Solar System Exploration Division (690) Press Releases & Feature Stories Archive

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NASA Scientists Study Life Origins By Simulating a Cosmic Evolution

01.10.2023
Because amino acids are found in all living things on Earth scientists are eager to understand the origins of these molecules. After all, amino acids may have helped spawn life on this planet after being delivered here about 4 billion years ago by pieces of asteroids or comets.

NASA Science To Be Featured at American Astronomical Society Meeting

01.06.2023
Experts will discuss new research from NASA missions at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), on topics ranging from the universe’s early galaxies to planets outside our solar system.

NASA Developing AI to Steer Using Landmarks – On the Moon

12.16.2022
A NASA engineer is teaching a machine to use features on the Moon’s horizon to navigate across the lunar surface.

NASA’s Lunar Flashlight Has Launched – Follow the Mission in Real Time

12.12.2022
NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System web-based visualization tool lets you “see” the SmallSat as it journeys to the Moon and seeks out water ice in the darkest craters there.

NASA Press Events at 2022 Fall AGU Meeting

12.08.2022
NASA researchers will be presenting findings on Earth and space sciences Dec.12-16 at the American Geophysical Union's 2022 Fall meeting, being held virtually and in Chicago this year.

NASA’s Lunar Flashlight SmallSat Readies for Launch

11.28.2022
The small satellite will search for water ice in permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s South Pole, using an orbit only one other spacecraft has employed.

NASA’s Lunar Flashlight Ready to Search for the Moon’s Water Ice

10.28.2022
Set for a November launch, the small satellite mission will use lasers to search for water ice inside the darkest craters at the Moon’s South Pole.

NASA’s Economic Benefit Reaches All 50 States

10.27.2022
NASA released the results of its second agencywide economic impact report on Thursday, demonstrating how its Moon to Mars activities, investments in climate change research and technology, as well as other work generated more than $71.2 billion in total economic output during fiscal year 2021.

1st NASA Asteroid Sample Return Mission on Track for Fall ’23 Delivery

10.14.2022
NASA's first asteroid sample return spacecraft, OSIRIS-REx, fired its thrusters for 30 seconds on Sept. 21 and nudged its trajectory toward Earth. The resulting course correction keeps the vehicle on track to deliver a sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, completing a seven-year mission.

NASA’s Lucy Spacecraft Prepares to Swing by Earth

10.13.2022
On Oct. 16, at 7:04 a.m. EDT, NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will skim Earth’s atmosphere, passing a mere 220 miles (350 kilometers) above the surface to gain some of the orbital energy it needs to travel to the Jupiter Trojan asteroids.

NASA’s Lucy to Fly Past Thousands of Objects for Earth Gravity Assist

10.13.2022
Mission engineers will track NASA’s Lucy spacecraft nonstop as it prepares to swoop near Earth on Oct. 16 to use this planet’s gravity to set itself on a course toward the Jupiter Trojan asteroids. But they also will be closely tracking something else: more than 47,000 satellites, debris, and other objects circling our planet.

Why the Moon's South Pole Is Ideal for Exploration on ‘NASA Explorers’ Video Series

10.12.2022
It’s not rockets and satellites that make NASA soar. It’s people. On season 5 of NASA Explorers, “Artemis Generation,” you’ll meet the scientists and engineers who are studying Moon rocks, building tools, working aboard NASA’s International Space Station, and training astronauts in preparation for landing humans on the Moon.

NASA Studies Origins of ‘Weird’ Solar System Object: Dwarf Planet Haumea

10.11.2022
Using computer simulations, scientists based at NASA have pieced together the story of how the dwarf planet Haumea, found in the Kuiper Belt of icy worlds beyond the orbit of outermost planet Neptune, became one of the most unusual objects in the solar system.

Why Astronauts Must Think and Act Like Geologists Find Out on ‘NASA Explorers’ Video Series

10.05.2022
It’s not rockets and satellites that make NASA soar. It’s people. On season 5 of NASA Explorers, “Artemis Generation,” you’ll meet the scientists and engineers who are studying Moon rocks, building tools, working aboard NASA’s International Space Station, and training astronauts in preparation for landing humans on the Moon.

Celebrate 'International Observe the Moon Night' with NASA

09.23.2022
The public is invited to participate in NASA’s celebration of "International Observe the Moon Night" on Saturday, Oct. 1.

Astronaut, Space Rocks, Moon Tools Featured in 'NASA Explorers' Video Series

09.22.2022
It’s not rockets and satellites that make NASA soar. It’s people. On season 5 of NASA Explorers, “Artemis Generation,” you’ll meet the scientists and engineers who are studying Moon rocks, building tools, working aboard NASA’s International Space Station, and training astronauts in preparation for landing humans on the Moon.

NASA Study: Small Craters Add Up to Wandering Poles on Moon

09.19.2022
A team based at NASA used computer simulations to “erase” thousands of craters from the Moon’s surface, as if turning back the clock 4.25 billion years to a time before the craters formed. They found that the locations of the Moon’s North and South Poles moved slightly over this time period.

NASA Scientist to Discuss ‘Big Telescopes, Big Discoveries’ at Library of Congress

09.19.2022
The public is invited to a free lecture called “Big Telescopes and Big Discoveries in Our Solar System” with Dr. Stefanie Milam, a NASA interdisciplinary astrobiologist. The talk will occur in the Pickford Theater, third floor, Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Stephanie Getty: Exploring the Universe with Curiosity and Wonder

09.06.2022
As director of Goddard's Solar System Exploration Division, Dr. Stephanie Getty works to create an environment of open communication and curiosity so the science teams can thrive and explore.

MAVEN and EMM Make First Observations of Patchy Proton Aurora at Mars

08.31.2022
NASA’s MAVEN and the United Arab Emirates’ EMM missions have released joint observations of dynamic proton aurora events at Mars. By combining the observations, scientists determined that what they were seeing was essentially a map of where the solar wind was raining down onto the planet, opening new avenues for understanding the Martian atmosphere.

NASA Engineer's Quantum Dot Instrument Enables Spacecraft-as-Sensor Concept

08.23.2022
A nano-scale sensor technology records precise signatures of light striking a surface.

NASA Scientists Study How to Remove Planetary 'Photobombers'

08.17.2022
A NASA study details the ways the light telescopes receive from potentially habitable planets beyond our solar system could be “contaminated” by light from other nearby planets. The research modeled this “photobombing” effect on an advanced space telescope designed to observe these worlds and suggested ways to overcome the challenge.

NASA’s Lucy Team Discovers Moon Around Asteroid Polymele

08.16.2022
After a surprise result from a long-running observation campaign, the Lucy mission can add one more asteroid to the list. On March 27, Lucy’s science team discovered that the smallest of the mission’s Trojan asteroid targets, Polymele, has a satellite of its own.

SAM’s Top Five Discoveries aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover at Mars

08.04.2022
To mark the occasion of the NASA Curiosity rover’s decade on Mars, here is a list of five of the most significant discoveries made using its Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite. SAM was designed and built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center to search for and measure organic molecules and light elements which are important to life as we know it.

NASA Team Troubleshoots Asteroid-Bound Lucy Across Millions of Miles

08.03.2022
After the launch of NASA’s Lucy spacecraft, data indicated that a solar array powering the spacecraft’s systems hadn’t fully opened and latched, and the team had to figure out what to do next.

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