Night Sky

Astronomical phenomenon and items of interest to night sky watchers.

NASA TV, Web Coverage Set for Sept. 21 Mars Spacecraft Orbit Insertion

September 19, 2014

NASA Television will broadcast live the Sunday, Sept. 21, Mars orbital insertion of the agency’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, from 9:30 to 10:45 p.m. EDT. The broadcast also will be available on the agency’s website.

NASA's 2015 Sample Return Robot Challenge Open for Registration

September 18, 2014

Registration is open for the fourth running of the NASA Centennial Challenge program's Sample Return Robot Challenge, which will take place June 8-13, 2015. The autonomous robot competition, which carries a prize purse of $1.5 million, will be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts, which has hosted the event since 2012.

NASA Television Coverage Set for Next Space Station Crew Launch

September 18, 2014

NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the Sept. 25 launch from Kazakhstan of three crew members of Expedition 41/42, as they begin their planned six-hour journey to the International Space Station. NASA Television coverage will start at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will include video of the pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.

Hubble Helps Find Smallest Known Galaxy Containing a Supermassive Black Hole

September 17, 2014

Astronomers using data from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and ground observation have found an unlikely object in an improbable place -- a monster black hole lurking inside one of the tiniest galaxies ever known.

NASA Seeks America's Best and Brightest for Space Technology Research Fellowships

September 17, 2014

NASA is seeking applications from U.S. graduate students for the agency's Space Technology Research Fellowships.

NASA Administrator Visits North Texas Air Traffic Management Facilities, Discusses NextGen Development

September 17, 2014

NASA and aviation partners of the agency's North Texas Research Station (NTX) facility will host a media availability with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden at 11:15 a.m. CDT Friday, Sept. 19, in Fort Worth, Texas. The event will highlight new and cutting-edge NASA aeronautics technologies being evaluated to improve air travel across the country.

NASA Mars Spacecraft Ready for Sept. 21 Orbit Insertion

September 17, 2014

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is nearing its scheduled Sept. 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles.

NASA Announces a New Challenge at World Maker Faire

September 17, 2014

NASA will announce a new challenge to engage the public in the agency’s journey to Mars Saturday, Sept. 20, at the World Maker Faire in New York City. NASA Chief Technologist David Miller will announce the details of the new challenge during a talk in the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory Finds Planet That Makes Star Act Deceptively Old

September 16, 2014

A planet may be causing the star it orbits to act much older than it actually is, according to new data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows how a massive planet can affect the behavior of its parent star.

NASA Airborne Campaigns Focus on Climate Impacts in the Arctic

September 16, 2014

Over the past few decades, average global temperatures have been on the rise, and this warming is happening two to three times faster in the Arctic. As the region’s summer comes to a close, NASA is hard at work studying how rising temperatures are affecting the Arctic.

NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station

September 16, 2014

U.S. astronauts once again will travel to and from the International Space Station from the United States on American spacecraft under groundbreaking contracts NASA announced Tuesday. The agency unveiled its selection of Boeing and SpaceX to transport U.S. more»

NASA to Make Major Announcement Today About Astronaut Transport to the International Space Station

September 16, 2014

NASA will make a major announcement today at 4 p.m. EDT regarding the return of human spaceflight launches to the United States. The agency will make the announcement during a news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

NASA Awards Cross-track Infrared Sounder Instrument for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

September 15, 2014

NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Exelis, Inc., Geospatial Systems, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) Instrument for flight on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission.

NASA Announces 2014 Aeronautics Scholarship Recipients

September 15, 2014

NASA has selected 20 students from across the nation to receive the agency's Aeronautics Scholarship for the 2014-2015 school year.

FMA Live! Celebrates a Decade of STEM Success with 2014 Fall Tour

September 15, 2014

NASA and Honeywell are kicking off the 2014 fall tour this week of the award-winning science education program FMA LIVE! Forces in Motion with performances at three schools in the greater Seattle area.

