Night Sky

Astronomical phenomenon and items of interest to night sky watchers.

NASA Astronauts David Leestma and Andrew Thomas Retire

June 18, 2014

NASA has bid farewell to two veteran astronauts who have retired after a combined 66 years of federal service.

NASA Aeronautics Makes Strides to Bring Back Supersonic Passenger Travel

June 17, 2014

The return of supersonic passenger travel may be coming closer to reality thanks to NASA’s efforts to define a new standard for low sonic booms.

NASA Update to Highlight Progress, Upcoming Milestones for Asteroid Redirect Mission, Observation, Grand Challenge

June 16, 2014

On Thursday, June 19, NASA will host a televised update on recent progress and upcoming milestones in the agency’s efforts to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid, and send astronauts to take samples of it in the 2020s. The 1-2:30 p.m. more»

NASA Hubble to Begin Search Beyond Pluto for a New Horizons Mission Target

June 16, 2014

After careful consideration and analysis, the Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committee has recommended using Hubble to search for an object the Pluto-bound NASA New Horizons mission could visit after its flyby of Pluto in July 2015.

NASA Sets Media Events for OCO-2 Launch from California

June 16, 2014

The launch of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission (OCO-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is scheduled for Tuesday, July 1. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 2 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket is targeted for 5:56 a.m. EDT (2:56 a.m. PDT) at the opening of a 30-second launch window.

Rocket Week Launches June 21 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility

June 16, 2014

Students and educators from across the United States will become "rocket scientists" during two workshops at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia this month.

Space Station Astronauts Speak Live to Students in Virginia

June 13, 2014

NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman, currently orbiting Earth aboard the International Space Station, will speak with students and educators at Colvin Run Elementary School in Vienna, Virginia, at 11:55 a.m. EDT Tuesday, June 1.

NASA TV to Air Space Station Russian Spacewalk

June 12, 2014

NASA Television will air live coverage of a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk by two Russian International Space Station crew members beginning at 9:15 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 19.

Media Invited to View Orion Flight Test Prelaunch Progress with NASA Administrator

June 12, 2014

With just six months until its first trip to space, NASA’s Orion spacecraft is taking shape at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

New NASA Space Observatory to Study Carbon Conundrums

June 12, 2014

NASA’s first spacecraft dedicated to measuring carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere is in final preparations for a July 1 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

NASA Sets Media Teleconference on Status of Landing Technology Hawaiian Test Flight

June 11, 2014

NASA did not conduct the flight test of the agency's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range in Kauai, Hawaii, during its designated launch period. The project's reserved range time at the range will expire Saturday without NASA being able to fly the test because of continuing unfavorable weather conditions. more»

NASA Selects Five Projects for 2015 X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge

June 11, 2014

NASA and the National Space Grant Foundation have selected five universities to design systems, concepts and technologies to enhance capabilities for deep space missions for the 2015 Exploration Habitat (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge.

NASA Announces Two Upcoming Undersea Missions

June 10, 2014

NASA is returning to the bottom of the ocean. Twice this summer, aquanauts participating in the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) will conduct activities on the ocean floor that will inform future International Space Station and exploration activities.

Actor Seth Green Shows How NASA is With You in the Air and on the Road

June 10, 2014

NASA technology makes deep space travel happen, but it also improves long distance travel here on Earth.

NASA Senior Officials to Attend Robot Competition Events June 14

June 10, 2014

NASA Chief Technologist David Miller and Dorothy Rasco, NASA's deputy associate administrator for Space Technology, will be on hand Saturday, June 14, at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) for this year's Sample Return Robot Challenge awards ceremony. The event will take place at 10 a.m. more»

NASA Astronaut, NIH Officials Discuss Medical Research Being Done on Space Station

June 10, 2014

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins met Stephen I. Katz, director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases on Tuesday at National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland, where they discussed the importance of research taking place aboard the International Space Station, including NIH-funded investigations.

NASA's Orion Spacecraft Stacks Up for First Flight

June 10, 2014

With just six months until its first trip to space, NASA’s Orion spacecraft continues taking shape at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA Names Schmidt Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies

June 9, 2014

NASA has named Gavin A. Schmidt to head the agency’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York, a leading Earth climate research laboratory.

