SpaceX Crew Dragon pinpoints first-ever splashdown in Gulf of Mexico

10 Days in July: Trio of nations launch separate missions to Mars

Comet of the Week: 67P/Churyomov-Gerasimenko

Special Topic: Life in Martian Meteorites?

Comet of the Week: NEOWISE C/2020 F3

Special Topic: Terrestrial Impact Craters

All About Mars

Gazing upon Mars

Mars 2020 Mission Overview

Building for Mars

Mars Exploration Historical Timeline

QuizMe: Mars Exploration

Project: Make a paper Mars helicopter

Go outside and view Comet NEOWISE before it disappears for 6800 years

Comet of the Week: Hale-Bopp C/1995 O1

Special Topic: Discoveries and Surveys

Scientists on their favorite science fiction

QuizMe: The Red Planet

Meteorites contain clues about geology of Mars

Special Topic: Pluto

Another delay slips launch of Mars 2020 to July 30

Special Topic: Past Spacecraft Missions

NASA renames HQ in honor of ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary Jackson

The future of space may be female

Special Topic: The Tunguska Event and Other Recent Impacts

Special Topic: Orbits and Future Returns

Shuttlewagon delivers Artemis rocket boosters to KSC

Special Topic: Lunar and Planetary Impacts

Mars Exploration Word Search

Perseverance and Ingenuity ready to explore Mars

Special Topic: “Small Bodies” in Culture and Literature

NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission Crossword

Dragon Endeavour delivers astronauts to ISS after historic flight

SpaceX launches astronauts into orbit on historic flight

Special Topic: The K-T Event

Most Recent Articles

After two action-packed months in Earth orbit two NASA astronauts splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico today, Sunday, Aug. 2, inside their SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship on the history-making first human spaceflight launch from US soil in nine years and the first-ever commercially built and operated human space mission. Returning from the International …

Across a brief 10-day period covering mid to late July, the United Arab Emirates, China, and the United States each launched their own mission to explore Mars. For the UAE and China, it is their first solo attempt to reach the Red Planet, whereas the U.S. is continuing to build upon a legacy of success …

AUGUST 3, 1963: U.S. Government sensors detect an airburst explosion near the Prince Edward Islands off the southern coast of South Africa. At first it was thought that this was caused by a clandestine nuclear device tested by that nation, but later study revealed that it was caused by an incoming small stony asteroid. Airburst …

Perihelion: 2015 August 13.08, q = 1.243 AU  There have been a handful of occasions throughout recent history when someone has discovered a comet while looking for, or examining, another one. Such an incident happened in late 1969 in the former Soviet Union, when on September 11 Svetlana Gerasimenko with the Alma Ata Observatory (in …

The question as to whether or not we are alone in the universe has fascinated humanity throughout most of its history. In addition to driving many of our mythologies and stories, it has also motivated many of us, myself included, to pursue sciences like astronomy in the first place. The unambiguous discovery that life has …

JULY 28, 2014: The Pan-STARRS program in Hawaii discovers the centaur designated as 2014 OG392; it has an orbital period of 42.8 years and will pass perihelion in November 2021 at a heliocentric distance of 10.0 AU. An observational analysis published earlier this year indicates sustained cometary activity, however, this report was published too late …

Educational Resources

Ice and Stone 2020 is a new weekly series of educational material focusing on some of the small bodies of the solar system – comets and asteroids. The Earthrise Institute, a non-profit educational organization founded by Comet Hale-Bopp co-discoverer Alan Hale, is partnering with RocketSTEM and the La Cumbres Observatory to release the material for FREE online …

The United States and Canada are joining forces to encourage a new generation of astronauts. The two countries have cooperated on space exploration since soon after NASA, the U.S. space agency, was founded in 1958. Canada sends astronauts on NASA space missions, and it supplies technology for the International Space Station, among other space efforts. …

If you like numbers, you will love March 14, 2015. When written as a numerical date, it’s 3/14/15, corresponding to the first five digits of pi (3.1415) — a once-in-a-century coincidence! Pi Day, which would have been the 136th birthday of Albert Einstein, is a great excuse to eat pie, and to appreciate how important …

Interviews

“Do you know what they did down on the Moon? What those guys’ primary job was? They picked up rocks and dirt. Now, myself, in lunar orbit…” — Al Worden, Apollo 15 CMP USAF Colonel Alfred Worden served as Command Module Pilot for Apollo 15 – the fourth manned lunar landing mission. He also holds the …

On 20th November this year, a Union Jack Flag will be safely stored on board a Soyuz rocket, and, along with its owner, will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and make its way to the International Space Station. This is not the first time that a British born citizen has flown in space, …

Charley Kohlhase officially ‘retired’ from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1998. At his retirement party, a recording was played of Carl Sagan, who had died two years previously. ‘…. His voice suddenly, pleasingly rang through the room. From the afterlife, Sagan implored, “Charley Kohlhase’s name should be as well known as Michael Jordan’s!”’ (from ‘Ambassadors …

