Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Author: Laurel Kornfeld

Laurel Kornfeld is an amateur astronomer and freelance writer from Highland Park, NJ, who enjoys writing about astronomy and planetary science. She studied journalism at Douglass College, Rutgers University, and earned a Graduate Certificate of Science from Swinburne University’s Astronomy Online program. Her writings have been published online in The Atlantic, Astronomy magazine’s guest blog section, the UK Space Conference, the 2009 IAU General Assembly newspaper, The Space Reporter, and newsletters of various astronomy clubs. She is a member of the Cranford, NJ-based Amateur Astronomers, Inc. Especially interested in the outer solar system, Laurel gave a brief presentation at the 2008 Great Planet Debate held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD.

Articles By Laurel Kornfeld

  • Pluto’s subsurface ocean may date back to planet’s formation

    June 29th, 2020

    Scientists who recently studied the detailed images of Pluto’s surface returned by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015 have found evidence that the dwarf planet’s subsurface ocean may have been around since Pluto’s formation over four billion years ago.

  • Perseverance mission scientist outlines rover’s instruments, mission

    June 23rd, 2020

    One month before the scheduled launch of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, Roger Wiens, who serves as both principal investigator of its SuperCam laser instrument and as co-investigator of its SHERLOC team, discussed the mission’s science instruments and its purpose in a virtual webinar presented by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI).

  • New Horizons parallax experiment observes an alien sky

    June 14th, 2020

    NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now over 4.3 billion miles (6.9 billion km) from Earth, successfully imaged two nearby stars displaced from the locations in the sky where they are seen from Earth in its April stellar parallax experiment.

  • SOFIA data sheds new light on endurance of Pluto’s atmosphere

    June 1st, 2020

    Data captured by the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), an airborne observatory that studied Pluto’s atmospheric hazes just two weeks before New Horizons‘ 2015 flyby, indicates the hazes in Pluto’s atmosphere are regularly replenished.

  • NASA researcher provides overview of science on the ISS

    May 29th, 2020

    Research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS) encompasses numerous science fields, such as biology and biotechnology, human research, the physical sciences, technological demonstrations, Earth and space science, and public education, noted Brandon Redell of NASA’s ISS Integration Office at the Johnson Space Center.

  • Astronaut Douglas Hurley to serve as Demo-2 spacecraft commander

    May 8th, 2020

      NASA astronaut Douglas Gerald Hurley flew on the last crewed mission to launch from American soil 11 years ago, and fittingly, will serve as spacecraft commander of Crew Dragon Demo-2, the first crewed flight to resume launches from the US.

  • Astronaut Bob Behnken will be one of two-person crew on Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch

    May 6th, 2020

    When NASA’s Crew Dragon Demo-2 launches astronauts from American soil for the first time since 2011, astronaut Robert L. “Bob” Behnken will ride on the spacecraft as the mission’s joint operations commander.

  • New Horizons conducts parallax experiment; team searches for KBOs

    April 24th, 2020

    More than five billion miles from Earth and over 14 years past launch, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is conducting an experiment measuring the distance to two nearby stars while mission scientists are using Earth-based telescopes to search for new Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) for the spacecraft to study.

  • Kepler data reveals Earth-like planet in star’s habitable zone

    April 21st, 2020

    Scientists who took a second look at data returned by NASA’s Kepler space telescope have discovered an Earth-sized exoplanet orbiting in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star.

  • Pluto may have deep, ancient underground ocean

    April 14th, 2020

    Two new studies of data collected by the New Horizons spacecraft during its 2015 Pluto flyby suggest the dwarf planet has a deep subsurface ocean that may have been present all 4.5 billion years of Pluto’s existence.

  • Mars’ magnetic field is 10 times stronger than previously thought

    April 14th, 2020

    Data collected by NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander on Mars has surprised scientists by indicating the Red Planet has a magnetic field 10 times stronger than previously suspected.

  • Twelve features on asteroid Bennu get official names

    March 24th, 2020

    Twelve surface features on the asteroid Bennu, imaged by NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) probe from orbit, have been officially named by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which regulates the naming of celestial objects and their surface features.

  • Voyager 2 will be on its own while DSN antenna is upgraded

    March 23rd, 2020

    The only radio telescope capable of communicating with NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft will undergo nearly 11 months of upgrades to its 230-foot- (70-meter-) wide antenna, during which it will be unable to transmit commands to the 42-year-old spacecraft, which is now traveling in interstellar space.

  • Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden passes away

    March 19th, 2020

    Alfred M. Worden, a former astronaut who served as the command module pilot of NASA’s Apollo 15 Moon mission, died in his sleep on Wednesday, March 18, at a Sugar Land, Texas, assisted living center, at the age of 88.

  • New Horizons parallax project seeks public participation

    February 21st, 2020

    NASA’s New Horizons mission is seeking public participation in a project aimed at imaging the two closest stars, Proxima Centauri and Wolf 359, from Earth on April 22 and 23, the same day the spacecraft will photograph them from almost five billion miles (eight billion km) away.