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Planetary Systems Laboratory (693) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches Historic Encounter

07.14.2015
After a decade-long journey, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto - passing about 7,750 miles above the surface - making it the first mission to explore a world so far from Earth.

Pluto and Charon Shine in Enhanced Color

07.14.2015
In these New Horizons images of Pluto and Charon, the color data (from the Ralph camera) provides information about the composition of ices, surface changes, and the ages of geological features.

Science Jamboree Attracts Interns, Scientists from Across Goddard

07.10.2015
From cryogenically frozen marshmallows and pennies to 3D printed supernova, Tuesday’s Science Jamboree filled the atrium in Building 28 with science displays and demonstrations.

Pluto and Charon: New Horizons’ Dynamic Duo

07.09.2015
New Horizons was about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Pluto and Charon when it snapped this portrait late on July 8, 2015. The color information comes from the Ralph instrument.

Second Instrument Delivered for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission

07.08.2015
The OSIRIS-REx Visible and Infrared Spectrometer, which will explore the surface of the primitive asteroid Bennu in search of water and organic materials, has arrived at Lockheed Martin.

A “Heart” from Pluto as New Horizons Flyby Begins

07.08.2015
This unique view of Pluto was taken on July 7, when New Horizons was just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto. The color information comes from the Ralph instrument.

New Horizons Map of Pluto

07.07.2015
This map was created from images taken by LORRI, with color data from the Ralph instrument. The center of the map corresponds to the side of Pluto that will be seen up close during the flyby.

Team Prepares for Next Step in NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission

06.22.2015
With launch only 15 months away, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team is preparing to deliver instruments for integration with the spacecraft that will travel to, and collect a sample from, an asteroid.

NASA’s Hubble Telescope Detects ‘Sunscreen’ Layer on Distant Planet

06.11.2015
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected a stratosphere, one of the primary layers of Earth’s atmosphere, on a massive and blazing-hot exoplanet known as WASP-33b.

NASA GISS to Help Lead Search For Habitable Exoplanets

04.21.2015
NASA announced the creation of the Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science network that will study planets beyond our solar system for habitability, tapping the expertise of researchers at GISS and GSFC.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Passes Critical Milestone

03.31.2015
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to retrieve a sample from an asteroid has passed the critical milestone that represents the transition from development to delivery of systems, testing and integration.

OSIRIS-REx Mission Successfully Completes System Integration Review

02.27.2015
With the successful completion of the System Integration Review, the project can proceed with assembling and testing the spacecraft in preparation for launch in September 2016.

The Long, Strange Trip of Asteroid Bennu

11.18.2014
A new animation from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center depicts what is known and what remains mysterious about the early solar system and asteroid Bennu, the target for the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Here’s Looking at You: Spooky Shadow Gives Jupiter a Giant Eye

10.28.2014
In this view, the shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede swept across the center of the Great Red Spot. This gave Jupiter the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the center of an "eye"

NASA Identifies Ice Cloud Above Cruising Altitude on Titan

10.24.2014
NASA scientists have identified an unexpected high-altitude methane ice cloud on Saturn's moon Titan that is similar to exotic clouds found far above Earth's poles.

NASA-led Study Sees Titan Glowing at Dusk and Dawn

10.22.2014
New maps of Saturn’s moon Titan reveal large patches of two trace gases shining brightly near the north pole, on the dusk side of the moon, and near the south pole, on the dawn side.

3-D Study of Comets Reveals Chemical Factory at Work

08.11.2014
A NASA-led team of scientists has created detailed 3-D maps of the atmospheres surrounding comets, identifying several gases and mapping their spread at the highest resolution ever achieved.

NASA Team Lays Plans to Observe New Worlds

07.23.2014
It can take decades to mature an astrophysics flagship mission from concept to launch pad. Given the long lead times, it’s time to lay plans for a future flagship mission.

Friction from Tides Could Help Distant Earths Survive, and Thrive

07.08.2014
New computer modeling by Goddard scientists shows that friction could be the key to survival for some distant Earth-sized planets traveling in dangerous orbits.

Future of Titan to be Discussed at Library of Congress Lecture

06.20.2014
In a free public lecture on June 26, Goddard scientist Carrie Anderson will discuss possibilities for the future of Saturn’s moon Titan once the Sun expands into a red giant and becomes more luminous.

NASA Experiments Recreate Aromatic Flavors of Titan

06.13.2014
NASA scientists have created a new recipe that captures key flavors of the brownish-orange atmosphere around Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

Cracks in Pluto's Moon Could Indicate it Once Had an Underground Ocean

06.13.2014
If the icy surface of Pluto's giant moon Charon is cracked, analysis of the fractures could reveal if its interior was warm, perhaps warm enough to have maintained a subterranean ocean of water.

NASA Missions Let Scientists See Moon’s Dancing Tide From Orbit

05.29.2014
Scientists combined observations from NASA’s LRO and GRAIL missions to check out the moon’s lopsided shape and how it changes under Earth’s sway – a response not seen from orbit before.

NASA's Hubble Shows Jupiter's Great Red Spot is Smaller than Ever Measured

05.15.2014
Jupiter's trademark Great Red Spot -- a swirling anti-cyclonic storm larger than Earth -- has shrunk to its smallest size ever measured.

Construction to Begin on NASA Spacecraft for 2018 Asteroid Visit

04.10.2014
The OSIRIS-REx team has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.
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