Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th, 2018

    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • NASA’s MAVEN mission providing insights into life on distant worlds

    Jason RhianDecember 31st, 2017

    Mars. Long a destination dreamed of by the public in general and space enthusiasts in particular, is providing insights about the length of time that other planets can support life. How long would a planet like Mars, orbiting a distant red dwarf star be habitable? One of NASA's Scout Program missions is helping to develop an answer.

  • Astronomy satellite deployed by JPL

    Jason RhianDecember 30th, 2017

    With research dollars and room on launch vehicles at a premium, the miniaturization of payloads has become an ever-more used means in which researchers and those seeking to prove out their technologies can fly in space. The ASTERIA CubeSat that was recently deployed from the International Space Station could serve to further validate the emerging technology for astronomy purposes.

  • Bright spots on Ceres indicate geologic activity

    Jim SharkeyDecember 16th, 2017

    Since NASA's Dawn spacecraft arrived at Ceres in March 2015, both scientists and the general public have been able to see the hundreds of bright spots on the dwarf planet's surface. Dawn mission scientists reported their most recent research about these bright areas at the American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. The team's findings indicate that Ceres is an active, evolving world.

  • NASA plans ‘souped-up’ rover for Mars 2020 mission

    Jim SharkeyDecember 1st, 2017

    The rover for NASA's Mars 2020 mission bears a strong resemblance to the Curiosity rover currently exploring the surface of Mars. However, it will have a number of improvements and instruments to carry out its search for signs of past microbial life on the Red Planet. A recent NASA press release described the rover as a "souped-up science machine".

  • NASA performs first test of Mars 2020 rover supersonic parachute

    Jim SharkeyNovember 16th, 2017

    On October 4, 2017, NASA completed the first supersonic parachute test in preparation for the space agency's Mars 2020 rover mission. A 58-foot (17.7-meter) Black Brandt IX sounding rocket launched the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) payload from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia.

  • Cassini data proposes new explanation for Enceladus’ active ocean

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 7th, 2017

    A new study that incorporates various findings by NASA's Cassini mission regarding Saturn's moon Enceladus proposes that the moon has a porous core in which rocks flex and rub together, producing sufficient heat via friction to power its global subsurface ocean.

  • NASA’s Mars 2020 rover to be equipped with 23 ‘eyes’

    Ocean McIntyreNovember 4th, 2017

    One of the key instruments that has accompanied every rover since Pathfinder became the first rover to land on the surface of Mars in 1997 are imagers – cameras. NASA’s newest rover continues this trend. In addition, it continues the trend of increased visible acuity that accompanies the increased instrument performance and improved technology.

  • What’s inside Ceres? Dawn mission finds possible ancient ocean remnants

    Ryan ChylinskiOctober 29th, 2017

    Orbiting since March of 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft continues to provide exciting science from Ceres – a dwarf planet and the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Two studies, part of the Dawn mission's second extension, are using new data to shed light on a possible liquid past.

  • Going out with ‘GRACE’ – long-lived U.S./German mission draws to a close

    Jason RhianOctober 27th, 2017

    The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission has come to an end after more than 15 years in Earth orbit. The twin satellites chronicled the changes of the Earth's water, ice, and land since the spacecraft were launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on March 17, 2002, on a mission that was originally only slated to last some five years.

  • Pan-STARRS-1 discovers interstellar object has entered our Solar System

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 27th, 2017

    An asteroid (or comet) recently discovered in an extreme orbit originated beyond the Solar System in interstellar space, astronomers noted in a recent report. Initially discovered with the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope at the University of Hawaii on October 19, the object is the first such detected by scientists.

  • Curiosity team working to resume drilling

    Jim SharkeyOctober 25th, 2017

    Engineers with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team are working to restore the rover's sample-drilling capability by using new techniques. Use of the drill has been suspended due to a mechanical problem with the arm that first occurred late last year.

  • Reconstructing Cassini’s final moments

    Jim SharkeyOctober 21st, 2017

    During the Cassini spacecraft's final plunge into Saturn's upper atmosphere on Sept.15, 2017, the spacecraft live-streamed data from eight of its science instruments, providing readings from a variety of engineering systems. While it will take time to analyze all of the data from its plunge, engineers with the Cassini team already have a pretty clear understanding of how the spacecraft behaved as it went in.

  • Debris disks may be signposts of giant exoplanets

    Ocean McIntyreOctober 17th, 2017

    Observations of star systems by an international group of researchers suggest that debris disks around stars may be indicative of giant exoplanets.

  • Close approach of asteroid 2012 TC4 poses no danger to Earth

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 11th, 2017

    The house-sized asteroid 2012 TC4 is slated to give Earth a close shave on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 05:42 UTC (1:42 a.m. EDT), swooshing by our planet at a distance of about 31,161 miles (50,150 kilometers). Although there were some worries that this rocky object could hit the Earth, latest observations confirm that it poses no danger to our home planet at all.