NASA Announces Briefing on New Mission to Track Global Carbon Dioxide

June 9, 2014

NASA will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 12, at the NASA Headquarters James E. Webb Auditorium in Washington to discuss the upcoming Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission.

NASA Beams "Hello, World!" Video from Space via Laser

June 6, 2014

NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.

Astronaut Brings Experiences from Space Station to Event at National Institutes of Health

June 6, 2014

NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, recently returned from living and working aboard the International Space Station, will give an open-media, presentation Tuesday, June 10, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

NASA Selects Minority University Teams for 2014 Microgravity Research Flights

June 6, 2014

NASA has selected 13 undergraduate teams from minority-serving institutions across the United States to test their science experiments in microgravity conditions. The teams will travel on a Reduced Gravity Education Flight (RGEF) with NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) the week of July 7.

NASA's Orion Spacecraft is Ready to Feel the Heat

June 5, 2014

NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers have installed the largest heat shield ever constructed on the crew module of the agency's Orion spacecraft. The work marks a major milestone on the path toward the spacecraft's first launch in December.

2014 NASA Advanced Technology Phase I Concepts Selected For Study

June 5, 2014

NASA has selected 12 proposals for study under Phase I of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, which aims to turn science fiction into fact through pioneering technology development.

Space Station Cargo Ship Departure to Air on NASA TV

June 5, 2014

NASA Television will provide live coverage of the departure of an unpiloted Russian cargo vehicle from the International Space Station (ISS) beginning at 9 a.m. EDT Monday, June 9.

NASA Statement on National Research Council Report on Human Spaceflight

June 4, 2014

The following is a statement from NASA regarding the National Research Council report, “Pathways to Exploration – Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration.”

NASA Invites Universities to Submit Innovative Early-Stage Technology Proposals

June 4, 2014

NASA is seeking proposals from universities to advance the agency's plans for exploration to deep space and Mars. The Early Stage Innovations NASA Research Announcement calls for innovative space technology proposals that could benefit the space program, other government agencies and the greater aerospace community.

Hubble Team Unveils Most Colorful View of Universe Captured by Space Telescope

June 3, 2014

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have assembled a comprehensive picture of the evolving universe – among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope.

NASA Begins Testing of New Spectrograph on Agency's Airborne Observatory

June 3, 2014

The EXES spectrograph is a high-resolution mid-infrared spectrograph that can separate wavelengths of light to a precision of one part in 100,000.

NASA's 'Flying Saucer' Readies for First Test Flight

June 2, 2014

NASA's flying saucer-shaped test vehicle is ready to take to the skies from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, for its first engineering shakeout flight.

NASA and Industry Complete First Phase to Certify New Crew Transportation Systems

May 30, 2014

NASA's Commercial Crew Program and industry have completed the first step in the certification process that will enable American-made commercial spacecraft safely to ferry astronauts from U.S. soil to and from the International Space Station by 2017. more»

NASA Sets Media Coverage for Saucer-Shaped Test Vehicle Flight in Hawaii

May 29, 2014

NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will fly a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space next week from the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. Several events are planned for reporters who would like to cover this unique space technology engineering test flight.

NASA Awards Simulation and Software Technology Contract for Engineering

May 28, 2014

NASA has selected L-3 National Security Solutions (NSS) Inc. of Reston, Virginia, to provide simulation and software technology support to the Engineering Software, Robotics and Simulation Division (SRSD) at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

New Crew Launches to Space Station to Continue Scientific Research

May 28, 2014

Three crew members representing the United States, Russia and Germany are on their six-hour journey to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:57 p.m. EDT Wednesday (1:57 a.m. Thursday in Baikonur).

NASA Invites Public to Select Favorite Moon Image for Lunar Orbiter Anniversary Collection

May 23, 2014

To celebrate LRO's fifth anniversary, NASA invites the public to select a favorite image of the moon for the cover a special collection.

NASA Mars Weather Camera Helps Find New Crater on Red Planet

May 22, 2014

Researchers have discovered on the Red Planet the largest fresh meteor-impact crater ever firmly documented with before-and-after images.

