 to 2016, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft studied Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and its surroundings from near and far. It flew directly […]
This image shows what appears to be a large patch of fresh, untrodden snow — a dream for any lover of the holiday season. However, it’s a little too distant for a last-minute winter getaway: this feature, known as Korolev Crater, is found on Mars and is shown here in beautiful detail as seen by Mars […]
The December 2018 close approach by the large, near-Earth asteroid 2003 SD220 has provided astronomers an outstanding opportunity to obtain detailed radar images of the surface and shape of the object and to improve the understanding of its orbit. The asteroid flew safely past Earth on December 22, at a distance of about 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles). This was […]
For the second time in history, a human-made object has reached the space between the stars. NASA’s Voyager 2 probe now has exited the heliosphere — the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun. Comparing data from different instruments aboard the trailblazing spacecraft, mission scientists determined the probe crossed the outer edge of […]
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has gone silent, ending a historic mission that studied time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter. The spacecraft finally ran out of hydrazine, the fuel that enables the spacecraft to control its pointing. Dawn can no longer keep its antennae trained on Earth to communicate with mission control or turn its […]