Antares launch scheduled for January 7

The NASA Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport are set to support the launch of Orbital Sciences’ Corp. Antares rocket at 1:55 p.m. EST, Jan. 7. The Antares rocket will carry Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station.

New technique measures mass of exoplanets

To date, scientists have confirmed the existence of more than 900 exoplanets circulating outside our solar system. To determine if any of these far-off worlds are habitable requires knowing an exoplanet’s mass — which can help tell scientists whether the planet is made of gas or rock and other life-supporting materials.

Mars Express heading towards daring flyby of Phobos

Late this month, ESA’s Mars Express will make the closest flyby yet of the Red Planet’s largest moon Phobos, skimming past at only 45 km above its surface.

NASA and JAXA announce launch date for global precipitation satellite

Environmental research and weather forecasting are about to get a significant technology boost as NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) prepare to launch a new satellite in February.

NASA Carbon Sleuth gets simulated taste of space

A NASA observatory that will make the most precise, highest-resolution and most complete, space-based measurements of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere to date has marked a key milestone in preparation for its planned July 2014 launch.

Sailing satellites into safe retirement

When satellites reach the end of their working lives, they may pose a threat to other spacecraft as they continue to orbit in a dormant state for many decades. But now a new way to deorbit ageing satellites in a safe manner is nearing its first test in space.

Birth of black hole kills the radio star

Astronomers led by a Curtin University researcher have discovered a new population of exploding stars that “switch off” their radio transmissions before collapsing into a Black Hole.

Cassini sees Saturn and moons in holiday dress

This holiday season, feast your eyes on images of Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus, in a care package from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. All three bodies are dressed and dazzling in this special package assembled by Cassini's imaging team.

Van Allen probes shed light on decades-old mystery

New research using data from NASA's Van Allen Probes mission helps resolve decades of scientific uncertainty over the origin of ultra-relativistic electrons in Earth's near space environment, and is likely to influence our understanding of planetary magnetospheres throughout the universe.

Is natural gas a water saver in Texas?

Natural gas might be eating coal’s lunch, but natural gas always has a friend in coal. Coal forever makes gas – even when obtained by fracking – look good.

Starless cloud cores reveal why some stars are bigger than others

Massive stars – those at least 8 times the mass of our Sun – present an intriguing mystery: how do they grow so large when the vast majority of stars in the Milky Way are considerably smaller?

NASA releases new earthrise simulation video

The photo known as Earthrise is the first color photograph of Earth taken by a person in lunar orbit. Earthrise is the cover photo of TIME's Great Images of the 20th Century, and is the central photo on the cover of LIFE's 100 Photographs That Changed the World.q

NASA's asteroid hunter spacecraft returns first images after reactivation

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), a spacecraft that made the most comprehensive survey to date of asteroids and comets, has returned its first set of test images in preparation for a renewed mission.

Texas eyes big solar

One-tenth of the way – that’s about how far along OCI Solar Power is in constructing a planned 400-megawatt photovoltaic power generating plant in San Antonio. Still, even with just the 41-MW first phase completed, the company has now constructed the largest PV plant in Texas.

The rise and fall of galactic cities

In the fable of the town and country mice, the country mouse visits his city-dwelling cousin to discover a world of opulence. In the early cosmos, billions of years ago, galaxies resided in the equivalent of urban or country environments.

Scientists solve a decades-old mystery in the Earth's upper atmosphere

New research published in the journal Nature resolves decades of scientific controversy over the origin of the extremely energetic particles known as ultra-relativistic electrons in the Earth's near-space environment and is likely to influence our understanding of planetary magnetospheres throughout the universe.

Powerful ancient explosions explain new class of supernovae

Astronomers affiliated with the Supernova Legacy Survey (SNLS) have discovered two of the brightest and most distant supernovae ever recorded, 10 billion light-years away and a hundred times more luminous than a normal supernova. Their findings appear in the Dec. 20 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.

JPL to test new supersonic decelerator technology

A giant crane will tower above NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., shooting out of a hilly mesa like an oversized erector set, ready to help test components of NASA's Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project.

Massive stars mark out Milky Way's 'missing' arms

A 12-year study of massive stars has reaffirmed that our Galaxy has four spiral arms, following years of debate sparked by images taken by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope that only showed two arms.

NASA's SDO shows the Sun's rainbow of wavelengths

Telescopes help distant objects appear bigger, but this is only one of their advantages. Telescopes can also collect light in ranges that our eyes alone cannot see, providing scientists ways of observing a whole host of material and processes that would otherwise be inaccessible.