NASA's WISE Findings Poke Hole in Black Hole 'Doughnut' Theory

May 22, 2014

A survey of more than 170,000 supermassive black holes, using NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), has astronomers reexamining a decades-old theory about the varying appearances of these interstellar objects.

NASA Teams with Web Tech Company Slooh to Bring Universe to Everyone and Help Protect Earth Too

May 22, 2014

As part of the agency's Asteroid Grand Challenge, NASA is partnering with private internet technology company Slooh to engage citizen scientists in the effort to track and characterize near-Earth asteroids (NEOs) that are potentially hazardous to human populations.

NASA Releases Earth Day "Global Selfie" Mosaic of Our Home Planet

May 22, 2014

For Earth Day this year, NASA invited people around the world to step outside to take a "selfie" and share it with the world on social media. NASA released Thursday a new view of our home planet created entirely from those photos.

NASA Signs Agreement with Citizen Scientists Attempting to Communicate with Old Spacecraft

May 21, 2014

NASA has given a green light to a group of citizen scientists attempting to breathe new scientific life into a more than 35-year old agency spacecraft.

NASA Television Coverage Set for Next Space Station Crew Launch

May 20, 2014

NASA Television will broadcast prelaunch activities for the next three crew members flying to the International Space Station, followed by extensive live coverage of their launch and docking to the orbital laboratory Wednesday, May 28.

NASA Awards Safety and Fire Operations Contract

May 19, 2014

NASA has selected NLT Management Services LLC of Ewing, New Jersey, to provide institutional safety and fire protection services to support the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston and White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.

Construction to Begin on NASA Mars Lander Scheduled to Launch in 2016

May 19, 2014

NASA and its international partners now have the go-ahead to begin construction on a new Mars lander after it completed a successful Mission Critical Design Review on Friday.

NASA Announces Space Station Research and Development Conference

May 19, 2014

The American Astronautical Society, in cooperation with NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), will host the third annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference June 17 - 19 in Chicago.

From Wind Tunnel Tests to Software Reviews, NASA's Commercial Crew Partners Continue to Advance

May 19, 2014

Working in wind tunnels, software laboratories and work stations across America, NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partners continue to make strides in advancing the designs of the American spacecraft and rockets that will carry humans safely and reliably into low-Earth orbit from U.S. soil by 2017.

Hidden Greenland Canyons Mean More Sea Level Rise

May 19, 2014

Scientists at NASA and the University of California, Irvine (UCI), have found that canyons under Greenland's ocean-feeding glaciers are deeper and longer than previously thought, increasing the amount of Greenland's estimated contribution to future sea level rise.

SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns Critical NASA Science from Space Station

May 18, 2014

SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 3:05 p.m. EDT Sunday, in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 300 miles west of Baja California, returning more than 3,500 pounds of NASA cargo and science samples from the International Space Station.

NASA Awards Radiation Budget Instrument Contract

May 16, 2014

NASA has awarded ITT Space Systems LLC, a subsidiary of Exelis, Inc., of Fort Wayne, Indiana, a contract to provide the Radiation Budget Instrument (RBI), a scanning radiometer capable of measuring Earth’s reflected sunlight and emitted thermal radiation.

NASA Announces Global Award Winners of the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge

May 16, 2014

NASA mission priorities were explored by five winners of the 2014 International Space Apps Challenge, a worldwide "hackathon" to spark innovation with direct application to future space missions and improve life on Earth.

NASA's Newest Wind Watcher Arrives at Launch Site

May 15, 2014

A new NASA Earth-observing mission that will measure ocean winds from the International Space Station has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin final preparations for launch.

NASA Ranked High in J.D. Power’s Inaugural Social Media Study of Government

May 15, 2014

NASA ranked high in the J.D. Power 2014 Social Media Benchmark Study: Government, released Thursday.

NASA June 2 Kauai Media Day for First Supersonic Saucer-Shaped Vehicle Test

May 15, 2014

Reporters are invited to a media day Monday, June 2 at the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, Hawaii, to learn about NASA's upcoming flight test of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) experiment.

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