Defending Earth against dangerous asteroids: Q&A with NASA’s Lindley Johnson

It’s a cosmic roll of the dice. There’s no doubt that a major asteroid or comet strike could cause extensive devastation and profoundly affect life on Earth.  The largest hit in recent times was the object that exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, in June 1908 with an energy impact of five to 15 megatons. Then there […]

NASA’s first mission to the Trojan asteroids integrates its second scientific instrument

L’TES instrument in the cleanroom at Arizona State University. Credits: NASA/ASU NASA’s Lucy mission is one step closer to launch as L’TES, the Lucy Thermal Emission Spectrometer, has been successfully integrated on to the spacecraft. “Having two of the three instruments integrated onto the spacecraft is an exciting milestone,” said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager […]

NASA’s Webb sunshield successfully unfolds and tensions in final tests

To help ensure success, technicians carefully inspect the James Webb Space Telescope’s sunshield before deployment testing begins, while it is occurring, and perform a full post-test analysis to ensure the observatory is operating as planned. Credit: Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn Lengthened to the size of a tennis court, the five-layer sunshield of NASA’s fully assembled James […]

NASA’s spacecraft spots China’s Chang’e 5 lander on the moon

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of China’s Chang’e 5 lander on the moon just hours after its historic landing. The Chang’e 5 lander set down on the lunar surface last Tuesday, Dec. 1. Thanks to China’s prompt release of the stunning Chang’e 5 landing video, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) team were […]

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts headed to International Space Station — ScienceDaily

An international crew of astronauts is en route to the International Space Station following a successful launch on the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system in history. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission lifted off at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket […]

NASA’s next Mars rover will land in less than 100 days

NASA’s newest Mars car will touch down on the Red Planet less than 100 days from now. The life-hunting Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, which launched on July 30, is scheduled to land inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater on the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2021 — just 97 days from Friday (Nov. 13). The […]

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collects significant amount of asteroid — ScienceDaily

Two days after touching down on asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission team received on Thursday, Oct. 22, images that confirm the spacecraft has collected more than enough material to meet one of its main mission requirements — acquiring at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid’s surface material. The spacecraft captured images of the […]

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx just tried to grab a piece of the asteroid Bennu

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is a cosmic rock collector. Cheers erupted from mission control at 6:12 p.m. EDT on October 20 as scientists on Earth got word that the spacecraft had gently nudged a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu, and grabbed some of its rocks to return to Earth. “The spacecraft did everything it was supposed to […]