Night Sky

Astronomical phenomenon and items of interest to night sky watchers.

NASA Satellites Show Drought May Take Toll on Congo Rainforest

April 23, 2014

A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade.

NASA Astronauts to Call Colorado Students from Space

April 23, 2014

Cadets and students from the U.S. Air Force Academy and the Jack Swigert Aerospace Academy Magnet School in Colorado will gather at 11:50 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 24, to speak live with astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station.

NASA Hubble Instruments Highlight New National Air and Space Museum Exhibit

April 23, 2014

Two instruments that played critical roles in discoveries made by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope now are on display in an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

NASA Exploration Forum to Showcase Human Path to Mars

April 23, 2014

NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and other agency leadership will showcase NASA’s human exploration path to Mars at an Exploration Forum from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 29.

NASA Featured Prominently at USA Science and Engineering Festival April 25-27

April 22, 2014

Media are invited to join a host of NASA scientists, engineers and managers at the USA Science and Engineering Festival, April 25-27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington.

NASA Selects Commercial Crew Program Manager

April 21, 2014

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation's space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies.

NASA Completes LADEE Mission with Planned Impact on Moon's Surface

April 18, 2014

Ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m. PDT Thursday, April 17.

NASA Innovative Advanced Concept Program Seeks Phase II Proposals

April 18, 2014

NASA's Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program is seeking proposals for technologies that could be used on future exploration missions. The new proposals will build on the most promising ideas developed in the program's first phase.

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with Public Events, Online Activities

April 18, 2014

NASA will celebrate the 44th anniversary of Earth Day with a variety of live and online activities April 21-27 to engage the public in the agency’s mission to better understand and protect our home planet.

NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

April 18, 2014

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft.

NASA, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Announce Media Opportunities at Hubble Anniversary Reception

April 18, 2014

Media are invited to attend a breakfast reception at 8:30 a.m. EDT April 23 to celebrate the 24th anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope's launch into space with the opening of the "Repairing Hubble" exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, located at 600 Independence Ave. SW in Washington.

NASA Sets Preview Briefing, TV Schedule for Space Station Spacewalk

April 17, 2014

Two NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station will conduct a spacewalk in the coming week to replace a failed backup computer relay system on the space station's truss. The activity, designated U.S. EVA 26, will be broadcast live on NASA Television and previewed in a briefing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston at 9:30 a.m. EDT Friday, April 18.

NASA Administrator and Senior Leaders to Outline NASA's "Path to Mars"

April 17, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will outline NASA's human exploration path to Mars during a keynote address at the Humans to Mars Summit 2014 at 9 a.m. ET, Tuesday, April 22. The conference, sponsored by Explore Mars, will be held April 22-24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Lisner and Betts Auditoriums at George Washington University in Washington and will be carried live on NASA TV.

NASA's Kepler Telescope Discovers First Earth-Size Planet in 'Habitable Zone'

April 17, 2014

Using NASA's Kepler Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered the first Earth-size planet orbiting a star in the "habitable zone" -- the range of distance from a star where liquid water might pool on the surface of an orbiting planet. The discovery of Kepler-186f confirms that planets the size of Earth exist in the habitable zone of stars other than our sun.

SpaceX Launch of NASA Cargo to Space Station Set for Friday, Spacewalk Wednesday

April 16, 2014

NASA and SpaceX are targeting a 3:25 p.m. EDT launch on Friday, April 18, of SpaceX's third cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA Names Six New Members to Advisory Council

April 16, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has announced the appointment of six new members to the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). The group advises NASA's senior leadership on challenges and solutions facing the agency as it unfolds a new era of exploration.

NASA Hosts Media Teleconference to Announce Latest Kepler Discovery

April 15, 2014

NASA will host a news teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 17, to announce a new discovery made by its planet-hunting mission, the Kepler Space Telescope.

NASA Administrator to Tour Space Lab, Speak at University of Colorado-Boulder

April 15, 2014

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will tour the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and speak with students and faculty at the University of Colorado-Boulder on Friday, Apr. 18.

NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad

April 15, 2014

NASA Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.

NASA Astronauts Will Breathe Easier With New Oxygen Recovery Systems

April 15, 2014

For NASA's long-duration human spaceflight missions, travelers will need to recycle as much breathable oxygen in their spacecraft environments, as possible.

NASA Cassini Images May Reveal Birth of New Saturn Moon

April 14, 2014

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet's known moons.

NASA Holds Space Tech Mission Directorate Media Teleconference Wednesday

April 14, 2014

NASA will host a media teleconference at noon EDT Wednesday, April 16, to discuss the status of ongoing projects and the road ahead for the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate.

NASA Hosts Launch Complex 39A Status Update

April 13, 2014

NASA will provide a status update on Launch Complex 39A at 2:30 p.m. EDT, Monday, April 14 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The update, which will be held at pad 39A, will not be carried live on NASA Television.

NASA TV to Air SpaceX-3 Status Update at Noon EDT April 13

April 12, 2014

NASA Television will air a news conference at noon EDT on Sunday, April 13 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA to Provide Live Coverage and Commentary of April 15 Lunar Eclipse

April 11, 2014

The public will have the opportunity to view and learn more about the Tuesday, April 15 total lunar eclipse on NASA television, the agency’s website, and social media.

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Powers through First Integrated System Testing

April 11, 2014

NASA's Orion spacecraft has proven its mettle in a test designed to determine the spacecraft's readiness for its first flight test -- Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) -- later this year. EFT-1 will send the spacecraft more than 3,600 miles from Earth and return it safely.

