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

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With First Martian Samples Packed, Perseverance Initiates Remarkable Sample Return Mission

10.13.2021
NASA, along with the European Space Agency, is developing a campaign to return the Martian samples to Earth. On Sept. 1, NASA’s Perseverance rover unfurled its arm, placed a drill bit at the Martian surface, and drilled about 2 inches, or 6 centimeters, down to extract a rock core. The rover later sealed the rock core in its tube.

Deputy Project Scientist Erika Kohler Mixes Meteorology and Space in Her DAVINCI Work

10.12.2021
Erika Kohler unites her love of meteorology and space in working on DAVINCI.

NASA's Lucy Mission: A Journey to the Young Solar System

10.05.2021
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will launch in October 2021 on a 12-year journey to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. The Lucy mission will include three Earth gravity assists and visits to eight asteroids. Called “Trojans” after characters from Greek mythology, most of Lucy’s target asteroids are left over from the formation of the solar system.

NASA Goddard Visitor Center Offering Free Virtual Field Trips During 2021-2022 School Year

09.29.2021
The visitor center at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, is offering virtual field trips for groups looking for STEM engagement this school year. The field trips, which are free for the public, feature a live presentation and question-and-answer session led by trained staff.

NASA’s Lucy Mission Prepares for Launch to Trojan Asteroids

09.28.2021
NASA has tested the functions of Lucy, the agency’s first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, filled it with fuel, and is preparing to pack it into a capsule for launch Saturday, Oct. 16.

NASA Confirms Thousands of Massive, Ancient Volcanic Eruptions on Mars

09.15.2021
By studying the topography and mineral composition of a portion of the Arabia Terra region in northern Mars, scientists recently found evidence for thousands of “super eruptions,” which are the most violent volcanic explosions known.

NCCS Enables High-Resolution Elevation Maps of Moon’s South Pole

08.27.2021
Empowered by NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) resources, scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Brown University built new high-resolution elevation maps near the Moon’s South Pole to enhance NASA lunar science and exploration.

NASA Invites Media to Launch of Lucy Mission to Study Trojan Asteroids

08.24.2021
Media accreditation is open for the upcoming launch of NASA’s Lucy mission, which will send the first spacecraft to study the Trojan asteroids.

NASA Early Career Innovator Finds Adaptation is Key

08.17.2021
Goddard's Early Career Innovator Bethany Theiling hopes to teach future probes to the icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter to recognize important data to send back to Earth.

Global Trio of Orbiters Shows Small Dust Storms Help Dry Out Mars

08.16.2021
By combining observations from three international spacecraft at Mars, scientists were able to show that regional dust storms play a huge role in drying out the Red Planet.

NASA’s Lynnae Quick Awarded American Astronomical Society Prize for Outstanding Achievement

08.11.2021
Dr. Lynnae C. Quick, a research scientist in planetary studies at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has received the 2021 Harold C. Urey Prize for outstanding achievement in planetary research by an early career scientist.

NASA Spacecraft Provides Insight into Asteroid Bennu’s Future Orbit

08.11.2021
NASA researchers used precision-tracking data from the agency’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to better understand movements of the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu, significantly reducing uncertainties related to its future orbit, and improving scientists’ ability to determine the total impact probability and predict orbits of other asteroids.

Observatories Assemble: NASA’s Juno Spacecraft Joins Japan’s Hisaki Satellite and W. M. Keck Observatory to Solve “Energy Crisis” on Jupiter

08.04.2021
Jupiter’s intense aurora, the most powerful in the solar system, is responsible for heating the entire planet’s upper atmosphere to surprisingly high temperatures.

NASA Identifies Likely Locations of the Early Molten Moon’s Deep Secrets

08.03.2021
A pair of NASA studies identified the most likely locations to find pieces of mantle on the lunar surface. If collected and analyzed, these fragments from deep within the Moon can provide a better understanding of how the Moon, the Earth, and many other solar system worlds evolved.

NASA Begins Launch Preparations for First Mission to the Trojan Asteroids

08.02.2021
NASA's first spacecraft to explore the Trojan asteroids arrived Friday, July 30, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It is now in a cleanroom at nearby Astrotech, ready to begin final preparations for its October launch.

Lyman Spitzer: Making Space For Hubble

07.30.2021
The visionary behind the Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer was among the earliest astronomers pioneering a revolutionary way to explore the universe through astronomical satellites.

NASA's Juno Tunes into Jovian Radio Triggered by Jupiter's Volcanic Moon Io

07.15.2021
By listening to the rain of electrons flowing onto Jupiter from its intensely volcanic moon Io, researchers using NASA's Juno spacecraft have found what triggers powerful radio emissions within the planet's magnetic field, illuminating the behavior of the enormous magnetic fields generated by gas-giant planets like Jupiter.

Lunar Hardware Delivered to NASA Goddard

07.08.2021
A critical piece of hardware, the Peregrine Ion-Trap Mass Spectrometer, that will fly to the Moon, has been delivered to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center for integration.

First You See It, Then You Don't: Scientists Closer to Explaining Mars Methane Mystery

06.29.2021
Before identifying the sources of methane on Mars, scientists must settle a question that's been gnawing at them: Why do some instruments detect the gas while others don't?

'Ask an Astrobiologist' with Dr. Heather Graham

06.22.2021
Asteroids, Agnostic Biosignatures, & Experimental Rock Opera with Dr. Heather Graham.

NASA Selects New Science Investigations for Future Moon Deliveries

06.10.2021
As NASA continues plans for multiple commercial deliveries to the Moon???s surface per year, the agency has selected three new scientific investigation payload suites to advance understanding of Earth???s nearest neighbor.

NASA's OSIRIS-REx Celebrates Perfect Departure Maneuver from Asteroid Bennu

06.03.2021
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is 328,000 miles, or 528,000 kilometers, away from the asteroid Bennu, having fired its engines on May 10 to initiate a return trip to Earth.

NASA to Explore Divergent Fate of Earth's Mysterious Twin with Goddard's DAVINCI+

06.02.2021
NASA's DAVINCI+ mission is set to explore Venus to determine if it was habitable and understand how these similar worlds ended up with such different fates.

NASA Selects 2 Missions to Study "Lost Habitable" World of Venus

06.02.2021
NASA has selected two new missions to Venus, Earth's nearest planetary neighbor.

NASA's Lucy in the Cleanroom

06.01.2021
L'Ralph and Lucy being prepped for spaceflight.

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