NEWS ABOUT: NASA

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Moon Caves Might Shelter Future Astronauts

NASA studying about 200 lunar pits

(Newser) - If humans ever set up camp on the moon, NASA thinks they can make great use of some natural shelter: moon caves. As Vice explains, the space agency has identified more than 200 lunar pits on the moon's surface, and those pits lead to caves below that range anywhere... More »

We'll Be Visiting Pluto in a Year ... Sort Of

Flyby mission to get closer to dwarf planet than ever before

(Newser) - Exactly one year from today, a spacecraft will be "arriving" at Pluto—or so a planetary scientist puts it. More specifically, the New Horizons craft, about the size of a baby grand piano and carrying no one, will be passing closer to the dwarf planet than we've ever... More »

Space Buffs' Hopes Crushed by Lack of Nitrogen

Looks like they won't be able to move ISEE-3 after all

(Newser) - It looks like space buffs' plan to push an aged NASA space probe into a new orbit has come up against a deal-breaker. Weeks after making contact with the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3, the group of citizen scientists has learned the tanks on the spacecraft are apparently empty of... More »

'Citizen Scientists' Take Over Old NASA Satellite

ISEE-3 wakes up after years

(Newser) - A satellite originally launched in 1978 is getting a new lease on life after NASA stopped using it. NASA shut down the satellite, called ISEE-3, in 1997, and it's been spinning uselessly around the sun for years. But a crowdfunded team of "citizen scientists" last month got NASA'... More »

NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Test a Success—Sort of

Parachute fails to fully deploy in Mars landing simulation

(Newser) - NASA's test of a flying saucer-esque vehicle ended with a bit of a bumpy landing, but the space agency is calling the experiment a step forward in its quest to land large payloads on Mars. As the AP reports, NASA yesterday launched the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator in the... More »

Astonishing NASA Image Captures Color of 10K Galaxies

Hubble shot spans light spectrum, took 841 orbits to create

(Newser) - Thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes, and colors can be seen in a stunning new image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. Some of the oldest galaxies visible appear as light from nearly 12 billion years ago, almost as old as the universe, but NASA says the most exciting... More »

Space Buffs Awaken Old NASA Probe

Group sends commands to 36-year-old spacecraft

(Newser) - A group of space enthusiasts has managed to gain control of an abandoned NASA spacecraft that has been dormant since the '90s. The International Sun-Earth Explorer, or ISEE-3, was launched in 1978 to study solar wind and, since NASA showed little interest in waking it up, the group hatched... More »

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Has Really Shrunk

It looks more like a circle than an oval

(Newser) - The signature red spot we see in pictures of Jupiter could fit three Earths next to each other—in the late 1800s. The Great Red Spot is getting smaller, and the reason is a mystery, Reuters reports. It was some 25,000 miles across in the late 19th century; by... More »

Square 'Hole' Spotted in Sun

Gap in magnetic field is unusual shape

(Newser) - There's a big square "hole" in the sun this week, according to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The dark spot in the sun's outer atmosphere is a phenomenon known as a "coronal hole," a gap in the magnetic field where solar wind rushes out, reports... More »

'Brand New' Meteor Shower Born in 200-Year-Old Comet

Camelopardalid could rival Perseids—or be totally lame

(Newser) - About 200 years ago, a comet known as 209P/LINEAR passed through our cosmic neighborhood, leaving a trail of detritus in its wake. Next week, our humble planet will plow through that debris field, and the resulting meteor shower has NASA more than a little excited—as well as not quite... More »

NASA Goes With 'Tron-Like' Design for Next Spacesuit

Public got a chance to vote on new look

(Newser) - It's time for Tron. NASA has announced the results of a public vote for its next-generation spacesuit design, and with more than 60% of 200,000 votes, the "Technology" option won. NASA says that it's "laser-focused" on heading to Mars and that this new Z-series of... More »

Antarctic Iceberg Is 6 Times Size of Manhattan

Could pose shipping problems in Antarctic winter

(Newser) - Last year, a huge chunk of ice broke off of Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica—and an iceberg six times the size of Manhattan was born. Dubbed B31, the iceberg "is now well out of Pine Island Bay and will soon join the more general flow in the Southern... More »

NASA Orbiter Smashes Into Moon (on Purpose)

LADEE ends short mission by disintegrating

(Newser) - A $280 million orbiter crashed into the moon and disintegrated yesterday, and NASA couldn't be happier about it. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer met its end after completing a mission to orbit the moon and observe its atmosphere that began in September, reports the AP . In fact,... More »

Astronomers Find Earth's 'Cousin'

Kepler-186f is called the best bet yet to hold alien life

(Newser) - Other "Earth-like" planets have been discovered before, but a new one is generating a lot of excitement in astronomy circles because of how very Earth-like it actually is. Introducing Kepler-186f, which is maybe 10% bigger than our planet and thought to be in the not-too-hot and not-too-cold range that... More »

Computer Glitch May Force Spacewalk

It's a backup, and the crew is not in danger

(Newser) - It's never fun when your computer goes down, but it's especially bad if you happen to be about 200 miles above Earth at the time. A computer outage at the International Space Station may require a spacewalk by astronauts and threatens to delay next week's launch of... More »

NASA Tries to Explain Mars 'Mystery Light'

Vent hole, shiny rock could have caused it

(Newser) - NASA has offered a few more explanations for a strange beam of light spotted in a photo from its Curiosity rover—and none of them involve Martians. The bright spot that has excited UFO enthusiasts is probably either "the glint from a rock surface reflecting the sun" or sunlight... More »

'Mystery Light' Spotted in Mars Photo

NASA says blip was caused by cosmic rays

(Newser) - Is there life on Mars—and has it left its lights on? A strange blip of light in a photo snapped April 3 by NASA's Curiosity rover has excited UFO enthusiasts, the Houston Chronicle reports. While experts suspect a pixel problem, some believe the light shining upward signals Martians.... More »

NASA Yanks Cooperation With Russia —Sort of

They're kinda our ride to the ISS

(Newser) - NASA is cutting off much of its contact and cooperation with Russia—except when it comes to the International Space Station, which NASA relies on Russia to reach. "Given Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," all contact with Russian representatives are suspended, "... More »

NASA Diapers Forced Men to Make Big Revelation

Or, ahem, small

(Newser) - It was a mission-critical element: the size of NASA astronauts' manhood. Seriously. The Houston Chronicle resurrects the fascinating historical tidbit by way of the Science Channel's Moon Machines documentary series, in which engineer Donald Rethke explained the very precise nature of early space diapers. The Maximum Absorbency Garment system... More »

US, Russian Crew Blasts Off for ISS

Snag delays Soyuz arrival

(Newser) - A joint Russian-American crew has blasted off for the International Space Station on a mission that leaves the messy politics of Earth behind. A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russians and NASA's Steve Swanson took off from Kazakhstan last night, but their arrival was delayed until tomorrow after the spacecraft... More »

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