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Europa: How Less Can Be More

Van Kane explains three factors that make exploring Europa hard—factors that can make a mission concept that seems like less actually be more.

NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality

NASA's Space Launch System passed a critical milestone yesterday, but buried within the announcement was news that the first launch could slip by nearly a year.

House members seek details on SLS/Orion schedules and spending

A day after NASA announced that the first SLS may not be ready for launch until as late as November 2018, two key members of the House Science Committee asked NASA for details on both the schedule and funding levels of the SLS and Orion programs. In a letter released by the committee Thursday morning, [...]

Canadian Mars Analogue Mission: Field Report, Week 2

Tanya Harrison wraps up the final week of Mars sample return analogue mission operations at the Canadian Space Agency.

With an SLS slip looming, one senator wants to keep NASA’s budget “on track”

An announcement Wednesday by NASA that the first launch of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket could slip by nearly a year has led one key senator to suggest the program needs some budgetary help. NASA announced Wednesday that the SLS passed its Key Decision Point C (KDP-C) review, an assessment of the [...]

Where does outreach funding go?

Over the past 8 years I've been based in Manchester and Cardiff. During my time in those places I was involved with a few public engagement grants from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). These grants are called "Small...Show More Summary

International Postcards from Space

A collection of pretty pictures by cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who currently serves as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station.

The Competition for Dollars

We all know NASA needs more money to achieve its goals. But competition for money is intense within the U.S. federal government, and two trends have made it harder for NASA to get what it needs.

Air Force starts search for an RD-180 replacement

Although the supply of Russian-built RD-180 engines that power the first stage of the Atlas V do not appear to be in the same level of jeopardy as feared earlier this year—United Launch Alliance took delivery of two of those engines last week—the US Air Force is starting to lay the groundwork for development of [...]

Rosetta identifies five possible landing sites for Philae

The Rosetta team has announced the selection of five regions on Churyumov-Gerasimenko that they will study as possible landing sites for little Philae. Now, as Rosetta surveys the comet from its second triangular "orbit" at an average distance of 60 kilometers, the mission will target these spots for extra attention.

Cool animations of Phobos transits from Curiosity

Shooting video of a lumpy moon crossing the Sun and turning it into a giant googly eye is not a new activity for Curiosity, but I get a fresh thrill each time I see one of these sequences downlinked from the rover.

Forget the statistics and do what makes sense

Recent numbers indicate that the most successful apps are created by only a few companies and if you’re basing your app development strategies on numbers alone you are pretty much doomed from the start. Read more about Forget the statistics and do what makes sense

Best-ever Neptune mosaics for the 25th anniversary of Voyager 2's flyby

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune, image magician Björn Jónsson has produced two new global mosaics of the distant ice giant, the highest-resolution ever made.

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 28 to Thursday September 4

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday September 2. Mercury climbs higher in the evening sky. Mars and Saturn are prominent in the evening sky, forming a nice triangle with Alpha Librae. The trio are visited by the Moon on the 31st and September 1. Show More Summary

Mars, Saturn and Zubenelgenubi close (25-27th August 2014)

Evening sky on Monday August 25 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 (10:00 pm) ACST in South Australia. Mars and Saturn are at their closest under the head of Scorpius. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local...Show More Summary

Comparing areas

On Twitter over the weekend I saw a couple of retweets of an infographic comparing the money raised to combat various diseases and the number of deaths caused by those diseases in the US. The infographic is interesting. It is also unintentionally misleading within each column. Show More Summary

Radio Problems Scrub LightSail's Day-in-the-Life Test

A pesky radio problem that has occasionally stymied LightSail has returned, scrubbing the mission's day-in-the-life test.

Curiosity update, sols 697-726: Mars thwarts driving and drilling

The Mars gremlins really had it in for Curiosity this month. A computer glitch and slippery sand conspired to delay the rover's progress toward Mount Sharp. And shifting rocks proved unsafe for drilling. The rover will continue driving toward Mount Sharp, departing Bonanza King without drilling, skirting Hidden Valley along a plateau to its north.

Mobile apps edge out desktop and traditional web browsing

by Sam Pudwell A comScore report detailing app trends and user habits reveals that 52 percent of time spent on digital media now comes from mobile apps. Read more about Mobile apps edge out desktop and traditional web browsing

Philae landing site selection process under way as Rosetta closes to within 60 kilometers of the comet

Rosetta spent the week transitioning to a lower orbit from which it continues to observe the comet. This weekend, the mission will select about five landing sites for more detailed study. They have also now estimated the mass of the comet.

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