There are 730,398 known asteroids in our solar system and we discover more every week. Want to know more? Start here: [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
NASA has selected 10 studies to develop mission concepts using small satellites to investigate Venus, Earth’s moon, asteroids, Mars and the outer planets. For these studies, small satellites are defined as less than 180 kilograms in mass (about 400 pounds). CubeSats are built to standard specifications of 1 unit (U), which is equal to about 4x4x4 inches (10x10x10 centimeters). They often are...
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Images returned from the European Space Agency's Rosetta Mission indicate that during its most recent trip through the inner solar system, the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very active place -- full of growing fractures, collapsing cliffs and massive rolling boulders. Moving material buried some features on the comet's surface while exhuming others. See more: [ Go.nasa.gov...
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NASA is developing a trailblazing technology demonstration of what could become the high-speed "internet" of the sky. The Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) will help NASA understand the best ways to operate laser communications systems. They could enable much higher data rates for connections between spacecraft and Earth, such as scientific data downlink and astronaut...
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In this week's 10 Things blog, it's the state of the solar system: 10 quick updates from around our galactic neighborhood. More: [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]

1. Powered by the Sun
Fifty-nine years ago, Vanguard 1 launched to demonstrate a new spacecraft technology – solar power. We've been going farther and for longer ever since.

More on Vanguard 1: [ Gsfc.nasa.gov Link ]


2. Mapping Mercury
A...
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It's possible that one of our closest neighboring planets once had rings--and may have them again someday. New research funded by NASA suggests the moons of Mars may have consolidated from dust rings around the planet, and may disintegrate into new rings in the distant future. This sequence of images from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows one of Mars' two moons, Phobos, passing directly in...
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The Cassini spacecraft zoomed in on Saturn's A ring, revealing narrow, detailed structures that get even finer as the cameras' resolution increases. High-resolution images like this help scientists map the fine structure of Saturn's rings. But even this level of detail is not enough to resolve the individual particles that make up the ring. Features less than a half a mile (one kilometer) in...
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RIP Chuck Berry. His "Johnny B. Goode" is on humanity's most distant spacecraft, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

[ Jpl.nasa.gov Link ]

More on the image: [ Solarsystem.nasa.gov Link ]
Many regions in the solar system beckon for exploration, but they are considered unreachable due to technology gaps in current landing systems. NASA's CoOperative Blending of Autonomous Landing Technologies (COBALT) project could change that. Through a flight campaign this month through April, COBALT will mature and demonstrate new guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) technologies to enable...
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These recent stereo views, or anaglyphs, highlight the unusual, quirky shape of Saturn's moon Pan. They appear three-dimensional when viewed through red-blue glasses with the red lens on the left. These photos show the northern and southern hemispheres of Pan, at left and right, respectively. See more, including non-3D versions:
[ Go.nasa.gov Link ] Learn more about how to view NASA's many 3D...
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We live during one of the great eras of exploration. At this very moment, there are dozens of spacecraft surveying the solar system, from Mars, to Saturn, to beyond Pluto. What's more, you can ride along with these expeditions--all you need is an Internet connection to see the latest discoveries from deep space. For this week's edition of the 10 Things blog, we've assembled a toolkit of 10...
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A new study finds that the south polar region of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is warmer than expected just a few feet below its icy surface. This suggests that Enceladus' ocean of liquid water might be only a couple of miles below – closer to the surface than previously thought. [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]
Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is warmer than expected just a few feet below its icy surface, according to a new study. This suggests that Enceladus' ocean of liquid water might be only a couple of miles beneath this region – closer to the surface than previously thought.

Finding these unexpectedly higher temperatures near the moon’s south pole “adds to the intrigue of Enceladus," said Cassini...
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A team of NASA-sponsored scientists will meet with the Russian Academy of Sciences' Space Research Institute (IKI) next week to continue work on a study focused on identifying shared science objectives for Venus exploration. The visit comes after a report was recently delivered that assessed the science objectives of the IKI Venera-D (Venera-Dolgozhivuschaya) Mission to Venus, Earth's closest...
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NASA is giving space fans a reason to celebrate Pi Day, the March 14 holiday created in honor of the mathematical constant pi. For the fourth year in a row, the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created an illustrated Pi Day Challenge featuring four math problems NASA scientists and engineers m...

Celebrate Pi Day Like a NASA Rocket Scientist - Teachable Moments | NASA/JPL Edu

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NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is tracking back-to-back storms on the Red Planet. A regional dust storm currently swelling on Mars follows unusually closely on one that blossomed less than two weeks earlier and is now dissipating. Images from the orbiter's wide-angle Mars Color Imager (MARCI) show each storm growing in the Acidalia area of northern Mars, then blowing southward and...
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Meet Tracy Drain, deputy chief engineer for NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter. "The important thing about being a scientist or an engineer," she says, "is learning how to think critically, learning how to be creative, learning problem solving and learning how to learn." Learn more about Tracy at: [ Go.nasa.gov Link ]