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E.g., 01/17/2019
E.g., 01/17/2019
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  • Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx
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Your search has returned 896 articles:
  • Feature

    Two daring spacecraft aim to bring asteroid dust back to Earth

    Shogo Tachibana greeted asteroid Ryugu with dread.

    The cosmochemist with the University of Tokyo had spent 10 years helping to design a mission to Ryugu’s surface. To touch down safely, the spacecraft, Hayabusa2, needs to find broad, flat stretches of fine-grained dust on the asteroid. But on June 27, when Hayabusa2 finally reached its target after a three-and-a-half-year journey (SN...

    01/15/2019 - 14:42 Planetary Science, Astrobiology
  • News in Brief

    China just landed the first spacecraft on the moon's farside

    China’s Chang’e-4 lander and rover just became the first spacecraft to land on the farside of the moon.

    The lander touched down at 9:26 p.m. Eastern time on January 2, according to an announcement from the China National Space Administration. The spacecraft is part of a series of Chinese space missions named Chang’e (pronounced CHONG-uh) for the Chinese goddess of the moon.

    A small...

    01/03/2019 - 11:09 Planetary Science
  • News

    New Horizons shows Ultima Thule looks like a snowman, or maybe BB-8

    The results are in: Ultima Thule, the distant Kuiper Belt object that got a close visit from the New Horizons spacecraft on New Year’s Day, looks like two balls stuck together.

    “What you are seeing is the first contact binary ever explored by a spacecraft, two separate objects that are now joined together,” principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder...

    01/02/2019 - 17:42 Planetary Science
  • News

    Live updates: New Horizons’ flyby of a distant Kuiper Belt object

    Editor’s note: This story was updated December 31–January 1 with dispatches from astronomy writer Lisa Grossman, who was at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., with the New Horizons team. 

    Updated 1:20 p.m., January 1

    The last best view of Ultima Thule that New Horizons sent back before last night’s flyby gave a rough view of the object...

    12/30/2018 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    The sugar that makes up DNA could be made in space

    Parts of DNA can form in space.

    For the first time, scientists have made 2-deoxyribose, the sugar that makes up the backbone of DNA, under cosmic conditions in the lab by blasting ice with radiation. The result, reported December 18 in Nature Communications, suggests that there are several ways for prebiotic chemistry to take place in space, and supports the idea that the stuff of life...

    12/19/2018 - 08:00 Astrobiology, Planetary Science
  • News

    New Horizons gears up for its close encounter with Ultima Thule

    Ultima Thule is one of the solar system’s most hermitlike homebodies. In the 4.6 billion years since the small icy world formed, astronomers think that it has never moved from its original orbit about 6.5 billion kilometers from the sun. And no other large object has ever come calling.

    That’s about to change.

    Just after midnight eastern time on January 1, NASA’s New Horizons...

    12/18/2018 - 10:00 Planetary Science
  • Year in Review

    A buried lake on Mars excited and baffled scientists

    Headlines touting the discovery of water on Mars — again! — are a long-standing punchline among planetary scientists. But a discovery this year was something very different.

    Unlike previous claims of water-bearing rocks or ephemeral streaks of brine, researchers reported in the Aug. 3 Science that they had found a wide lake of standing liquid near the Red Planet’s south pole, buried...

    12/17/2018 - 08:21 Planetary Science
  • News

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx finds signs of water on the asteroid Bennu

    As the asteroid Bennu comes into sharper focus, planetary scientists are seeing signs of water locked up in the asteroid’s rocks, NASA team members announced December 10.

    “It’s one of the things we were hoping to find,” team member Amy Simon of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a news conference at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, D.C. “...

    12/10/2018 - 18:13 Planetary Science
  • News

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has finally arrived at asteroid Bennu

    A spacecraft designed to pick up pieces of an asteroid and bring them back to Earth has finally reached its destination. After a two-year journey, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft caught up with asteroid Bennu, currently located nearly 130 million kilometers from Earth, on December 3.

    “We have arrived!” Javier Cerna, a telecommunications systems engineer with aerospace and defense company...

    12/03/2018 - 14:32 Planetary Science
  • News in Brief

    NASA’s InSight lander has touched down safely on Mars

    Editor’s note: This story will be periodically updated as new images are released.

    NASA’s InSight lander touched down on Mars on November 26 for a study of the Red Planet’s insides.

    “Touchdown confirmed, InSight is on the surface of Mars!” said Christine Szalai, a spacecraft engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in a live broadcast from mission control....

    11/26/2018 - 16:03 Planetary Science