NASA Coverage Set for Fourth SpaceX Mission to Space Station

September 12, 2014

The fourth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract is scheduled to launch Saturday, Sept. 20, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. more»

NASA to hold Sept. 17 Briefing on MAVEN Mars Orbit Insertion, Events Coverage

September 12, 2014

NASA will host a televised media briefing at 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, Sept. 17, to outline activities around the Sunday, Sept. 21 orbital insertion at Mars of the agency’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft. The briefing will be held in NASA’s Headquarters’ auditorium, 300 E Street SW in Washington, and broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA Unveils World's Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool for Space Launch System

September 12, 2014

The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center officially is open for business at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America's next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

NASA Extends, Increases Value of Bioastronautics Contract at Johnson

September 11, 2014

NASA has extended and increased the value of its contract with Wyle Integrated Science and Engineering Group of Houston to provide continuing support to the Human Health and Performance Directorate at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain

September 11, 2014

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination.

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Nears Completion, Ready for Fueling

September 11, 2014

NASA is making steady progress on its Orion spacecraft, completing several milestones this week at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for the capsule's first trip to space in December.

Space Station Expedition 40 Crew Returns to Earth, Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

September 10, 2014

Three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) returned to Earth Wednesday after 169 days of science and technology research in space, including a record 82 hours of research in a single week, which happened in July.

NASA Selects Contractor for Financial Support Services

September 10, 2014

NASA has selected Logical-R Joint Venture of Houston to perform financial support services at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

NASA Astronaut Mastracchio to Visit Orbital Sciences, Media Invited

September 10, 2014

NASA Astronaut Rick Mastracchio will visit Orbital Sciences Corporation at 1:30 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 15, where he will hold a town hall meeting with the company’s team that carries out cargo delivery missions to the International Space Station under the agency's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

Hubble Finds Supernova Companion Star after Two Decades of Searching

September 9, 2014

Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered a companion star to a rare type of supernova.

NASA Selects Wallops Engineering Services Contract

September 9, 2014

NASA has awarded a contract to ASRC Space and Defense, Incorporate (AS&D) of Greenbelt, Maryland for the Wallops Engineering Services contract procurement for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s, Wallops Flight Facility, located at Wallops Island, Virginia.

NASA Announces Media Briefing on Arctic Climate Change Campaigns

September 9, 2014

Earth’s northern polar region, one of the most rapidly changing areas of our planet, is the focus of three recent NASA research campaigns and will be discussed in detail during a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 16.

NASA, Honeywell Bring Hip Hop Physics Tour to Greater Seattle Area

September 9, 2014

NASA and Honeywell are inviting media to participate in the west coast kickoff of the 10th anniversary celebration of their FMA Live! Forces in Motion tour. The tour show will visit three Seattle-area schools during the week of Sept. 15.

Scientists Find Evidence of ‘Diving’ Tectonic Plates on Jupiter’s Moon Europa

September 8, 2014

Scientists have found evidence of plate tectonics on Jupiter’s moon Europa. This indicates the first sign of this type of surface-shifting geological activity on a world other than Earth.

Future Space Station Crew to Participate in NASA TV Briefing, Media Interviews

September 8, 2014

The next crew to launch to the International Space Station, including NASA astronaut Terry Virts, will participate in a news conference and media interviews Thursday, Sept. 18, at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The news conference will air live on NASA Television at 2 p.m. EDT.

NASA Launches New Era of Earth Science from Space Station

September 8, 2014

The launch of a NASA ocean winds sensor to the International Space Station (ISS) this month inaugurates a new era of Earth observation that will leverage the space station's unique vantage point in space.

Commander of Underwater NASA Mission Available for Interviews

September 5, 2014

NASA will venture to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean this month to investigate technologies and procedures for use in near- and long-term space missions. The commander of the seven-day mission, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, will be available for media interviews via phone or Skype between 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 12.

