Pluto probe on course for fly-by

Pluto probe on course for fly-by

The New Horizons spacecraft is just days away from a historic fly-by past Pluto after a journey of more than nine years into the solar system. (Photo: Nasa)

Tuesday, 14 July, 2015, 11:10am

Scientists say ancient lake on Mars could have been hospitable for life

These close-up images sent back by Nasa's Curiosity Rover are evidence of an ancient lake on Mars, with water low in salinity. The conditions for life to have grown in its waters might have existed for millions of years, scientists say. Photos: The Washington Post

About 3.5 billion years ago, just as life is thought to have first arisen on earth, Mars also had a large freshwater lake that might well have been hospitable to life, scientists report.

11 Dec 2013 - 3:29am 2 comments

Nasa cargo ship Cygnus makes delivery to International Space Station

Cygnus attached to the space station's arm. Photo: AP

Nasa's newest delivery service has made its first shipment to the International Space Station, another triumph for the booming commercial space arena that has its sights set on launching astronauts.

1 Oct 2013 - 3:13am

Nasa to test 3-D printer as flying supply factory in space

Tools and parts made by a 3-D printer at Made in Space, which is working with Nasa to see what can be produced in space. Photo: AP

Nasa is preparing to launch into space next year a 3-D printer, a toaster-sized device that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.

1 Oct 2013 - 2:43am

Mars soil gives Nasa scientists some major surprises

Curiosity found 2pc water in Martian soil. Photo: Reuters

Analysis of Martian soil by Nasa's Mars Curiosity rover has exposed a surprising amount of water, as well as a chemical that would make a search for life more complicated, according to scientists.

28 Sep 2013 - 3:23am

Nasa’s asteroid hunter goes back on duty

Artist's rendering of Nasa's orbiting telescope. Photo: Reuters

Nasa will reactivate a mothballed infrared space telescope for a three-year mission to search for potentially dangerous asteroids on a collision course with earth, officials said.

23 Aug 2013 - 2:59am

Smartphones answer Nasa's higher calling

A satellite made up of three smartphones during a high-altitude balloon test earlier this year. Photo: Nasa Ames Research Centre

The US space agency for Nasa is known for going big: big missions, big rockets, big budgets. But nestled in California's Silicon Valley is one Nasa unit headed in the opposite direction. Its latest mission is tiny but has led to big expectations for the Small Satellite Technology Programme.

14 Jun 2013 - 3:48am

Book Review: 'Mission to Mars' by Buzz Aldrin and Leonard David

Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface during the moon landing in 1969. Photo: AFP

Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, has spent the past 25 years as an evangelist for manned deep-space exploration. This has often put him at odds with Nasa.

9 Jun 2013 - 6:57pm

Godfather of climate change retires to continue mother of all battles

James Hansen visited Hong Kong in November 2010. Photo: EPA

This month, climate scientist Dr James Hansen retired as head of Nasa's Goddard Institute of Space Studies. Yet at age 72, instead of aiming for a leisurely life after work, Hansen plans to better focus his time on climate science, along with communicating the science and its policy implications.

28 Apr 2013 - 4:58am

Nasa lays out wild plan to corral asteroid

Nasa lays out a plan to launch an unmanned spacecraft on a mission to 'capture' a small asteroid and drag it near the moon, where astronauts can visit it.

Obama administration officials said the operation had the potential to jump-start a human exploration programme that had floundered since the 2011 retirement of the space shuttle. The White House will include US$105 million to begin work on the project in its 2014 budget.

7 Apr 2013 - 6:08am

35 years after launch, Voyager 1 still in earth's solar system

An artist's image of what Nasa's Voyager 1 might see on its trip.

The Voyager 1 probe was fired into space to observe the outer planets and the mysterious interstellar medium that lies beyond the solar system on September 5, 1977, as Elvis was topping the charts with Way Down.

24 Mar 2013 - 4:43am

Nasa says flash reports consistent with meteor shower

 A general view of a the Perseid meteor shower in the Eifel region, Germany in 2012. Photo: EPA

Social media sites are buzzing with reports of a flash of light that streaked across the sky along the US East Coast.

Bill Cooke of Nasa’s Meteoroid Environmental Office said Friday that the flash appeared to be “a single meteor event.” He says it “looks to be a fireball that moved roughly toward the southeast, going on visual reports.”

23 Mar 2013 - 6:45pm

Friends rally to dispel 'Chinese spy' claims against ex-Nasa contractor

Jiang Bo was arrested on Saturday on a plane bound for Beijing. Photo: Screenshot from media reports

Days after Jiang Bo, a Chinese national who worked at Nasa’s Langley Research Center, was arrested on a plane bound for Beijing and charged with lying to US authorities, his friends are protesting what they call “unfair media coverage” that paints him into

21 Mar 2013 - 6:12pm 3 comments

SpaceX capsule arrives at International Space Station

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule, lifts off from the Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Friday. Photo: Reuters

A privately-owned unmanned US space capsule arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, bringing to the space outpost food, scientific materials and other crucial equipment.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Mars rover ready to analyse rock powder

A Nasa handout image of the Curiosity rover on Mars. Photo: Reuters

Nasa’s Mars rover Curiosity, dispatched to learn if the planet ever had ingredients for life, drilled its first bit of powder from inside a potentially water-formed ancient rock, scientists said on Wednesday.

21 Feb 2013 - 2:19pm