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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft set to dive between Saturn and it’s Rings

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26th, 2017.

Because that gap is a region no spacecraft has ever explored, Cassini will use its dish-shaped high-gain antenna (13 feet or 4 meters across) as a protective shield while passing through the ring plane. No particles larger than smoke particles are expected, but the precautionary measure is being taken on the first dive.

This artist's rendering shows NASA's Cassini spacecraft above Saturn's northern hemisphere, heading toward its first dive between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s rendering shows NASA’s Cassini spacecraft above Saturn’s northern hemisphere, heading toward its first dive between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft completes burn, now in Jupiter Orbit

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – After an almost five-year journey to the solar system’s largest planet, NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entered Jupiter’s orbit during a 35-minute engine burn. Confirmation that the burn had completed was received on Earth at 8:53pm PDT (11:53pm EDT) Monday, July 4th.

“Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. “And what is more American than a NASA mission going boldly where no spacecraft has gone before? With Juno, we will investigate the unknowns of Jupiter’s massive radiation belts to delve deep into not only the planet’s interior, but into how Jupiter was born and how our entire solar system evolved.”

This illustration depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully entering Jupiter's orbit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entering Jupiter’s orbit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft’s Autopilot will control burn to obtain Jupiter Orbit

 

Written by Dwayne Brown / Laurie Cantillo
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – At about 12:15pm PDT today (3:15pm EDT), mission controllers will transmit command product “ji4040” into deep space, to transition the solar-powered Juno spacecraft into autopilot.

It will take nearly 48 minutes for the signal to cover the 534-million-mile (860-million-kilometer) distance between the Deep Space Network Antenna in Goldstone, California, to the Juno spacecraft. While sequence ji4040 is only one of four command products sent up to the spacecraft that day, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Juno mission team.

This illustration depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft approaching Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports Asteroid to safely fly by Earth on Christmas Eve

 

Written by DC Agle / Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Asteroid 2003 SD220 will safely fly past Earth on December 24th at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have generated the highest-resolution images to date of this asteroid using the Deep Space Network’s 230-foot (70-meter) antenna at Goldstone, California.

The radar images were acquired between December 17th and December 22nd, when the distance to this near-Earth object (NEO) was narrowing from 7.3 million miles (12 million kilometers) to almost the flyby distance.

These images of an asteroid 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) long were taken on Dec. 17 (left) and Dec. 22 by scientists using NASA's giant Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. This asteroid will safely fly past Earth on Dec. 24, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)

These images of an asteroid 3,600 feet (1,100 meters) long were taken on Dec. 17 (left) and Dec. 22 by scientists using NASA’s giant Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California. This asteroid will safely fly past Earth on Dec. 24, at a distance of 6.8 million miles (11 million kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR)

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NASA takes Radar images of Asteroid on Halloween

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The highest-resolution radar images of asteroid 2015 TB145’s safe flyby of Earth have been processed. NASA scientists used giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off the asteroid as it flew past Earth on October 31st at 10:00am PDT (1:00pm EDT) at about 1.3 lunar distances (300,000 miles, or 480,000 kilometers) from Earth.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 is spherical in shape and approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) in diameter.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 is depicted in eight individual radar images collected on Oct. 31, 2015 between 5:55 a.m. PDT (8:55 a.m. EDT) and 6:08 a.m. PDT (9:08 a.m. EDT). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR/NRAO/AUI/NSF)

Asteroid 2015 TB145 is depicted in eight individual radar images collected on Oct. 31, 2015 between 5:55 a.m. PDT (8:55 a.m. EDT) and 6:08 a.m. PDT (9:08 a.m. EDT). (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR/NRAO/AUI/NSF)

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NASA’s Deep Space Network monitors Asteroid’s Halloween flyby of Earth

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA scientists are tracking the upcoming Halloween flyby of asteroid 2015 TB145 with several optical observatories and the radar capabilities of the agency’s Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California.

