Posts tagged as spacecraft

New Horizons calls home after Pluto flypast

The long-awaited call has come. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft phoned home just before 21h00 EDT on 14 July 2015 to let the mission team and the world know it had accomplished the historic first ever flyby of Pluto. This is a historic win for science and for exploration. The pre-programmed “phone call” – a 15-minute […]

SMAP to study what drives our living planet

  Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) is a three-year mission that will figuratively scratch below Earth’s surface to expand man’s understanding of a key component of the Earth system that links the water, energy and carbon cycles driving the living planet. SMAP’s combined radar and radiometer instruments will peer into the top 5 cm of soil, through […]

Kepler team finds 715 new planets

  Years ago, before the launch of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, astronomers were thrilled when they discovered a single planet. Last month the Kepler team announced 715.  Kepler has always been good at finding planets. Even before the announcement, the observatory had confirmed 246 new worlds outside the solar system. The latest discoveries almost quadruple that […]