NASA's Hubble Extends Stellar Tape Measure 10 Times Farther Into Space

April 10, 2014

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now can precisely measure the distance of stars up to 10,000 light-years away -- 10 times farther than previously possible.

NASA Signs Agreement with German, Canadian Partners to Test Alternative Fuels

April 10, 2014

NASA has signed separate agreements with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to conduct a series of joint flight tests to study the atmospheric effects of emissions from jet engines burning alternative fuels.

Construction to Begin on NASA Spacecraft Set to Visit Asteroid in 2018

April 10, 2014

NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.

Media Invited to Tour Flight Research Project with NASA Associate Administrator

April 10, 2014

Media are invited to join NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot at 11:15 a.m. PDT Tuesday, April 15, for a brief update and tour of an aeronautical research project currently underway at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

NASA Administrator and Media to View New Orion Mission Control Center at Johnson

April 9, 2014

Media are invited to meet with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden during a visit to the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston from 1-2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 10.

NASA Looks to Go Beyond Batteries for Space Exploration

April 9, 2014

NASA is seeking proposals for the development of new, more capable, energy storage technologies to replace the battery technology that has long powered America's space program.

Media Invited to 2014 International Space Apps Challenge Main Event in New York

April 7, 2014

Media are invited to attend NASA’s third annual International Space Apps Challenge. The main event will be held April 12-13 in New York.

NASA Awards Robotics, Vehicle and Graphics Simulation Services Contract

April 4, 2014

NASA has selected MacLean Engineering & Applied Technologies of Houston to provide simulation model development for organizations at the agency's Johnson Space Center, also in Houston.

New Catalog Brings NASA Software Down to Earth

April 4, 2014

NASA is making available to the public, at no cost, more than 1,000 codes with its release on Thursday, April 10 of a new online software catalog.

NASA Television to Air Upcoming Space Station Cargo Ship Activities

April 4, 2014

NASA Television will air live the departure of an unpiloted Russian cargo spacecraft and the launch and docking of another to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) Monday, April 7, and Wednesday, April 9.

NASA Coverage Set for SpaceX Mission to Space Station

April 4, 2014

The next SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Monday, April 14, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA Challenge Invites Students to Design Exploration Systems

April 3, 2014

College and university students have an opportunity to help design systems for future space habitats and exploration systems through NASA's Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge. Applications for the fifth annual challenge will be accepted through April 30.

NASA Hubble Team Finds Monster "El Gordo" Galaxy Cluster Bigger Than Thought

April 3, 2014

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has weighed the largest known galaxy cluster in the distant universe, catalogued as ACT-CL J0102-4915, and found it definitely lives up to its nickname -- El Gordo (Spanish for "the fat one").

Media Invited to View NASA Cutting-edge Landing Technology Before Test Flight

April 3, 2014

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space this June from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii.

NASA Satellite to Continue Gathering Data Up to Planned Lunar Impact

April 3, 2014

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft is gradually lowering its orbital altitude to continue making science observations prior to its planned impact on the moon’s surface on or before April 21.

NASA Space Assets Detect Ocean inside Saturn Moon

April 3, 2014

NASA's Cassini spacecraft and Deep Space Network have uncovered evidence Saturn's moon Enceladus harbors a large underground ocean of liquid water, furthering scientific interest in the moon as a potential home to extraterrestrial microbes.

NASA Celebrates Earth Day with "Global Selfie" Event

April 2, 2014

For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth-observing missions will be launched into space in a single year. To celebrate this milestone, NASA is inviting people all around the world to step outside on Earth Day, April 22, take a "selfie," and share it with the world on social media.

NASA Begins Search for Potential SOFIA Partners

April 1, 2014

NASA issued a Request for Information (RFI) Monday soliciting potential partners interested in using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft for scientific investigations or for other potential uses.

Media Invited to View Space Station-Bound Earth Science Instrument with NASA’s Associate Administrator

April 1, 2014

Media are invited to meet with NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot during a visit to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., at 1:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 2.

NASA Armstrong Center Renaming Ceremony Set for May 13

March 31, 2014

Media are invited to a formal dedication ceremony to mark the renaming of NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, formerly the Dryden Flight Research Center, on Tuesday, May 13 at the center's campus at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

NASA Commercial Crew Partners Complete Space System Milestones

March 31, 2014

NASA's commercial space partners continue to meet milestones under agreements with the agency's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), as they move forward in their development of spacecraft and rockets that will transport humans to destinations in low-Earth orbit.

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Spots Mars-Bound Comet Sprout Multiple Jets

March 27, 2014

NASA released Thursday an image of a comet that, on Oct. 19, will pass within 84,000 miles of Mars -- less than half the distance between Earth and our moon.

NASA Awards Contract for Intelligent Systems Research

March 26, 2014

NASA has selected Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc. (SGT) of Greenbelt, Md., for a contract for Intelligent Systems Research and Development Support services at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

High School 'Final Five' Compete for Out-of-This-World Test on Orion

March 26, 2014

Five teams of high school student engineers have made it to the final round in a competition to build and test designs for radiation shields for NASA's new Orion spacecraft.

NASA TV to Air Arrival of New Space Station Crew Thursday

March 26, 2014

NASA Television will broadcast the arrival of three crew members to the International Space Station beginning at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday, March 27. Their Soyuz spacecraft will dock with the station at 7:58 p.m. Coverage will resume at 10:15 p.m. for hatch opening at 10:40 p.m.

NASA Marks Major Programmatic Milestone for Spaceport of the Future

March 26, 2014

NASA achieved a major milestone this month in its effort to transform the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida into a multi-user spaceport by successfully completing the initial design and technology development phase for the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program.

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