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

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NASA’s DAVINCI Mission To Take the Plunge Through Massive Atmosphere of Venus

In a recently published paper, NASA scientists and engineers give new details about the agency’s DAVINCI mission, which will descend through the layered Venus atmosphere to the surface of the planet in mid-2031. DAVINCI is the first mission to study Venus using both spacecraft flybys and a descent probe.

NASA’s MAVEN Spacecraft Resumes Science & Operations, Exits Safe Mode

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission returned to normal science and relay operations on May 28, 2022, after recovering from an extended safe mode event. The spacecraft encountered problems in February with its Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs).

Satellites, the Space Race, and Supercomputing: How NASA Goddard’s Beowulf Cluster Computer Became an Award-Winning Space Technology

On April 7, Beowulf Cluster Computing was inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. The Beowulf computer cluster was a breakthrough at NASA that enabled many other innovations. Virtually every area of science, math, and biology continue to be direct beneficiaries of this groundbreaking work.

NASA Goddard Scientists Begin Studying 50-year-old Frozen Apollo 17 Samples

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, recently received samples of the lunar surface that have been curated in a freezer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston since Apollo 17 astronauts returned them to Earth in December 1972.

Could the Blueprint for Life Have Been Generated in Asteroids?

Using new analyses, scientists have just found the last two of the five informational units of DNA and RNA that had yet to be discovered in samples from meteorites.

Join NASA's Earth Day Event

Join us in person or virtually. Registration is open for virtual events.

NASA Invites Media to 59th Annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

Media are invited to meet leaders in space exploration at the 59th annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium, taking place on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park, from March 23 to 25. Attendees also have the option to watch the symposium online.

Helicopters Flying at Mars May Glow at Dusk

The whirling blades on drones flying at Mars may cause tiny electric currents to flow in the Martian atmosphere, which, if large enough, might cause the air surrounding the craft to glow.

NASA Scientists Named AAS 2022 Fellows

Four individuals with NASA affiliations have been named 2022 Fellows by the American Astronomical Society (AAS). AAS is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers.

One Year into the Biden Administration, NASA Looks to Future

Over the past year, NASA has made valuable contributions to Biden-Harris Administration’s goals – leading on the global stage, addressing the urgent issue of climate change, creating high paying jobs, and inspiring future generations.

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Measures Intriguing Carbon Signature on Mars

After analyzing powdered rock samples collected from the surface of Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover, scientists today announced that several of the samples are rich in a type of carbon that on Earth is associated with biological processes.

NASA Selects New Members for Artemis Rover Science Team

NASA sought ideas and recently chose eight new science team members and their proposals that expand and complement VIPER's already existing science team and planned investigations.

Watching the Blink of a Star to Size Up Asteroids for NASA’s Lucy Mission

Observing occultations from Earth is one of the tools scientists use for gathering precise information about the size and shape of Lucy’s target destinations, known as “Trojan” asteroids.

NASA to Highlight New Science Findings, Missions During AGU Meeting

NASA researchers and colleagues from around the world will present the latest findings on a range of Earth and space science topics at the annual American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting, being held virtually and in New Orleans from Monday, Dec.13, through Friday, Dec. 17.

Are Water Plumes Spraying from Europa? NASA’s Europa Clipper is on the Case

NASA's Europa Clipper scientists are devising a variety of creative strategies to find active plumes when the spacecraft arrives at this moon of Jupiter in 2030, though they’re not relying on plumes to understand what’s going on inside Europa.

Meet VMS – the briefcase-sized chemistry lab headed to Venus

Venus Mass Spectrometer (VMS) is one of five instruments aboard NASA’s DAVINCI descent probe. VMS will sample gas during the probe’s descent, analyze it, and provide information about the chemical composition of the Venusian atmosphere and possible connections to surface mineralogies.

Vice President Harris to Visit NASA Goddard Today, Deliver Live Remarks

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland today, Nov. 5, to get a firsthand look at the agency’s work to combat the climate crisis and protect vulnerable communities.

NASA Partnership Supports the Next Generation of Space and Science Professionals

NASA's participation in the Mentoring365 program will provide connectivity and access to the next generation of space and science professionals.

NCCS ADAPT Science Cloud Helps Reveal Mercury’s Mysteries

Data analysis employing the NASA Center for Climate Simulation (NCCS) ADAPT Science Cloud for nearly 1 year has revealed never-before-seen details of the planet Mercury’s geodetic properties — the evolution over time of its geometric shape and orientation in space.

Are We Alone in the Universe? NASA Calls for New Framework

NASA scientists are encouraging the scientific community to establish a new framework that provides context for findings related to the search for life.

NASA Mission Helps Solve a Mystery: Why Are Some Asteroid Surfaces Rocky?

Scientists thought Bennu's surface was like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. But when NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu in late 2018, the mission saw a surface covered in boulders.

Ten Mysteries of Venus

The surface of Venus is inhospitable for life: barren, dry, crushed under an atmosphere about 90 times the pressure of Earth’s and roasted by temperatures two times hotter than an oven. Was it always that way? Could Venus have been a habitable world with oceans? This is one of many mysteries associated with Venus that DAVINCI will investigate.

NASA, ULA Launch Lucy Mission to ‘Fossils’ of Planet Formation

NASA’s Lucy mission, the agency’s first to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, launched at 5:34 a.m. EDT Saturday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

How the Sun Affects Asteroids in Our Neighborhood

Like all the planets, asteroids exist in the heliosphere, the vast bubble of space defined by the reaches of our Sun’s wind. Directly and indirectly, the Sun affects many aspects of existence within this pocket of the universe. Here are a few of the ways the Sun influences asteroids like the Trojans in our solar system.

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

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.

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