Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: Mars Exploration Rover Spirit remembered 13 years after landing

    Curt GodwinJanuary 4th, 2017

    The landing of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit in January 2004 marked the beginning 13 years of continuous robotic operations on the surface of the Red Planet. In that time, multiple spacecraft, including Spirit, have beamed back textbook-rewriting information about past water activity on the red world.

  • NEOWISE detects two small objects approaching Earth’s orbit

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 30th, 2016

    A NASA mission whose goal is detecting asteroids and comets that come near Earth's orbit has recently spotted two: one a comet and one an apparent comet/asteroid hybrid, traveling in Earth's vicinity. Neither object presents any threat of impacting our planet.

  • NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is driving again, drill is still out of action

    Jim SharkeyDecember 24th, 2016

    NASA's "Curiosity" Mars rover drove, on Dec. 18, for about 10 meters from the spot where it had been stopped by ground engineers in order to determine the cause of its faulty drill.

  • Ceres covered in hidden ice, studies suggest

    Paul KnightlyDecember 19th, 2016

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA have announced a series of new findings from the Dawn spacecraft currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres that point to the existence of ice within its crust.

  • Cassini sends back first photos taken from ring-grazing orbit

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 12th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft has returned the first photographs of Saturn and its rings taken from its new, nine-month ring-grazing orbit phase.

  • Curiosity rover team troubleshoots drill problem

    Jim SharkeyDecember 10th, 2016

    NASA's Curiosity rover is currently studying its surroundings and monitoring the Martian environment, but not driving or using its arm for science, while the rover team investigates an issue with a motor that moves the rover's drill.

  • Cassini begins dive into Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 6th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini orbiter made its first dive into Saturn's ring system on Sunday, Dec. 4. It's the beginning of an endgame in which the spacecraft will fly across the ring plane and ultimately impact the giant planet on Sept. 15, 2017.

  • JPL uses metallic glass to make better robot gears

    Jim SharkeyDecember 2nd, 2016

    JPL is developing a metallic glass alloy, for use on deep space probes and rovers, that is resistant to the extreme cold temperatures encountered in space.

  • Cassini prepares to graze Saturn’s rings

    Paul KnightlyNovember 26th, 2016

    NASA's robotic Cassini spacecraft will begin a grand tour of Saturn’s ring system starting this week as the mission enters into its final stages.

  • NASA’s JPL looks to boost power from nuclear batteries

    Curt GodwinOctober 19th, 2016

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) have been the power source for many of the most ambitious exploration missions in NASA's history, powering spacecraft in areas too remote, or too impractical, for solar panels to provide sufficient electricity. A new development to this power-generating workhorse may soon substantially improve the capabilities of the RTG, possibly benefiting both interplanetary missions and daily life here on Earth.

  • Martian dust storms may follow predictable patterns

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 7th, 2016

    Global dust storms on Mars may follow a predictable pattern, with an active period likely to begin at the end of this month, according to NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) planetary scientist James Shirley.

  • Cassini spacecraft spies dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan

    Jim SharkeySeptember 12th, 2016

    Scientists are learning more about the frigid landscape of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, from recent radar images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

  • New launch window for Mars InSight mission approved by NASA

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 4th, 2016

    NASA’s Science Mission Directorate has finally approved the new launch window for the agency’s upcoming Mars InSight mission. Liftoff of the spacecraft, initially planned for March 2016, was postponed due to a detected vacuum leak in one of its science instruments.

  • NASA’s Juno spacecraft captures images of Jupiter’s poles

    Jim SharkeySeptember 4th, 2016

    On Friday, Sept. 2, NASA released the first images from the Juno spacecraft's close approach of Jupiter, which occurred on Aug. 27. The images include first-ever views of Jupiter's north pole showing storms and weather systems unlike any seen before on any of the Solar System's other gas-giant planets.

  • NASA’s Mars 2020 rover ready for final design and construction

    Jim SharkeyJuly 24th, 2016

    NASA recently announced that it is ready to proceed with final design and construction of its next Mars rover, currently scheduled to launch in the summer of 2020 and land on Mars in February 2021. The Mars 2020 rover will search for evidence of past life on Mars and collect and cache soil and rock samples for possible return to Earth on a later mission.