Solar System Exploration Division
Multimedia (videos) with the Solar System Exploration Division - NASA Goddard


Code 690 Multimedia

'Asteroid City' Cast Asks NASA About OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Mission

In September 2023, scientists with NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission will gather in the Utah desert for the arrival of the largest asteroid sample ever received on Earth. "Asteroid City" actors, including Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Maya Hawke, Rupert Friend, Jake Ryan and Jeffrey Wright, join NASA OSIRIS-REx sample expert Dr. Danny Glavin to discuss how studying the asteroid sample will give scientists insight into how the early solar system formed and how life began on Earth.

Faces of technology: Meet Danny Glavin

Meet Danny Glavin from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In his work as a scientific co-investigator for the OSIRIS REx mission, Danny studies rocks from space, looking for the chemical building blocks of life. He can't wait to see what the pristine samples from asteroid Bennu will tell us.

Apollo Moon Soil Radiation Experiment

When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens into the Moon's surface at nearly 280 miles per second (450 kilometers per second), it enriches it in ingredients that could make water. Planetary scientists Jason McLain and William Farrell use an ion gun at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center to shoot simulated solar wind at Moon soil collected by astronauts during the Apollo program. They are testing how this process works at the Moon and the chemical signatures it leaves behind.

Cassini Videos

Cassini Employees talk about the end of mission (2 Parts)

Goddard Team Reflects on 20 Years of Cassini
The people behind Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) reflect on their years-long experience working with their team - relationships formed, children born, challenges conquered, and their feelings as the Cassini mission comes to an end. CIRS was built and is operated at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Cassini is making its final dive into Saturn on September 15, 2017.

Friends of DAVINCI Seminar Series

The Evolution of the Atmosphere and the Surface of Venus: Geological Observations, Constraints, and Outstanding Questions (June 15, 2023) - James Head

Abstract: One of the most fundamental conundra in planetary science is the origin and evolution of both the similarities and differences of Earth and Venus. Similar in size, density, and position in the Solar System, they currently differ fundamentally in their atmospheric characteristics and historical geological records. Forward-modeling of Venus' atmospheric evolution suggests a more Earth-like earlier evolution, with oceans and more clement conditions, and a "Great Climate Transition" leading to its decidedly un-Earth-like current state. This transition has been suggested to occur geologically recently, during the latest ~20% of Venus history, coincident with tessera formation and regional plains emplacement. Evidence has been cited to support significant erosional unroofing of tessera terrain and deposition of resulting sediment in the surrounding lowlands, and hypotheses call on Large Igneous Province-scale volcanic eruptions to cause the "Great Climate Transition". We examine the global geological record revealed by previous Venus missions and address the following questions:

  1. Does inverse modeling of the Venus atmosphere support a "Great Climate Transition" occurring during the observed geological history?
  2. Do existing data support significant aqueous erosional unroofing of the tessera terrain coincident and following its formation?
  3. What is the origin of the loose sediment and bedrock observed by the Venera landers?
We conclude with a series of fundamental outstanding questions that can be addressed by the international armada of spacecraft destined for Venus in the next decade, and additional perspectives to be gained by the study of Venus-like exoplanets.

Characterization & Detection of Volcanic Activity on Venus (April 27, 2023) - Indujaa Ganesh

Abstract: Early studies of Venus' surface and interior, in the immediate aftermath of the Magellan spacecraft mission, hypothesized that Venus today is "dry" and "dead", i.e., depleted in interior water, and volcanically inactive following planet-wide cataclysmic eruptions ~500 Myr ago. Over the past decade, these previous notions of a "dry" planet have been challenged by numerous works which collectively argue for a volatile-rich lower mantle. Furthermore, a recent study, Herrick and Hensley (2023), paints a picture of Venus as a volcanically active world. From understanding the evolution and habitability of rocky planets, to gaining insights into processes that occur in extreme environments on Earth, investigating the volcanic modification of Venus has a wide range of implications beyond improving our current state of knowledge of the planet. In this talk, I will discuss studies of volcanism on Venus with specific emphasis on models and tools for investigating past and potentially ongoing eruptions on Venus. I will elaborate on how such studies fit the interests of the broader planetary and Earth science community and support the upcoming missions to Venus.

Phosphine: Should We Care? (December 9, 2022) - Clara Sousa-Silva

Abstract: Understanding a planet requires understanding its atmosphere, and the molecules within it. Clara's work uses a combination of organic chemistry and quantum mechanics as tools for the interpretation of astrophysical spectra and, ultimately, for the potential detection of life on another planet. In this talk, Clara draws on her experience investigating strange molecules on strange planets to present her favorite potential biosignature: phosphine, a terrifying gas associated with mostly unpleasant life.

