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

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NASA’s Lucy Mission Confirms Discovery of Eurybates Satellite

01.09.2020
NASA’s Lucy mission team is seeing double after discovering that Eurybates, the asteroid the spacecraft has targeted for flyby in 2027, has a small satellite.

Our Favorite Holiday Gift? A Box of Apollo Moon Soil

12.23.2019
For the holidays, these NASA scientists got a 50-year-old Moon sample.

X Marks the Spot: NASA Selects Site for Asteroid Sample Collection

12.12.2019
After a year scoping out asteroid Bennu’s boulder-scattered surface, the team leading NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission has officially selected a sample collection site.

NASA’s MAVEN Maps Winds in the Martian Upper Atmosphere that Mirror the Terrain Below and Gives Clues to Martian Climate

12.12.2019
Researchers have created the first map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of a planet besides Earth, using NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft, helping scientists to better understand the workings of the Martian climate.

OSIRIS-REx Engineers Pull Off a Daring Rescue of a Monumental Asteroid Mission

12.10.2019
On Oct. 11, the OSIRIS-REx team should have been preparing to point their spacecraft cameras precisely over the asteroid Bennu, but an unexpected communications outage on the ground came at a particularly critical time and threatened to throw the mission off track. Engineers quickly hatched a daring plan to keep OSIRIS-REx on schedule.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Mission Explains Bennu’s Mysterious Particle Events

12.05.2019
The discovery of particle plumes erupting from Bennu's surface was a surprise,indicating that the returned asteroid sample may unlock answers to unexpected questions.

NASA Highlights Solar Mission, Jupiter Cyclone at AGU Meeting

12.05.2019
NASA researchers will present new findings on a wide range of Earth and space science topics at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), Dec. 9-13 in San Francisco.

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Sheds New Light on the Sun

12.04.2019
Since its 2018 launch, NASA's Parker Solar Probe (record-holder for closest-ever spacecraft to the Sun) has finished three of 24 planned passes through never-before-explored parts of the Sun's atmosphere. On Dec. 4, four new papers describe what scientists have learned from its unprecedented exploration, and what they look forward to learning next.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx in the Midst of Site Selection

12.04.2019
After a lengthy and challenging process, the team is finally ready to down-select from the four candidate sites to a primary and backup site.

NASA Takes a Cue From Silicon Valley to Hatch Artificial Intelligence Technologies

11.19.2019
Could the same computer algorithms that teach autonomous cars to drive safely help identify nearby asteroids or discover life in the universe? NASA scientists are trying to figure that out by partnering with pioneers in artificial intelligence (AI) to apply advanced computer algorithms to problems in space science.

NASA Scientists Confirm Water Vapor on Europa

11.18.2019
Scientists have evidence that one of these ingredients, liquid water, is present under the icy surface of Europa, a moon of Jupiter, and may sometimes erupt into space in huge geysers. Now scientists have detected the water vapor for the first time above Europa’s surface.

First Detection of Sugars in Meteorites Gives Clues to Origin of Life

11.18.2019
An international team has found sugars essential to life in meteorites. The new discovery adds to the growing list of biologically important compounds that have been found in meteorites.

With Mars Methane Mystery Unsolved, Curiosity Serves Scientists a New One: Oxygen

11.12.2019
Scientists noticed something baffling on Mars: oxygen, the gas many Earth creatures use to breathe, behaves in a way that so far no one can explain through any known chemical processes.

NASA to Showcase Science and Engineering Achievements at Annual Supercomputing Conference

11.12.2019
From surveying life on Earth to exploring the far reaches of space, researchers from across NASA and university and industry partners will highlight their latest findings, made possible by the agency’s supercomputers, at SC19—the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, Nov. 18 to 22 in Denver, CO.

Lunar IceCube Mission to Locate, Study Resources Needed for Sustained Presence on Moon

11.08.2019
Lunar IceCube mission will locate and study lunar resources needed for establishing a sustainable human presence on the Moon.

NASA’s Lucy Mission Clears Critical Milestone

10.21.2019
NASA’s Lucy mission successfully completed its Critical Design Review on Oct. 18.

Planetary Scientist Tom Fauchez Looks for Habitable Planets and Makes a Mean Pot au Feu

10.15.2019
Planetary scientist, Tom Fauchez looks for habitable planets and cooks a mean pot au feu.

New Research Sheds Light on the Ages of Lunar Ice Deposits

10.10.2019
The discovery of ice deposits in craters scattered across the Moon’s south pole has helped to renew interest in exploring the lunar surface.

A Dusty Lab in the Sky

10.04.2019
The DUST sounding rocket will fly into space to make dust in a rocket-borne lab. Measuring the dust grains as they grow and aggregate, the team will study how nanoscale structures affect the fates of stars and planets.

Sun Science has a Bright Future on the Moon

10.03.2019
The Moon isn't just for lunar scientists. As NASA advances its Artemis mission to land astronauts on the Moon by 2024, here are five reasons heliophysicists — who study the Sun-Earth connection — can't wait to get on board.

International Observe the Moon Night Celebrates 10 Years of Lunar Engagement

09.30.2019
As NASA looks forward to putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, a public engagement program public engagement program designed to increase awareness of lunar science and exploration celebrates its 10th year.

Apollo Moon Soil Radiation Experiment

09.17.2019
When a stream of charged particles known as the solar wind careens into the Moon’s surface at nearly 1 million miles per hour (1.6 million kilometers per hour), it enriches it in ingredients that coul

Saturn's Rings Shine in Hubble's Latest Portrait

09.12.2019
Saturn is so beautiful that astronomers cannot resist using the Hubble Space Telescope to take yearly snapshots of the ringed world when it is at its closest distance to Earth. These images, however, are more than just beauty shots. They reveal a planet with a turbulent, dynamic atmosphere.

NASA Goddard Creates CGI Moon Kit as a Form of Visual Storytelling

09.06.2019
A new NASA out-of-this-world animation allows humanity to experience their closest galactic neighbor as never before through an online “CGI Moon kit.”

NASA Scientist to Discuss 'The Recent Discovery of Organic Matter Preserved in 3-billion-year-old Mudstones on Mars' at Library of Congress Lecture

09.06.2019
The public is invited to a free lecture called "A Mud Matter: The Recent Discovery of Organic Matter Preserved in 3-billion-year-old Mudstones on Mars," with Dr. Jennifer Eigenbrode, NASA research scientist. The talk will occur in the Library of Congress' Pickford Theater on Sept. 12.
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