Construction to begin on NASA spacecraft set to visit asteroid in 2018

NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.

Cassini spacecraft uses "pi transfer" to navigate path around Saturn

On Jan. 19, 2007, the Cassini spacecraft took this view of Saturn and its rings -- the visible documentation of a technique called a "pi transfer" completed with a Titan flyby.

NASA moves longest-serving Mars spacecraft for new observations

NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has tweaked its orbit to help scientists make the first systematic observations of how morning fogs, clouds and surface frost develop in different seasons on the Red Planet.

NASA spacecraft get a 360-degree view of Saturn's auroras

NASA trained several pairs of eyes on Saturn as the planet put on a dancing light show at its poles. While NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, orbiting around Earth, was able to observe the northern auroras in ultraviolet wavelengths, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, orbiting around Saturn, got complementary close-up views in infrared, visible-light and ultraviolet wavelengths. Cassini could also see northern and southern parts of Saturn that don't face Earth.

NASA spacecraft take aim at nearby supernova

An exceptionally close stellar explosion discovered on Jan. 21 has become the focus of observatories around and above the globe, including several NASA spacecraft. The blast, designated SN 2014J, occurred in the galaxy M82 and lies only about 12 million light-years away.

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.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft reveals clues about Saturn Moon

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is providing scientists with key clues about Saturn's moon Titan, and in particular, its hydrocarbon lakes and seas. Titan is one of the most Earth-like places in the solar system, and the only place other than our planet that has stable liquid on its surface.

NASA Mars spacecraft reveals a more dynamic Red Planet

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has revealed to scientists slender dark markings -- possibly due to salty water – that advance seasonally down slopes surprisingly close to the Martian equator.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft offers new view of Saturn and Earth

NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. The new panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which shows the view as it would be seen by human eyes, was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on Tuesday.

NASA's Orion spacecraft comes to life

NASA's first-ever deep space craft, Orion, has been powered on for the first time, marking a major milestone in the final year of preparations for flight. Orion's avionics system was installed on the crew module and powered up for a series of systems tests at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida last week.

ESA's Planck spacecraft on course for safe retirement

In preparation for its final switch-off on 23 October, mission controllers today fired Planck’s thrusters to empty its fuel tanks. The burn is one of the final steps to ensure that Planck ends its hugely successful mission in a permanently safe configuration.

Rosetta spacecraft wakes up in 100 days

ESA’s comet-chasing mission Rosetta will wake up in 100 days’ time from deep-space hibernation to reach the destination it has been cruising towards for a decade. Comets are the primitive building blocks of the Solar System and the likely source of much of Earth’s water, perhaps even delivering to Earth the ingredients that helped life evolve.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft finds ingredient of household plastic in space

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has detected propylene, a chemical used to make food-storage containers, car bumpers and other consumer products, on Saturn's moon Titan.

NASA spacecraft track energy through space

Scientists have provided the most comprehensive details yet of the journey energy from the sun takes as it hurtles around Earth's magnetosphere.

11 spacecraft show interstellar wind changed direction over 40 years

Like the wind adjusting course in the middle of a storm, scientists have discovered that the particles streaming into the solar system from interstellar space have most likely changed direction over the last 40 years. Such information can help us map out our place within the galaxy surrounding us, and help us understand our place in space. The results, based on data spanning four decades from 11 different spacecraft, were published in Science on Sept. 5, 2013.

NASA wants to build huge spacecraft in orbit with robots and 3D printers

If you want to send a large piece of a spacecraft into orbit that can later be assembled into a larger product in space, it is common practice to build it on Earth and design it to fold up so it can fit into a rocket.For the past ...

Video: Dream Pacer spacecraft rolls through ground tests

Hours before the heat rose in the Mojave Desert of Southern California on Aug. 2 the Dream Chaser rolled out of a hangar at dawn as teams prepared to pull the flight vehicle through a series of 60 mph ground tow tests.

JPL, Masten testing spacecraft precision landing software

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft inspired millions of people worldwide a year ago when its unprecedented "sky crane" landing system successfully landed the Curiosity rover in a crater on the red planet on Aug. 6, 2012 (Aug. 5, 2012, PDT).

Herschel spacecraft going dark as liquid helium coolant supply exhausted

The European Space Agency's Herschel (ESA) space observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant, ending more than three years of pioneering observations of the cool Universe.

NASA's Orion test flight is on track for launch

The first NASA spacecraft designed to fly astronauts beyond Earth orbit since the Apollo era of yore is apparently well on its way to making a flight test next year.