MAVEN: What let the air out of Mars?

NASA announced another baby step in our understanding of the universe this week when an analysis of data from MAVEN revealed that solar wind was responsible for the loss of atmosphere on the planet Mars.

The probe which is MAVEN (or the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission) launched in 2013. As long as a school bus at thirty seven and a half feet, and weighing as much as a fully loaded SUV at 5,450 pounds, MAVEN has six instruments which track the interaction of solar wind Continue reading “MAVEN: What let the air out of Mars?”

Solar Electric Propulsion: NASA asks American industry to spark development

NASA is asking American industry to help develop solar electric propulsion engine powerful enough to meet the goals of its Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM).

ARRM’s goal is to land on an asteroid, retrieve a boulder of approximately twenty tons and then haul the boulder to a position close to the moon. Once there, astronauts aboard an Orion spacecraft Continue reading “Solar Electric Propulsion: NASA asks American industry to spark development”

Last Cassini Close Ups Of Enceladus: Looking for life in all the right places

On October 14th, 2015 Cassini flew within 1,142 miles of Saturn’s moon Enceladus to catch the first-ever close up picture of its north pole.

Two more Enceladus fly-bys are planned, one in a few weeks and one in mid-December. These will be the last visits to Enceladus for Cassini whose mission ends in 2017. Continue reading “Last Cassini Close Ups Of Enceladus: Looking for life in all the right places”