NASA’s unmanned spacecraft, the Maven, has launched on its mission to Mars to study the red planet’s atmosphere.
AP reports Maven is due on Mars next fall following a journey of more than 440 million miles. Scientists are hoping to find clues to understand why Mars went from being warm and wet during its first billion year to cold and dry today.
Commercial cargo ship arrives at space station after delay
Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo ship has arrived at the International Space Station after a week’s delay. The space station’s astronauts used their robot arm to grab the capsule this morning, which contains more than a half-ton of food, clothes and other supplies for the six astronauts, AP reports.
Expedition 37 arrives at International Space Station
NASA: NASA has confirmed that a new trio of Expedition 37 residents has arrived at the International Space Station, docking to the Poisk mini-research module Wednesday at 10:45 p.m. EDT aboard a Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft.
Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy are scheduled for a five-and-a-half month stay in space, living and working inside the orbital laboratory.
National Geographic: NASA has confirmed that Voyager 1 has slipped from the solar system. Launched in 1977, the spacecraft is now more than 11.66 billion miles from the sun, becoming the first to enter interstellar space.
Image: This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft entering interstellar space, or the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by the plasma, or ionized gas, that was ejected by the death of nearby giant stars millions of years ago. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)
NASA shares photos of Earth, seen from Saturn and Mercury
NASA has shared new images of the Earth and moon, as seen from Saturn and Mercury. In this photo captured by the Cassini orbiter on July 19, Saturn’s rings can be seen with Earth and the moon. Earth is a blue dot at the center right; the moon can be seen as a fainter protrusion off its right side.
AP: NASA has aborted a spacewalk at the International Space Station because of a dangerous water leak in an astronaut’s helmet.
Italy’s first spacewalker, Luca Parmitano, reported that he felt a lot of water on the back of his head barely an hour into Tuesday’s spacewalk. The leak was so bad that he needed help from a fellow astronaut getting back into the safety of the space station.
Photo: European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano adjusts his equipment before a training examination at the Star City space centre outside Moscow April 30, 2013. ( REUTERS/Sergei Remezov)
NBC News: An astronomer has discovered Neptune’s smallest known moon, a mini-world that eluded detection until it was found almost by accident in years-old imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Neptune’s 14th moon, currently known only as S/2004 N 1, is thought to measure no more than 12 miles (20 kilometers) across. It orbits about 65,400 miles (105,250 kilometers) from the ice giant, between the larger Neptunian moons Larissa and Proteus.
Image: This composite Hubble Space Telescope picture shows the location of a newly discovered moon, designated S/2004 N 1, orbiting the giant planet Neptune, nearly 3 billion miles from Earth. (Mark Showalter / SETI Inst. / NASA / ESA)
NBC News: A Russian Proton-M rocket upended itself less than a minute after launch Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, exploding in a fireball of toxic chemicals.
The rocket was supposed to put three of Russia’s Glonass global positioning satellites into orbit, but during its ascent, it rolled over and blasted its way back downward toward the Kazakh steppes, breaking apart just before hitting the ground.
BBC News: NASA’s aging Opportunity rover on Mars has just made what may be one of its most significant discoveries to date.
The nine-year-old robot has identified rock laden with what scientists believe to be clay minerals.
Their presence is an indication that the rock, dubbed Esperance, has been altered at some point in the past through prolonged contact with water.
Photo: In this panorama, Solander Point is the near peak on the left of the horizon. It is more than a kilometre away from Opportunity’s current position and the rover would hope to arrive by August (www.kenkremer.com) (NASA/JPL/Cornell/Marco Di Lorenzo & Ken Kremer)
Russian capsule touches down with space station trio
Space.com: A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a crew of three space travelers successfully touched down in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, wrapping up a five-month mission to the International Space Station.
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko landed at about 8:31 a.m. Kazakh time (10:31 p.m. ET Monday). Their return marks the end of the station’s Expedition 35, which Hadfield commanded.
Photo: Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sent this final picture from the International Space Station: “To some this may look like a sunset. But it’s a new dawn,” he wrote. (Chris Hadfield via Twitter)
CTV: Canadian astronaut Cmdr. Chris Hadfield is leaving the International Space Station with the flourish of a rock star, releasing a polished music video tribute to his months in space in the final hours before his return to Earth.
Sunday’s passing of the torch marks the end of Hadfield’s role as the pilot of the massive orbiting research station since he took over on March 13, becoming the first Canadian to command the ISS.
During his mission, the 53-year-old took part in a number of experiments, installations and repairs while delighting and entertaining fans around the world with his seemingly non-stop updates on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Video: A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station (via YouTube)
AP: Skygazers across the Australian Outback were among the lucky few to witness a solar eclipse on Friday as the moon glided between Earth and the sun, blocking everything but a dazzling ring of light.
The celestial spectacle, known as a “ring of fire” eclipse, was the second solar eclipse visible from northern Australia in six months. In November, a total solar eclipse plunged the country’s northeast into darkness, delighting astronomers and tourists who flocked to the region from across the globe to witness it.
Photo: Friday’s annular solar eclipse blazes like a ring of fire after sunrise, 45 miles (70 kilometers) south of Newman, Australia. The “second sun” is a lens effect. (Nicole Hollenbeck via SpaceWeather.com)