The asteroid will fly past Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the moon’s orbit on October 31st at 10:05am PDT (1:05pm EDT). Scientists are treating the flyby of the estimated 1,300-foot-wide (400-meter) asteroid as a science target of opportunity, allowing instruments on “spacecraft Earth” to scan it during the close pass.

Asteroid 2015 TB145 was discovered on October 10th, 2015, by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS-1 (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) on Haleakala, Maui, part of the NASA-funded Near-Earth Object Observation (NEOO) Program.

This is a graphic depicting the orbit of asteroid 2015 TB145. The asteroid will safely fly past Earth slightly farther out than the moon's orbit on October 31st at 10:05am Pacific (1:05pm EDT and 17:05 UTC). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This is a graphic depicting the orbit of asteroid 2015 TB145. The asteroid will safely fly past Earth slightly farther out than the moon’s orbit on October 31st at 10:05am Pacific (1:05pm EDT and 17:05 UTC). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses ground based Telescopes to produce images of Peanut shaped Asteroid flyby of Earth

 

Written by DC Agle and Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

The asteroid appears to be a contact binary — an asteroid with two lobes that are stuck together.

The images show the rotation of the asteroid, named 1999 JD6, which made its closest approach on July 24th at 9:55pm PDT (12:55am EDT on July 25th) at a distance of about 4.5 million miles (7.2 million kilometers, or about 19 times the distance from Earth to the moon).

Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 were obtained on July 25, 2015. The asteroid is between 660 - 980 feet (200 - 300 meters) in diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR )

Radar images of asteroid 1999 JD6 were obtained on July 25, 2015. The asteroid is between 660 – 980 feet (200 – 300 meters) in diameter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSSR )

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NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna image shows Asteroid passing Earth today had it’s own Moon

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists working with NASA’s 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach today (January 26th, 2015) at 8:19am PST (10:19am CST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.

The 20 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on January 26th, 2015. They show the primary body is approximately 1,100 feet (325 meters) across and has a small moon approximately 230 feet (70 meters) across.

This GIF shows asteroid 2004 BL86, which safely flew past Earth on Jan. 26, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This GIF shows asteroid 2004 BL86, which safely flew past Earth on Jan. 26, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Near Earth Object Program reports Asteroid to Safely Fly By on January 26th, 2015

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An asteroid, designated 2004 BL86, will safely pass about three times the distance of Earth to the moon on January 26th. From its reflected brightness, astronomers estimate that the asteroid is about a third of a mile (0.5 kilometers) in size.

The flyby of 2004 BL86 will be the closest by any known space rock this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 flies past Earth in 2027.

At the time of its closest approach on January 26th, the asteroid will be approximately 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Earth.

This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2004 BL86, which will come no closer than about three times the distance from Earth to the moon on Jan. 26th, 2015. Due to its orbit around the sun, the asteroid is currently only visible by astronomers with large telescopes who are located in the southern hemisphere. But by Jan. 26th, the space rock's changing position will make it visible to those in the northern hemisphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This graphic depicts the passage of asteroid 2004 BL86, which will come no closer than about three times the distance from Earth to the moon on Jan. 26th, 2015. Due to its orbit around the sun, the asteroid is currently only visible by astronomers with large telescopes who are located in the southern hemisphere. But by Jan. 26th, the space rock’s changing position will make it visible to those in the northern hemisphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses ground radar to capture images of Asteroid as it passes near Earth

 

Written by Preston Dyches
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA scientists using Earth-based radar have produced sharp views of a recently discovered asteroid as it slid silently past our planet. Captured on June 8th, 2014, the new views of the object designated “2014 HQ124” are some of the most detailed radar images of a near-Earth asteroid ever obtained.

The radar observations were led by scientists Marina Brozovic and Lance Benner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The JPL researchers worked closely with Michael Nolan, Patrick Taylor, Ellen Howell and Alessondra Springmann at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico to plan and execute the observations.

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