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Hot Topic Exploration Missions
Kepler App Puts Distant Planets at Your Fingertips
Topic: Missions
Summary: A new app for iPads and iPhones is providing armchair explorers with interactive displays of newly discovered planetary systems

The Sounds of Mars, Venus and Titan
Topic: Missions
Summary: This Easter, a planetarium show in Hampshire will feature the sounds of Mars, Venus and Titan

NASA Extends Kepler, Spitzer and Planck Missions
Topic: Missions
Summary: NASA is extending three missions that will continue to play an important role in the search for habitable planets beyond our solar system.

O/OREOS Nanosatellite Success in Orbit
Topic: Missions
Summary: In November of 2011, NASA's O/OREOS nanosatellite carried microorganisms into low-Earth orbit. The mission is now providing astrobiologists with valuable information about how the stresses of space affect life's ability to survive beyond our planet.

O, Pioneers! (part 2): The Derelicts of Space
Topic: Missions
Summary: Before the Pioneer 11 spacecraft could venture beyond our solar system, it had to pass through the rings of Saturn. At the time, the rings were not well characterized and some thought the spacecraft could be destroyed. Whatever happened to Pioneer 11 at Saturn's rings would affect the flight plan of the Voyager spacecraft.

O, Pioneers! (part 1): The Motes in Gods Eye
Topic: Missions
Summary: March 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of one of the most extraordinary spacecraft ever constructed - Pioneer 10 - the first true deep space probe.

Preparing for Free-Fall
Topic: Missions
Summary: After a two-year delay, a human daredevil is now preparing to step out of a stratospheric balloon and attempt the highest freefall jump ever.

EXCEDE the Search for Planets
Topic: Missions
Summary: Astronomers are developing new technology for a space telescope that would sit high above the Earth's surface and observe how planets around other stars form and evolve. The mission would return valuable data for astrobiologists who are searching for distant, habitable worlds.

NASA's Flat Budget Requires Hard Choices
Topic: Missions
Summary: NASA announced Monday a $17.7 billion budget request for fiscal year 2013. The budget does not enable NASA to move forward with the planned 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

Could a ‘Death Star’ Really Destroy a Planet?
Topic: Missions
Summary: Researchers pose the question, could a small moon-sized battle station generate enough energy to destroy an Earth-sized planet?

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