Go-Ahead for OSIRIS-REx Mission

Apr 15
Several experts from NASA and external organization worked at the mission system design. On April 2, the Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) for NASA’s Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) communicated the news. OSIRIS-REx will be sent into space in the fall of 2016. It will reach the asteroid Bennu and then return a sample of it to Earth in 2023 for scientists to study. Aristic illustration of NASA’s OSIRS-REx spacecraft. (Image:

The reconstruction of what a massive asteroid caused on Earth

Apr 11
Scientists reconstructed the consequences that 3.26 billion years ago a massive asteroid had on Earth. It was almost 37 km wide and hit an area vast like South Africa. The energy arose from its impact caused a half-hour-long earthquake, boiled the oceans and colored the sky of deep red. (Image: AGU) Studying fractures in the Barbeton greenstone belt in South Africa, which represents one of the oldest samples of rock formations on Earth, scientists claim

NEOShield’s target object: Close approach observations

Apr 10
The photo shows 2001 QC34 imaged by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on 24th January 2014. Image courtesy of the Pan-STARRS 1 Science Consortium, supported by the NASA NEO Office. This 2001 QC34 earth encounter is a relatively shallow close approach, because of the geometrical relationship and movements of the sun – asteroid – earth phase angles. At the time of closest approach to earth the asteroid 2001 QC34 is not well placed for observation, close

One step closer to Mars: sending humans to an asteroid

Apr 08
Another challenging mission planned by NASA: sending humans to an asteroid. Just after the announcement of the ambitious project of capturing an asteroid and redirect it to an orbit around the Moon, the space agency communicated the intention to send astronauts to an asteroid during a forum which took place on March 26, 2014.  (Image: NASA) The final aim, as the NASA administrator Charles Bolden underlined, is sending humans to Mars to colonize the planet: