Category Archives: Space

NASA Moves Up Psyche Mission Timetable

Image courtesy Space Systems Loral/Arizona State University/Peter Rubin

NASA’s mission to 16 Psyche, the solar system’s only known iron-nickel asteroid, will launch in the summer of 2022, one year earlier than originally planned.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
NASA’s Psyche Mission Will Launch a Year Early, Arrive at Target Four Years Sooner

NASA’s ShadowCam Hitches Ride to Moon on Korean Craft

Image courtesy Arizona State University / Malin Space Science Systems

NASA plans to send a new, light-sensitive camera to explore the moon’s most shadowed regions. ShadowCam will look for evidence of water ice in the permanently shadowed regions of the moon.

Lunar areas that never receive sunlight – frigid craters and mountain shadows – could conceal a treasure trove of water ice, especially near the poles.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Shadow-Piercing NASA Camera Rides To Moon Aboard Korean Craft

A GRaND Discovery: Dwarf Planet Ceres is Well-Stocked With Water

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/PS.

After 4 billion years, the dwarf planet Ceres is still carrying a surprising amount of water weight — as much as 30 percent.

The finding, which was published in the Jan. 6 edition of the journal Science, is consistent with earlier models, and provides valuable clues to how Ceres formed.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Dwarf Planet Ceres Up To 30 Percent Water

Arizona-Linked Programs Chosen by NASA

The Lucy spacecraft flies by a Jupiter Trojan asteroid. Illustration by Peter Rubin – SwRI and SSL)

NASA’s Discovery Program has selected two projects, both with Arizona ties, to delve into the ancient history of the solar system.

One craft, Psyche, will head to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The other, Lucy, will explore six asteroids that share an orbit with Jupiter. Scientists believe that the targets embody different aspects of early solar system history.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
NASA Funds 2 Asteroid Missions With Arizona Ties

As in Chile, So on Mars: Silica Nodules and the Case for Micobial Life

Geysers at El Tatio, in Chile. Photo by Chmouel Boudjnah.

Work in the Chilean desert by Arizona State University scientists has reopened debate regarding the biological origins of Martian silica fragments found in 2007 — and strengthened the case for life on Mars billions of years ago.

NASA’s Spirit rover churned up the opaline silica deposits as it explored the Columbia Hills area of Mars’s Gusev Crater.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Silica Nodules In Chile Argue For Ancient Life On Mars