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Posts Tagged ‘JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratoy)’

NASA Rover Gets Movie As A Mars Moon Passes Another

August 15, 2013 Leave a comment

The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity.

Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other.

Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other.

These observations of Phobos and Deimos help researchers make knowledge of the moons’ orbits even more precise.

“The ultimate goal is to improve orbit knowledge enough that we can improve the measurement of the tides Phobos raises on the Martian solid surface, giving knowledge of the Martian interior,” said Mark Lemmon of Texas A&M University, College Station. He is a co-investigator for use of Curiosity’s Mastcam. “We may also get data good enough to detect density variations within Phobos and to determine if Deimos’ orbit is systematically changing.”

Full Story and Video: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-253

NASA Launches Mission to Study Moon From Crust to Core

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

 Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Thom Baur, United Launch Alliance

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Thom Baur, United Launch Alliance

NASA’s twin lunar Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:08 a.m. EDT (6:08 a.m. PDT) Saturday, Sept. 10, to study the moon in unprecedented detail.

GRAIL-A is scheduled to reach the moon on New Year’s Eve 2011, while GRAIL-B will arrive New Year’s Day 2012. The two solar-powered spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon to measure its gravity field. GRAIL will answer longstanding questions about the moon and give scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-285

Tributes to Terrorism Victims are on Mars

September 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University

In September 2001, Honeybee Robotics employees in lower Manhattan were building a pair of tools for grinding weathered rinds off rocks on Mars, so that scientific instruments on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity could inspect the rocks’ interiors.

That month’s attack on the twin towers of the World Trade Center, less than a mile away, shook the lives of the employees and millions of others.

Work on the rock abrasion tools needed to meet a tight schedule to allow thorough testing before launch dates governed by the motions of the planets. The people building the tools could not spend much time helping at shelters or in other ways to cope with the life-changing tragedy of Sept. 11. However, they did find a special way to pay tribute to the thousands of victims who perished in the attack.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-281

NASA GRAIL Moon Mission Launch Rescheduled

September 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The launch of a Delta II vehicle carrying NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) was scrubbed today, Thursday, Sept. 8, due to weather. Conditions associated with upper level winds were in violation of the launch criteria.

The Delta II and GRAIL are safe and secure at this time. The launch is rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, from Space Launch Complex-17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. There are two instantaneous launch opportunities at 5:33:25 a.m. PDT (8:33:25 a.m. EDT) and 6:12:31 a.m. PDT (9:12:31 a.m. EDT). The forecast for tomorrow (Sept. 9) shows a 40 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for the launch.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-280

Cassini Significant Events 08/24/11 – 08/30/11

September 5, 2011 Leave a comment

The most recent spacecraft telemetry was acquired on August 30 from the Deep Space Network tracking complex at Goldstone, California. The Cassini spacecraft is in an excellent state of health and all subsystems are operating normally. Information on the present position and speed of the Cassini spacecraft may be found on the “Present Position” page at:http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/presentposition/.

Full Story: http://astronews.us/2011-09-05-1547.html

NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study of Martian Crater

September 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The initial work of NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity at its new location on Mars shows surface compositional differences from anything the robot has studied in its first 7.5 years of exploration.

Opportunity arrived three weeks ago at the rim of a 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater named Endeavour. The first rock it examined is flat-topped and about the size of a footstool. It was apparently excavated by an impact that dug a crater the size of a tennis court into the crater’s rim. The rock was informally named “Tisdale 2.”

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-274

Journal Highlights on History of Mars, Dione’s Atmosphere & Saturn’s Aurora

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

  • New observations from the Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer
    for Mars (CRISM) show the presence of multiple magmatic intrusions in
    the Valles Marineris canyon on Mars
  • A new study indicates that one of Saturn’s moons, Dione, probably has
    a tenuous atmosphere.
  • New observations of Saturn’s southern auroral oval made simultaneously
    in ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) wavelengths show how complex and
    dynamic the auroral oval is.

Full Story: http://www.agu.org/news/press/jhighlight_archives/2011/2011-08-31.shtml

Jupiter-Bound Space Probe Captures Earth And Moon

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

This image of Earth (on the left) and the moon (on the right) was taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2011, when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers) away.  Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This image of Earth (on the left) and the moon (on the right) was taken by NASA's Juno spacecraft on Aug. 26, 2011, when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers) away. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On its way to the biggest planet in the solar system — Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft took time to capture its home planet and its natural satellite — the moon.
“This is a remarkable sight people get to see all too rarely,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “This view of our planet shows how Earth looks from the outside, illustrating a special perspective of our role and place in the universe. We see a humbling yet beautiful view of ourselves.”

The image was taken by the spacecraft’s camera, JunoCam, on Aug. 26 when the spacecraft was about 6 million miles (9.66 million kilometers) away. The image was taken as part of the mission team’s checkout of the Juno spacecraft. The team is conducting its initial detailed checks on the spacecraft’s instruments and subsystems after its launch on Aug. 5.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-271

Cassini Closes in on Saturn’s Tumbling Moon Hyperion

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

NASA's Cassini spacecraft obtained this unprocessed image of Saturn's moon Hyperion on Aug. 25, 2011. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured new views of Saturn’s oddly shaped moon Hyperion during its encounter with this cratered body on Thursday, Aug. 25. Raw images were acquired as the spacecraft flew past the moon at a distance of about 15,500 miles (25,000 kilometers), making this the second closest encounter.
Hyperion is a small moon — just 168 miles (270 kilometers) across. It has an irregular shape and surface appearance, and it rotates chaotically as it tumbles along in orbit. This odd rotation prevented scientists from predicting exactly what terrain the spacecraft’s cameras would image during this flyby.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-266

40-Year-Old Mariner 5 Solar-Wind Problem Finds Answer

August 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Credit: European Space Agency

Credit: European Space Agency

Research led by astrophysicists at the University of Warwick has resolved a 40 year old problem with observations of turbulence in the solar wind first made by the probe Mariner Five. The research resolves an issue with what is by far the largest and most interesting natural turbulence lab accessible to researchers today.

Our current understanding tells us that turbulence in the solar wind should not be affected by the speed and direction of travel of that solar wind. However when the first space probes attempted to measure that turbulence they found their observations didn’t quite match that physical law. The first such data to be analysed from Mariner 5 in 1971 found a small but nonetheless irritatingly clear pattern in the turbulence perpendicular to both the direction of the travel and the magnetic field the solar wind was travelling through.

Full Story: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/40_year_old