It's been a long time coming, but this week NASA's Mars Opportunity rover completed the first-ever Martian marathon. After landing on the Red Planet in January 2004 on a mission originally planned to only last 90 days, Opportunity has instead endured for more than a decade, and has taken eleven years and two months to [...]
A new out-of-this-world theory links mass extinctions with exotic astrophysics and galactic architecture
Astronomers report the discovery of only the second quadruple-star system known to host at least one planet. But they suspect there are a lot more such systems out there. Lee Billings reports
Scientists are finding liquid water, the cornerstone for life as we know it, in surprising nooks and crannies of the solar system. Following Wednesday's news that there seem to be hydrothermal vents churning away in the warm, alkaline seas inside Saturn's moon Enceladus, researchers announced airtight evidence yesterday that Jupiter's moon Ganymede also has a [...]
Saturn's icy moon Enceladus has a surprisingly warm inner world
Shortly after 7:30 am Eastern time this morning, a seven-year space voyage at last reached its final destination: NASA's Dawn mission entered orbit around Ceres, a small, icy world orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter.
Spectacular new images are trickling in from NASA’s mission to a dwarf planet in the Asteroid Belt
Ever since President George W. Bush's decision to retire the space shuttles in the aftermath 2003's Columbia disaster, NASA's human spaceflight program has been adrift.
New evidence points to the evolution of the ability for bacteria to grab nitrogen from the atmosphere some 3.2 billion years ago, about 1.2 billion years earlier than thought—with implications for finding extraterrestrial life. Lee Billings reports
The Planck satellite reveals the universe's first stars formed more than a hundred million years later than previously believed
NASA has to deal with the unexpected financial consequences of robotic missions that just keep going. Lee Billings reports
The much-hyped James Webb Space Telescope promises to revolutionize exoplanet science, but only if astronomers can agree on how to use it.
In 1990, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft briefly looked back from its journey out of the solar system, capturing a view of the faraway Earth. Carl Sagan called it the "pale blue dot." From more than 6 billion kilometers away, beyond the orbit of Pluto, it seemed remarkable that our planet was even visible.
New images from a NASA orbiter reveal Beagle 2’s final resting place. Lee Billings reports
NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft finds two worlds that have sizes and orbits similar to ours
The company hopes to send up a Falcon 9 rocket and then safely land the discarded first stage for reuse. Lee Billings reports
The agency’s proposed human trip to a space rock has a bumpy road ahead
From humanity’s first, flawed foray to the surface of a comet to the celebrated discovery of (and less celebrated skepticism about) primordial gravitational waves, 2014 has brought some historic successes and failures in space science and physics.
New results suggest evidence for extraterrestrial life could be near at hand
We almost certainly have nothing to fear from one of the largest and brightest stars in the sky