Watch: NASA celebrates 50 years of planetary science awesomeness


On July 14, 2015, New Horizons will take the first close-up pictures of Pluto, exactly 50 years to the day after Mariner 4 flew by Mars and took the first close-up pictures ever of another planet.

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Epic photo of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon

A stunning capture of the ISS in front of Earth's moon, by Dylan O'Donnell.
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NASA: We're headed for Jupiter's moon Europa

Europa. Image: NASA.
Europa is considered one of the most promising places in the solar system to search for signs of present-day life.

Space in ultra-high def: NASA releases 4K video from International Space Station

An unprecedented look at what it's like to live and work aboard the ISS.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft to do close fly-by of Saturn's moon Dione on June 16

Cassini will get as close as 321 miles (516 kilometers) of Dione's surface if all goes as planned.

Astronaut Terry Virts's photo of the Great Pyramids

Tweet by Astronaut Terry Virts, who returned to Earth a few days after 200 days on the International Space Station: "It took me until my last day in space to get a good picture of these!" Read the rest

NASA's new flying saucer-shaped LDSD Mars lander tech completes second test flight

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator hangs from a launch tower at U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. 
NASA/Bill Ingalls
The saucer-shaped craft that may help NASA do more on Mars splashed down Monday in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i.
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NASA releases amazing pics of Ceres


From JPL. Those white spots are an intriguing mystery. Read the rest

Play in the beautiful, terrible natural world

Part art, part science, Nadezda Suvorova's playful works celebrate the weird beauty of our reality

Strange reflections on dwarf planet Ceres

Conspiracy theorists are claiming that the two shiny spots on Ceres seen in photos taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft are either ice or salt patches. Read the rest

3D printing in zero gee mission-patch

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Why is Arctic ice melting so fast?


Right now, it's cold in the Arctic. Days are dark, and ice grows to cover the dark sea. Come summer, lengthening days and warming temperatures will reverse that process. This is the ebb and flow of the Arctic, a natural cycle.

However, over the past several decades we have seen summers melt more and more of the ice that forms during the cold winter months. As a result, more and more dark seawater is exposed to the light of day.

NASA researchers, using several instruments on three separate satellites, has been collecting data for 15 years to find out why the ice is melting, and to be able to predict trends in future ice formation and melting. They reported on this data at the 2014 American Geophysical Union annual meeting, saying that 15 years worth is the absolute minimum amount of information needed for them to begin making long-term predictions. Climate trends, as opposed to weather trends, are averaged over 30 years, so they are about halfway there at this point in time.

The project to observe the Arctic is part of NASA's Clouds and the Earths Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) mission. They measure the Earth's reflected solar radiation, emitted thermal infrared radiation, and all emitted and reflected radiation.

The results so far indicate that the Arctic is absorbing energy from the sun five percent faster now during the summer months than it was when they first began monitoring in 2000. This is important because the rest of the Earth is still absorbing energy at pretty much the same rate. Read the rest

Go, Orion! NASA set to launch spacecraft on first step toward manned flights to Mars [Update: Delayed! Launched!]

Final preparations are under way for NASA's Dec. 4 launch of the Orion spacecraft. Not since the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011 has there been so much excitement around American space flight. Sawyer Rosenstein reports from Cape Canaveral.

Orion spacecraft arrives at NASA Kennedy, “First step on journey to Mars”

NASA's first space-bound Orion capsule is seen in silhouette, set against the pad lights at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 37B on Wednesday, Nov. 12. (collectSPACE)

The first space-bound Orion capsule has arrived at a NASA Kennedy Space Center launch pad. Read the rest

Dramatic videos of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket explosion from plane and nearby press site

Two dramatic videos that capture the unfortunate explosion of the Orbital Sciences Antares rocket: one from a plane at 3,000 feet, and the other from the press area near the launchpad.

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