Shelf Space

Tales of strange alien worlds, fantastic future technologies and bowls of sentient petunias have long captivated audiences worldwide. But science fiction is more than just fantasy in space; it can educate, inspire and expand our imaginations to conceive of the universe as it might be. We invited scientists to highlight their favourite science fiction novel …

Piers Bizony is an accomplished science journalist, space historian and documentary film maker. His books have explored the enormity and spectacle of the Universe as well as focused all way down to the sheer emptiness of a single atom. In his 2017 book Moonshots, Bizony takes readers on a photographic journey of 50 years of …

All across America and throughout the world, celebrations are being held this month to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s first landing on the Moon. Well-traveled author Jerome Pohlen was just a kid when the Saturn V rockets were launching astronauts to the Moon from 1968 until 1972, but that era still has left …

Earth and the ISS

After two action-packed months in Earth orbit two NASA astronauts splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico today, Sunday, Aug. 2, inside their SpaceX Crew Dragon spaceship on the history-making first human spaceflight launch from US soil in nine years and the first-ever commercially built and operated human space mission. Returning from the International …

Recently discovered Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3)  is now putting on a dazzling display in the early evening for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere and it is right at prime time, roughly 45 minutes or so after sunset, and showing off a spectacular tail to boot – as it passes through the inner solar system, weather …

Despite the pandemic, NASA is on track to launch its Mars rover, Perseverance, this July from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Its central mission will be to search for evidence of previous life on Mars. An exciting component of the rover will be a specialized drill that will collect rock and soil samples to be cached on …

Lunar Exploration

  Marking a big step forward towards launch, all ten of the powerful solid rocket booster (SRB) segments for NASA’s inaugural Space Launch System (SLS) rocket liftoff on the Artemis 1 Moon mission arrived by a train Monday afternoon at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida – thereby completing a 10-day cross country rail journey from their …

Marking a significant step forward in landing Americans on the Moon by 2024, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the selection of three U.S. companies – Blue Origin, SpaceX and Dynetics – to design and develop the critical human landing systems (HLS) under the agency’s Artemis lunar landing program. Blue Origin won by far the largest …

Project Apollo encompassed more than 400,000 Americans working together to make it possible for 24 NASA astronauts to journey to the Moon between 1968 and 1972. This mammoth engineering feat is the featured topic in this edition of our QuizMe series of educational content. In honor of Apollo 11’s historic mission, we’ve added an extra …

Mars

Across a brief 10-day period covering mid to late July, the United Arab Emirates, China, and the United States each launched their own mission to explore Mars. For the UAE and China, it is their first solo attempt to reach the Red Planet, whereas the U.S. is continuing to build upon a legacy of success …

The planet Mars is probably the most studied planet, other than Earth, in our solar system. Like Earth, Mars is a terrestrial planet, as opposed to a gas planet like Jupiter for example. Mars is often referred to as the Red Planet, due to the brownish-red color of its surface caused by iron oxide in …

Throughout our exclusive Mars 2020 Exploration Mission Guide, we included a number of images of Mars captured by the plethora of orbiters, landers and rovers that the nations of Earth have sent to study the planet. Here we are including a large selection of those images. Many of the images are false-color or otherwise enhanced …

Around the Solar System

The solar system that everyone of us calls home is the fourth featured topic in our new QuizMe series of educational content. Put your knowledge to the test with these 10 questions about our tiny outpost within the galactic neighborhood. Afterward, please feel free to share your results and challenge your friends to take the …

Thanks to the advanced imaging capabilities of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in cooperation with other observatories, astronomers were able to identify and explain a rare and beautiful object in the distant sky: an active asteroid that is in the process of coming apart. The image of the asteroid known as 6478 Gault shows two narrow, comet-like tails …

When NASA scientists assembled telescopes in her home country of Senegal, Binita Yanni knew very little about astronomy and didn’t realize a career in planetary sciences was even a possibility. Determined to learn why 21 U.S. telescopes were stationed throughout the Senegalese countryside, the 20-year-old chemical engineering student approached lead scientist Adriana Ocampo on the …

Gazing at the Universe

Until now, everything we’ve known about black holes — celestial objects with intense gravitation — has been from theories and illustrations. Now, thanks to an international collaboration called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a cosmic portrait of a supermassive black hole exists. At the center of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87) in the Virgo constellation, the …

For a planet, this would be like a day at the spa. After years of growing old, a massive planet could, in theory, brighten up with a radiant, youthful glow. Rejuvenated planets, as they are nicknamed, are only hypothetical. But new research from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has identified one such candidate, seemingly looking billions …

Whilst looking closely at a massive elliptical galaxy and its associated galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223 — whose light took over 5 billion years to reach us — astronomers have spotted a strange and rare sight. The huge mass of the galaxy and the cluster is bending the light from a much more distant supernova behind …

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