"Hedgehog" robots hop, tumble in microgravity

Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can't operate upside-down. But ...

Rover examining odd Mars rocks at valley overlook

NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity climbed last month to an overlook for surveying "Marathon Valley," a science destination chosen because spectrometer observations from orbit indicate exposures of clay minerals.

'Bright spot' on Ceres has dimmer companion

Dwarf planet Ceres continues to puzzle scientists as NASA's Dawn spacecraft gets closer to being captured into orbit around the object. The latest images from Dawn, taken nearly 29,000 miles (46,000 kilometers) from Ceres, ...

Warm gas pours 'cold water' on galaxy's star-making

Some like it hot, but for creating new stars, a cool cosmic environment is ideal. As a new study suggests, a surge of warm gas into a nearby galaxy—left over from the devouring of a separate galaxy—has extinguished star ...

Extreme shrimp may hold clues to alien life

(Phys.org) —At one of the world's deepest undersea hydrothermal vents, tiny shrimp are piled on top of each other, layer upon layer, crawling on rock chimneys that spew hot water. Bacteria, inside the shrimps' mouths and ...

Cassini sails into new ocean adventures on Titan

(Phys.org) —NASA's Cassini mission continues its adventures in extraterrestrial oceanography with new findings about the hydrocarbon seas on Saturn's moon Titan. During a flyby in August, the spacecraft sounded the depths ...

Curiosity Mars rover finds mineral match

(Phys.org) —Reddish rock powder from the first hole drilled into a Martian mountain by NASA's Curiosity rover has yielded the mission's first confirmation of a mineral mapped from orbit.

NASA parachute engineers have appetite for destruction

Engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are bound and determined to destroy a perfectly good parachute this week during the latest test for the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project. ...

NASA's new winds mission installed, gathers first data

NASA's newest Earth observing mission, the International Space Station-Rapid Scatterometer, or ISS-RapidScat, is collecting its first science data on ocean wind speeds and direction following its successful installation and ...

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