NASA Administrator Marks Completion of World’s Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool for Space Launch System

September 5, 2014

NASA’s new Vertical Assembly Center (VAC), a 170-foot-high marvel of machinery that will be used to assemble elements of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), now is complete and ready to weld parts for the rocket that will send humans to an asteroid and Mars.

NASA Awards Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite Modification for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

September 5, 2014

NASA has awarded a sole source contract modification to Ball Aerospace and Technology Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, for the Ozone Mapping and Profiling Suite (OMPS) for flight on the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission.

Space Station Crew Members Tour NASA Facility, Talk Earth Science

September 5, 2014

Astronauts Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Koicha Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will tour NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept. 17. Reporters are invited to join the tour.

NASA Television to Broadcast Sept. 10 Return of Space Station Crew

September 5, 2014

Three crew members aboard the International Space Station are scheduled to end almost six months on the orbiting laboratory on Sept. 10 and NASA Television will provide complete coverage.

NASA Instrument aboard European Spacecraft Returns First Science Results

September 4, 2014

A NASA instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s (ESA's) Rosetta orbiter has successfully made its first delivery of science data from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

NASA Hosts Media Briefing to Announce New Earth-Observing Role for International Space Station

September 4, 2014

NASA opens a new era this month in its exploration of our home planet with the launch of the first in a series of Earth science instruments to the International Space Station. A media briefing on this addition to NASA’s Earth-observing program will air at 1 p.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 8, on NASA Television and the agency's website.

NASA Astronaut Butch Wilmore Available for Interviews Before His Space Station Mission

September 2, 2014

NASA astronaut Barry "Butch" Wilmore, who is making final preparations for his launch this month to the International Space Station, will be available for live satellite interviews from 6-7 a.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 8.

NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Next Orbital Sciences Space Station Resupply Launch

September 2, 2014

Media accreditation now is open for the launch of the third NASA contracted cargo resupply flight from Virginia to the International Space Station by Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Virginia.

NASA Invites Public to Submit Messages for Asteroid Mission Time Capsule

September 2, 2014

NASA is inviting the worldwide public to submit short messages and images on social media that could be placed in a time capsule aboard a spacecraft launching to an asteroid in 2016.

NASA Probes Studying Earth’s Radiation Belts to Celebrate Two Year Anniversary

August 29, 2014

NASA's twin Van Allen Probes will celebrate on Saturday two years of studying the sun’s influence on our planet and near-Earth space. The probes, shortly after launch in August 2012, discovered a third radiation belt around Earth when only two had previously been detected.

NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Orion Move in Preparation for First Flight

August 29, 2014

Media accreditation now is open to attend an event marking the move of NASA's Orion spacecraft at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will be transferred from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility during the second week of September.

Mississippi and Louisiana Students Get Out-of-This-World Start to the School Year

August 29, 2014

Students from Mississippi and Louisiana will gather at the INFINITY Science Center in Pearlington, Mississippi, for a long-distance call with NASA astronauts currently orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station.

Sparks Fly as NASA Pushes the Limits of 3-D Printing Technology

August 28, 2014

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

NASA's Spitzer Telescope Witnesses Asteroid Smashup

August 28, 2014

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted an eruption of dust around a young star, possibly the result of a smashup between large asteroids. This type of collision can eventually lead to the formation of planets.

NASA Completes Key Review of World’s Most Powerful Rocket in Support of Journey to Mars

August 27, 2014

NASA officials Wednesday announced they have completed a rigorous review of the Space Launch System (SLS) -- the heavy-lift, exploration class rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars -- and approved the program's progression from formulation to development, something no other exploration class vehicle has achieved since the agency built the space shuttle.

NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

August 27, 2014

Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction. The building site, dubbed “Sparky,” is a dense galactic core blazing with the light of millions of newborn stars that are forming at a ferocious rate.

NASA Holds Teleconference Today to Discuss Progress on World’s Largest Rocket

August 27, 2014

NASA officials will hold a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT today to discuss the agency’s progress on the Space Launch System (SLS), the heavy-lift rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars.

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