NASA wants better batteries for electric vehicles

Electricity producing batteries are a vital part of daily life on Earth and in space. Power storage devices keep spacecraft operating, cars running, cell phones connected and flashlights lit. The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) now is funding 22 projects across 15 states with a total of $36 million to develop better, more efficient power sources for electric vehicles (EV).

Galileo satellite checks in (orbit)

The in-orbit validation of Galileo has been achieved: Europe now has the operational nucleus of its own satellite navigation constellation in place – the world’s first civil-owned and operated satnav system. In 2011 and 2012 the first four satellites were launched into orbit. Four is the minimum number needed to perform navigation fixes.

NASA Mars Orbiters spots clues to possible water flows

NASA spacecraft orbiting Mars have returned clues for understanding seasonal features that are the strongest indication of possible liquid water that may exist today on the Red Planet.

Billion-star surveyor comes into focus

ESA’s billion-star surveyor Gaia is slowly being brought into focus. This test image shows a dense cluster of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way.

Looking back to the cradle of our Universe

NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes have spotted what might be one of the most distant galaxies known, harkening back to a time when our universe was only about 650 million years old (our universe is 13.8 billion years old). The galaxy, known as Abell2744 Y1, is about 30 times smaller than our Milky Way galaxy and is producing about 10 times more stars, as is typical for galaxies in our young universe.

WASP gives NASA's planetary scientists new observation platform

Scientists who study Earth, the sun and stars have long used high-altitude scientific balloons to carry their telescopes far into the stratosphere for a better view of their targets. Not so much for planetary scientists. That's because they needed a highly stable, off-the-shelf-type system that could accurately point their instruments and then track planetary targets as they moved in the solar system.

Swarm satellites head for new heights

Some tricky maneuvers are now under way to steer ESA’s trio of Swarm satellites into their respective orbits so that they can start delivering the best-ever survey of our magnetic field.

NASA's Mars Orbiter spots dramatic new crater

Space rocks hitting Mars excavate fresh craters at a pace of more than 200 per year, but few new Mars scars pack as much visual punch as one seen in a NASA image released today.

NASA boards the 3D-manufacturing train

Given NASA's unique needs for highly custom­ized spacecraft and instrument components, additive manufacturing, or "3-D printing," offers a compelling alternative to more traditional manufacturing approaches.

Early universe "warmed up" later than previously believed

A new study from Tel Aviv University reveals that black holes, formed from the first stars in our universe, heated the gas throughout space later than previously thought. They also imprinted a clear signature in radio waves which astronomers can now search for. The work is a major new finding about the origins of the universe.

Kepler finds a very wobbly planet

Imagine living on a planet with seasons so erratic you would hardly know whether to wear Bermuda shorts or a heavy overcoat. That is the situation on a weird, wobbly world found by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler space telescope.

NASA's Mars Rover eyes possible westward route

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover reached the edge of a dune on Jan. 30 and photographed the valley on the other side, to aid assessment of whether to cross the dune.

Searching space dust for life's ingredients

While the origin of life remains mysterious, scientists are finding more and more evidence that material created in space and delivered to Earth by comet and meteor impacts could have given a boost to the start of life. Some meteorites supply molecules that can be used as building blocks to make certain kinds of larger molecules that are critical for life.

ExoMars orbiter core module completed

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter module consisting of the spacecraft structure, thermal control and propulsion systems was handed over by OHB System to Thales Alenia Space France at a ceremony held in Bremen, Germany, today.

Getting ready for asteroids

With a mandate from the UN, ESA and other space agencies from around the world are about to establish a high-level group to help coordinate global response should a threatening asteroid ever be found heading towards Earth.

Space flies offer clues about microgravity's impact on astronauts

Fruit flies bred in space are offering scientists a clue as to how astronauts' immune systems may be damaged during prolonged space travel.

Asteroid diversity points to a "snow globe" solar system

Our solar system seems like a neat and orderly place, with small, rocky worlds near the Sun and big, gaseous worlds farther out, all eight planets following orbital paths unchanged since they formed.

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover checks for smoother route

The team operating NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is considering a path across a small sand dune to reach a favorable route to science destinations. A favorable route would skirt some terrain with sharp rocks considered more likely to poke holes in the rover's aluminum wheels.

Where the wild stars are

A storm of stars is brewing in the Trifid nebula, as seen in this view from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. The stellar nursery, where baby stars are bursting into being, is the yellow-and-orange object dominating the picture. Yellow bars in the nebula appear to cut a cavity into three sections, hence the name Trifid nebula.

Rogue asteroids may be the norm

To get an idea of how the early solar system may have formed, scientists often look to asteroids. These relics of rock and dust represent what today's planets may have been before they differentiated into bodies of core, mantle, and crust.