NASA’s Mars Lander finds that the Red Planet’s magnetic field is really weird

Researchers studying the red planet uncovered a big surprise: the Martian magnetic field is about 10 times stronger than previously thought, and constantly changing. NASA’s InSight lander, a stationary robotic explorer tasked with studying the Martian interior, has spent just over a year on the red planet’s surface. In that brief time, it’s learned a […]

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NASA’s next mission could study one of these bizarre moons

Venus, Triton, or Io? Where would you send NASA’s newest mission? The space agency is in the midst of planning out its next Discovery class mission, a lower cost exploration program, capped at $500 million (not including launch costs). To that end, NASA has selected four finalists and one — or perhaps two — will […]

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Martian dust storms are driving away spacecraft-saving dust devils

Dust devils are pretty common on Mars – the Red Planet is, after all, a very dusty and windy place. What’s a bit more rare is capturing one of the whirling devils on film. That’s because they fade away nearly as quickly as they appear. But in October 2019, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter managed to […]

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Solar Orbiter heads to the sun in mission to unravel its mysteries, takes first space measurements

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Solar Orbiter spacecraft is traveling through the cosmos. Its destination: the inner solar system. The 3,900-lb. (1,800-kg) spacecraft will work in tandem with NASA’s Parker Solar Probe to unravel solar mysteries that have puzzled scientists for decades. The probe will spend the next two years cruising towards the sun and […]

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NASA Mars 2020 rover arrives in Florida to prep for July launch to the red planet

NASA’s next Mars rover arrived in Florida this week (Feb. 12) to begin final preparations ahead of its planned July launch. The six-wheeled rover (and its accompanying Mars Helicopter) were ferried across the country by two Air Force C-17 Globemaster cargo planes.  The duo touched down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at approximately 3 p.m. […]

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NASA ramps Mars preparations with groundbreaking for new antenna

Ever wonder how spacecraft spread throughout our solar system communicate with Earth? They do so through an international array of radio antenna known as the Deep Space Network. The network consists of 12 antennas at three separate locations: Goldstone, California; Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, Australia. NASA chose these locations because they’re each 120 degrees apart […]

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Mars sample-return mission gets boost from Trump’s 2021 budget request

On Monday, Feb. 10, the White House released its 2021 federal budget request, and in it, the administration identified NASA’s Mars sample return plans as a top priority. It also earmarked funding for a future mission to map out where ice is located on Mars. The request asks for $25.2 billion for NASA, which is […]

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SpaceX wins NASA contract to launch Earth Observing System, but current administration has other plans

SpaceX recently snagged an $80.4 million NASA contract to launch an upcoming Earth-observing satellite sometime in 2022. That is, if the mission isn’t scrapped due to budgetary issues. A used Falcon 9 rocket is slated to ferry the 3,748-lb. (1,700 kg) Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem satellite (aka PACE) to orbit sometime in December […]

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Mars’ longtime polar mystery may have finally been solved

From the surface, Mars may seem like a dry, desert-like world lacking water, but a closer look at the planet’s poles will some striking structures: massive polar ice caps. At the north pole, the ruddy terrain peeks through the ice, like zebra stripes. In the south pole lurks a mystery, a massive deposit of frozen […]

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Scientists explore yarn made from human tissue for wound repair

A group of researchers from the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux have produced what they call a “human textile” that could be used for repairing wounds. By growing yarn from human skin cells, scientists are exploring ways to improve the process for skin grafting and organ repair. This story may […]

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