The road to lower costs outer planet missions has been paved by NASA’s first two New Frontiers missions, the $700M New Horizons mission to Pluto and the $1.1B Juno mission to Jupiter. But can the cost of a mission to the outer solar system be cut to $450M, the limit for a Discovery mission?
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.
NASA has decided to pluck a small boulder off a large asteroid, instead of bagging an entire asteroid outright, the agency announced Wednesday.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 10:13 CDT
This Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/03/23 05:19 CDT
Cassini recently took a long, high-resolution movie of the F ring, catching a view of its ringlets, clumps, and streamers, and two potato-shaped moons, Prometheus and Pandora.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/23 10:00 CDT
Desert Moon, a 35-minute documentary that tells the story of Dr. Gerard Kuiper and the dawn of planetary science, is now available online.
When New Horizons flies past Pluto in July, we will see a new, alien landscape in stark detail. At that point, we will have a lot to talk about. The only way we can talk about it is if those features, whatever they turn out to be, have names.
A report released by NASA’s Office of Inspector General warns that the agency may be hard-pressed to have its Kennedy Space Center launch facilities ready by November 2018.
Three talks on Tuesday at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference concerned the first results from Dawn at Ceres. Chris Russell showed a map of "quads" with provisional names on Ceres, Andreas Nathues showed that Ceres' bright spot might be an area of plume-like activity, and Francesca Zambon showed color and temperature variations across the dwarf planet.
One presenter at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference asked the audience not to blog about his talk because of the embargo policy of Science and Nature. I show how this results from an incorrect interpretation of those policies. TL;DR: media reports on conference presentations do not violate Science and Nature embargo policies. Let people Tweet!
Posted by Casey Dreier on 2015/03/19 11:50 CDT
The Planetary Society helped organize a community response to the latest NASA budget at the 2015 meeting of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
A huge amount of effort goes into deciding where to try to collect a sample on Bennu. There are roughly nine months to survey, map and model the asteroid to help make this decision.