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Arizona professor will lead NASA project to locate menacing objects near Earth

NASA has appointed a University of Arizona professor to lead a project to track asteroids that potentially could crash into Earth. The mission involves launching a telescope into a high orbit to locate such near-Earth objects using the infrared radiation they emit. Amy Mainzer, a professor of planetary sciences, will lead a team building the

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NASA is returning to Venus to learn how it became a hot poisonous wasteland – and whether the planet was ever habitable in the past

Two new NASA missions hope to answer important questions about Venus’ past. NASA/JPL/USGS Paul K. Byrne, North Carolina State University NASA is finally headed back to Venus. On June 2, 2021, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced that the agency had selected two winners of its latest Discovery class spacecraft mission competition, and both are headed

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NASA spacecraft begins 2-year trip home with asteroid rubble

With rubble from an asteroid tucked inside, a NASA spacecraft fired its engines and began the long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving the ancient space rock in its rearview mirror. The trip home for the robotic prospector, Osiris-Rex, will take two years. Osiris-Rex reached asteroid Bennu in 2018 and spent two years flying

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UArizona to lead space telescope mission to learn how galaxies evolve, form stars

NASA has chosen the University of Arizona to lead a space telescope mission meant to better understand how galaxies and stars form. The space agency awarded $20 million to the Aspera mission, which will allow the UArizona researchers to develop a telescope about the size of a minifridge for the expected launch in 2024. Aspera’s principal investigator

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NASA gives all clear: Earth safe from asteroid for 100 years

Whew, now here’s some good cosmic news: NASA has given Earth the all clear for the next century from a particularly menacing asteroid. The space agency announced this week that new telescope observations have ruled out any chance of Apophis smacking Earth in 2068. That’s the same 1,100-foot (340-meter) space rock that was supposed to

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NASA rover lands on Mars to look for signs of ancient life

A NASA rover streaked through the orange Martian sky and landed on the planet Thursday, accomplishing the riskiest step yet in an epic quest to bring back rocks that could answer whether life ever existed on Mars. Ground controllers at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, leaped to their feet, thrust their

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