Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • 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.

  • NASA releases New Horizons flyover video

    NASAJuly 15th, 2017

    Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself.

  • Juno completes historic flyby over Jupiter’s Great Red Spot

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 12th, 2017

    NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully completed the first ever close flyby of the mysterious storm on Jupiter known as the Great Red Spot, and early images of the phenomenon are already being returned to Earth.

  • Juno approaches 6th science perijove and a peek at the Great Red Spot

    Ocean McIntyreJuly 8th, 2017

    Just a few days after the one-year anniversary of Juno's insertion into orbit above Jupiter, the spacecraft will make its sixth science pass over the planet’s cloud tops. The pass on July 10, 2017, will be one of special interest, as it will be passing over the iconic Great Red Spot.

  • New driving algorithm helps protect Curiosity rover’s wheels

    Jim SharkeyJuly 4th, 2017

    The six wheels of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover have experienced considerable wear and tear since the one-ton rover landed on Mars on August 6, 2012. However, a new algorithm is helping the rover drive more carefully over rocks on the Martian surface to reduce wheel wear.

  • Deep Space Network – providing communications for over 50 years

    Lloyd CampbellJune 11th, 2017

    The NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) comprises three sites across the globe which provide telecommunications with interplanetary spacecraft located throughout the Solar System and beyond.

  • Psyche mission to reach metallic asteroid 4 years earlier than planned

    Bart LeahyMay 24th, 2017

    NASA announced on May 24, 2017, that it would be launching the Discovery-class Psyche mission one year earlier, which will enable it to reach the nickel-iron asteroid Psyche four years earlier than previously planned. Thanks to spacecraft and trajectory redesigns, Psyche is now scheduled to launch in 2022 and will reach its destination in 2026.

  • Juno spacecraft makes fifth science pass of Jupiter

    Jim SharkeyMay 24th, 2017

    NASA's Juno mission made a close flyby of the planet Jupiter on May 19, successfully completing the spacecraft's fifth science orbit of the gas giant. JunoCam and all of the spacecraft's science instruments were operating during the flyby. Juno's next close flyby, which will take it over Jupiter's Great Red Spot, will take place on July 11, 2017.

  • NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover begins study of ‘Perseverance Valley’

    Jim SharkeyMay 19th, 2017

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has reached the main objective of its current two-year extended mission – an ancient fluid-carved ravine, called "Perseverance Valley", on the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

  • The Big Empty: Cassini finds virtually no particles between Saturn and its rings

    Ocean McIntyreMay 14th, 2017

    Based on data collected on the first of the Cassini spacecraft's planned 22 "Grand Finale" orbits, the area between the cloud tops of Saturn and the inner-most ring seems to be mostly dust-free. Instead of the heavy distribution of dust particles Cassini had detected when it made its ring grazing orbits in late 2016, the spacecraft instead revealed a “big empty."