Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • 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.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: The decade of Dawn

    Ocean McIntyreSeptember 27th, 2017

    When the Dawn mission finally launched on September 27, 2007, many saw it as practically miraculous. The spacecraft had survived numerous cancellations and delays, and it was only with concerted effort that the mission was reinstated. Dawn had an audacious mandate, to do something that hadn't been attempted before – to travel to one body and then depart and head to another.

  • Cassini: The legend and legacy of one of NASA’s most prolific missions

    Ocean McIntyreSeptember 17th, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — Just one month shy of twenty years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft dramatically ended its mission in the early morning hours at approximately 4:55 a.m. PDT (7:55 a.m. EDT / 11:55 GMT) Earth-Received Time (ERT) on Friday, September 15, 2017.

  • Curiosity rover begins climb of ‘Vera Rubin Ridge’

    Jim SharkeySeptember 17th, 2017

    NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has started the steep climb of an iron-oxide bearing ridge on the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp that has long been of interest to researchers. "Vera Rubin Ridge", also known as "Hematite Ridge", was informally named in early 2017 in memory of pioneering astrophysicist Vera Cooper Rubin, whose research provided evidence for the existence of dark matter.

  • Gallery: Controllers receive last signals before Cassini spacecraft demise

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 15th, 2017

    PASADENA, Calif. — With its fuel nearly depleted, Cassini made a final plunge toward Saturn to get as much science as possible before burning up in the planet's atmosphere. Flight controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) lost telemetry with the spacecraft, as expected, at about 7:55 a.m. EDT (11:55 GMT) Sept. 15, 2017.

  • LIVE: Cassini spacecraft ends its mission at Saturn

    Derek RichardsonSeptember 15th, 2017

    NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is making a final plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere to end its mission some 13 years after reaching the ringed world. Flight controllers at NASA are receiving the probe’s final data before it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere.

  • FINESSE mission to investigate atmospheres of hundreds of alien worlds

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 5th, 2017

    One of NASA’s proposed missions, known as the Fast INfrared Exoplanet Spectroscopy Survey Explorer (FINESSE), could greatly improve our understanding of extrasolar worlds. If selected for development, the spacecraft will investigate at least 500 exoplanet atmospheres, providing detailed information about climate processes on distant alien planets.

  • JPL proposes exploring Venus with a clockwork rover

    Curt GodwinAugust 29th, 2017

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) proposes taking a page out of a Swiss watchmaker's handbook to design a long-lived rover to explore Venus' surface. Utilizing centuries-old mechanical computing concepts, but with a modern upgrade, engineers at JPL hope to design a rover capable of exploring the unforgiving Venusian terrain and returning data to Earth.

  • Cassini has uncovered a wealth of data on Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 19th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now conducting its final orbits between Saturn and its rings, is plunging further than ever into the giant planet's atmosphere. Over the last 13 years studying the Saturn system, the spacecraft has discovered a wealth of information about the planet's rings.

  • Final five ‘Grand Finale’ orbits will explore Saturn’s upper atmosphere

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 11th, 2017

    Set to begin the final five of its "Grand Finale" orbits next week, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will conduct unprecedented close-up studies of Saturn's upper atmosphere.

  • Our Spaceflight Heritage: 40 years after launch, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft continue to return valuable data

    Curt GodwinAugust 3rd, 2017

    Well past their expected lifetime, and farther from Earth than any other human-designed spacecraft, the Voyager robotic explorers are approaching another significant milestone: 40 years of operation. The two interplanetary travelers, each launched in 1977, have traveled billions of miles and expanded humanity's understanding of the Solar System and beyond.

  • As dusk sets on NASA’s Cassini mission, Saturn still providing surprises

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 28th, 2017

    After twenty years in space and thirteen years directly observing Saturn and its system of hypnotic rings and moons, the Cassini spacecraft is continuing to tease out tantalizing data from the mysterious ringed beauty about every six days.