If you had to make a choice to shut down either the Mars rover Curiosity or that explorer of the Saturn system Cassini, would you deliver a pink slip to the young, eager, energetic newbie or force an early retirement on a veteran explorer who has delivered volumes of knowledge?
Maybe a week before it passes closest to the sun, the dark side of Comet ISON is expected to begin turning into the sunlight. The sudden exposure to the intense radiation could cause a strong outburst of gases into the coma--like a celestial popcorn kernel suddenly bursting.
NASA's "Engineer with a Mohawk" has become a pop culture phenom (62,000 Twitter followers isn't too shabby). But under that comb beats the heart of a true explorer, as we found when he dropped by for a visit.
NASA's Curiosity rover on Mars has raised some eyebrows by something it has not detected: methane. And, much farther out, the Cassini spacecraft has made a positive detection of plastic in the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan.
A comet named ISON has been hailed as a possible "comet of the century." But scientists aren't sure yet if it will survive a hairpin turn around the sun.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and its high-powered HiRISE camera has been capturing extremely detailed pictures all over the surface of Mars for a few years now. MRO now reveals a number of surprising, curious, and often captivating landscape features, many of which have inferred the action of dynamic weather processes on Mars.
After ten months of studying a small patch of Mars half a mile from its landing point, NASA's Curiosity rover pulls up stakes, packs its bags and prepares to set forth on a trek to reach the base of Mount Sharp, a layered mound of Martian geologic history with secrets just waiting to be discovered.