When Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX were looking to make their Falcon 9 rocket even more powerful, they came up with a creative idea -- keep the propellant at super-cold temperatures to shrink its size, allowing them to pack more of it into the tanks. But the approach comes with a major risk, according to some safety experts.
A robotic geologist armed with a hammer and quake monitor rocketed toward Mars on Saturday, aiming to land on the red planet and explore its mysterious insides. InSight will dig deeper into Mars than ever before -- nearly 16 feet, or 5 meters -- to take the planet's temperature. It will also attempt to make the first measurements of marsquakes, using a high-tech seismometer placed directly on the Martian surface.
The new four-year strategic plan for NASA provides a foundation to return to the moon “for long-term exploration and use” as well as creating a base for “eventual crewed missions to Mars and potentially beyond.”
Jim Bridenstine officially took office as the 13th administrator of NASA Monday after he was given the oath of office by Vice President Mike Pence at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. In his new role at NASA, Bridenstine takes over an agency critical to the nation’s economy, security and technological preeminence.
The satellite may be small, but it packs a major science punch. TESS is following in the footsteps of NASA's famed Kepler space telescope and is expected to surpass its predecessor in the number of exoplanets detected. Over the course of its two-year mission, TESS will monitor the brightness of more than 200,000 stars, waiting to observe tiny dips in starlight known as transits.
Chairman Smith: "The NASA Authorization Act of 2018 is a crucial step in restoring the greatness of American space exploration. With this bill, we ensure that NASA will focus on its priority missions, effectively leverage private sector partnerships and entrepreneurship, and continue space research that will launch America toward new scientific discoveries and worlds.
Take a virtual tour of the Moon in all-new 4K resolution, thanks to data provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. As the visualization moves around the near side, far side, north and south poles, we highlight interesting features, sites, and information gathered on the lunar terrain.
You have undoubtedly seen the moon, but have you ever seen it up close in glorious 4K resolution? Probably not, but you can see it right now on YouTube. NASA has uploaded a new video, created mostly from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) observations. The video takes you on a tour of several different regions, some of which still present tantalizing mysteries for future exploration.
The James Webb Space Telescope is intended as the successor to Hubble, which is now more than 25 years old. Hubble was last services during one of the final Space Shuttle missions, and there are no plans to make another visit. When it stops working, that will be the end of the mission. The JWST was already supposed to be in space at this point, but it’s a complicated project costing more than $8 billion to date. NASA wants to get it right, and that has led to the latest delay.
The appropriations bill gives NASA $20.736 billion for the 2018 fiscal year, which started more than five and a half months ago. That is more than $1.6 billion above the administration’s original request of $19.092 billion. A House appropriations bill offered NASA $19.872 billion and its Senate counterpart $19.529 billion. An overarching two-year budget deal reached earlier this year raised spending caps for both defense and non-defense programs, freeing up additional funding.