The Vitruvian Gan: Cuvis Atmospheric Parameter Retrievals Using A Generative Adversarial Network Machine Learning Algorithm - Thomas Monahan
An Overview Of Chemical Cycles On Venus Relevant To The Davinci Mission - Dylan Jones
(June 1, 2022)

Abstract (1st presentation): Exoplanet atmospheric parameters retrieval is a complex, computationally intensive, inverse modeling problem, in which an exoplanet's atmospheric composition is extracted from an observed spectrum. Traditional Bayesian sampling methods require extensive time and computation and are thus impractical for use in space missions. The Atmospheric Retrievals Generative Adversarial Network (ARvGAN), is a deep convolutional generative adversarial network capable of high accuracy retrievals in near-real-time. We demonstrate the efficacy of artificial intelligence to quickly and reliably predict atmospheric parameters. In addition to its broad applicability across instruments and planetary types, ARvGAN has been designed to function on low-power application-specific integrated circuits allowing for real or near-real-time quantification of atmospheric constituents at the instrument level. With the edge computing chip implementation, a specialized model for the DAVINCI mission, the Venus Investigation of unknown absorbers Through Ultra-violet to Visible Imaging Atmospheric parameters inference Generative Adversarial Network (VITRUVIAN GAN), is under development to reduce the downlinked data volume from the Compact Ultraviolet to Visible Imaging Spectrometer (CUVIS) onboard the DAVINCI mission to Venus.

Abstract (2nd Presentation): The Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging (DAVINCI) mission will study the Venus atmosphere in unprecedented detail, revealing the origin, evolution and present state of Venus. Significant to this exploration is the ability to study atmospheric interaction with Venus' minerology through experimentation. A brief overview of chemical cycles relevant to DAVINCI measurements and analyses is provided to place results from Venus In-Situ experiments into context.

Re-Analysis Of Venus' Mass Spectra Yields New Compositional Insights Into The Atmosphere And Surface Haze (June 1, 2022) - Rakesh Mogul

Abstract: I will present a new analysis of mass spectra obtained by the Pioneer Venus (PV) Large Probe Neutral Mass Spectrometer (LNMS). To analyze the data, I and my co-authors constructed an analytical model that yields CO2 abundances in units of density (kg m-3) and affords disentanglement of isobaric species through a statistically rooted data fitting routine.

(Some) New Insights Into The Geology Of Venus (April 1, 2022) - Paul Byrne

Abstract: With three new Venus missions recently announced by NASA and ESA, attention is once more turning to the second planet. In the past few years, a view has emerged of a much more dynamic world than we once thought. In this talk, I'll present some new insights from recent studies I've led regarding the planet's volcanic, tectonic, and dynamic characteristics to understand Venus' past and present-which can be tested by those new missions.

Future Exploration Science Working Group Videos

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Multimedia

LRO Concept Image

Apollo 14 Hike to Cone Crater

Tour of the Moon in 4K from LRO

Take a virtual tour of the Moon in all-new 4K resolution, thanks to data provided by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. As the visualization moves around the near side, far side, north and south poles, we highlight interesting features, sites, and information.

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Harrison H."Jack" Schmitt
The Apollo 17 Mission to the Moon: The Role of Humans in Sample Return
Wednesday, May 3

2017 marks the 45th Anniversary of the Apollo 17 mission. Apollo 17 astronaut and the only scientist to walk on the Moon, Harrison H. "Jack" Schmitt presents a geology talk entitled "The Apollo 17 Mission to the Moon: The Role of Humans in Sample Return". Jack has recently revisited his landing site using data from Goddard's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, leading to a new interpretation of the geology he explored in December 1972.

Noah Petro talks about Apollo landing site images

LAMP: Peering into the Lunar Dark

LEND: The Neutron Counter

LRO PDS Release

New Lunar Topographic Map is Best Yet (LRO)

How LOLA works

Lunar Polar Crater May Be Electrified

LRO Observes LCROSS Impact

LRO Reveals Incredible Shrinking Moon

LRO Counting Craters on the Moon

10 Cool Things Seen by LRO in the First Year

Because of its polar orbit, the data coverage from LRO is best at the lunar poles. This visualization shows datasets from three instruments at the Moon's south pole.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Moscow Institute for Space Research/UCLA/MIT
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The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter provides detailed topography of the lunar surf ace. This flyover of the south pole of the moon illustrates some of LRO's early altimetry data.
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Check out Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter videos at:

View conceptual graphics of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at:

MAVEN Videos

Instrumentation Videos

Other projects

Employee Profiles