Japan spacecraft releases rover to asteroid in last mission
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft released a small rover on Thursday that will land on the surface of an asteroid as part its final mission before heading back to Earth, Japan’s space...
Japan says space probe landed on asteroid to get soil sample
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese spacecraft landed on a distant asteroid on Thursday and collected underground samples that scientists hope will provide clues to the origin of the solar system billions of...
AP-NORC poll: Asteroid watch more urgent than Mars trip
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Americans prefer a space program that focuses on potential asteroid impacts, scientific research and using robots to explore the cosmos over sending humans back to the...
Japan spacecraft drops explosive on asteroid to make crater
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency said an explosive dropped Friday from its Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully blasted the surface of an asteroid for the first time to form a crater and pave the...
Snapshot of extinction: Fossils show day of killer asteroid
WASHINGTON (AP) — New research released Friday captures a fossilized snapshot of the day nearly 66 million years ago when an asteroid smacked Earth, fire rained from the sky and the ground shook...
Rock On: NASA releases artsy shots of 2 asteroids
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA has released a pair of artsy shots of two little asteroids.
Thursday's picture shows an asteroid coming apart at its dusty seams, courtesy of the Hubble...
NASA’s plan to scoop up dirt from asteroid hits a snag
NEW YORK (AP) — NASA's plan to scoop up dirt and gravel from an asteroid has hit a snag, but scientists say they can overcome it.
The asteroid Bennu was thought to have wide, open areas...
Japan to make crater on asteroid to get underground samples
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency said Monday that its Hayabusa2 spacecraft will follow up last month's touchdown on a distant asteroid with another risky mission — dropping an explosive on the...
Japanese spacecraft touches down on asteroid to get samples
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese spacecraft touched down on a distant asteroid Friday on a mission to collect material that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on...
Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese spacecraft began its approach Thursday toward a distant asteroid on a mission to collect material that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on...
Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before
WASHINGTON (AP) — Giant rocks from space are falling from the sky more than they used to, but don't worry.
For the past 290 million years, large asteroids have been crashing into Earth more than twice as often as they did in the previous 700 million years, according to a new study in Thursday's journal Science .
Asteroid-circling spacecraft grabs cool snapshot of home
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An asteroid-circling spacecraft has captured a cool snapshot of home.
NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture days before going into orbit around asteroid Bennu on New Year's Eve.
NASA spacecraft enters orbit around asteroid, sets records
LAUREL, Md. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft has gone into orbit around an ancient asteroid, setting a pair of records.
The Osiris-Rex spacecraft entered orbit Monday around the asteroid Bennu, 70 million miles (110 million kilometers) from Earth. It's the smallest celestial body ever to be orbited by a spacecraft. Bennu is just 1,600 feet (500 meters) across.
The spacecraft's laps are barely a mile (1.6 kilometers) above the asteroid's surface, another record.
Photos from Japan space rovers show rocky asteroid surface
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency says more than 200 photos taken by two small rovers on an asteroid show no signs of a smooth area for the planned touchdown of a spacecraft early next year.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said Thursday the two solar-powered rovers have become inactive and are probably in the shade, but are still responding to signals after three months, exceeding their projected life of several days.
NASA’s first look: Tiny asteroid is studded with boulders
WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA's first look at a tiny asteroid shows the space rock is more moist and studded with boulders than originally thought.
NASA spacecraft arrives at ancient asteroid, its 1st visitor
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After a two-year chase, a NASA spacecraft arrived Monday at the ancient asteroid Bennu, its first visitor in billions of years.
The robotic explorer Osiris-Rex pulled within 12 miles (19 kilometers) of the diamond-shaped space rock. It will get even closer in the days ahead and go into orbit around Bennu on Dec. 31. No spacecraft has ever orbited such a small cosmic body.
Kansas university researchers help uncover ancient asteroid
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Researchers at the University of Kansas had a hand in uncovering what might have been about a mile-wide iron asteroid that crashed into Greenland perhaps as recently as 12,000 years ago.
Details of the impact crater beneath the Hiawatha Glacier in remote northwest Greenland were recently published in Science Advances, a multidisciplinary journal.
Japan delays spacecraft landing on very rocky asteroid
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's space agency is delaying a spacecraft touchdown on an asteroid because scientists need more time to find a safe landing site on the extremely rocky surface.
The spacecraft Hayabusa2 left Earth in 2014 and traveled 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) to the area of asteroid Ryugu, which it reached in June.
Japanese spacecraft drops observation device onto asteroid
TOKYO (AP) — A German-French observation device safely landed on an asteroid on Wednesday after a Japanese spacecraft released it as part of a research effort that could find clues about the origin of the solar system, Japanese space officials said.
The Japan Space Exploration Agency said the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, or MASCOT, was released from the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 and successfully landed on the asteroid Ryugu.
Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is ... rocky
TOKYO (AP) — New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drum roll, please) ... rocky.
It may be no surprise, but Japan space agency scientists and engineers are thrilled by the images being sent to Earth by two jumping robotic rovers that they dropped onto an asteroid about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) away.
Japan space rovers lowered to asteroid to collect data
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese spacecraft released two small rovers on an asteroid on Friday in a mission that could provide clues to the origin of the solar system.
The Japan Space Exploration Agency said the two Minerva-II-1 rovers were lowered from the unmanned spacecraft Hayabusa2 to the asteroid Ryugu. The spacecraft arrived near the asteroid, about 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth, in June.
Purdy Mesa telescope joins elite Air Force Falcon network
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — If a satellite, an asteroid or an old, dead rocket hurtles toward Earth, a telescope installed on Purdy Mesa is ready to help detect it and alert officials from around the world.
Installers used a crane to carefully hoist the 200-pound high-powered equipment into its new home at the Grand Mesa Observatory, where it will provide a gateway to the cosmos, emerging at night from under its dome to view the heavens.
Comet or asteroid? Scientists ID interstellar visitor
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Last year's visitor from another star system — a cigar-shaped object briefly tumbling through our cosmic neck of the woods — has now been identified as a comet.
A European-led team makes the case in Wednesday's edition of the journal Nature.
Telescopes first spotted the mysterious red-tinged object last October as it zipped through the inner solar system. Since then, astronomers have flip-flopped between comet and asteroid for our first confirmed interstellar guest.
Japanese space probe arrives at asteroid to collect samples
TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese space probe arrived at an asteroid Wednesday after a 3 1/2-year journey to undertake a first-ever experiment: blow a crater in the rocky surface to collect samples and bring them back to Earth.
The unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft reached its base of operations about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the asteroid and some 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) from Earth, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said.
US stepping up Earth’s protection from asteroids, comets
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to protect the planet from incoming asteroids that could wipe out entire regions or even continents.
The National Science and Technology Council released a report Wednesday calling for improved asteroid detection, tracking and deflection. NASA is participating, along with federal emergency, military, White House and other officials.
Boulder-size asteroid disintegrated harmlessly over Africa
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A boulder-size asteroid disintegrated harmlessly over Africa, just hours after its weekend discovery.
It's only the third time scientists have spotted an incoming asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth. The previous times were in 2008 and 2014.
The asteroid, dubbed 2018 LA, was discovered out near the moon's orbit early Saturday morning, aiming straight for Earth. NASA reported the latest episode Sunday night.
Jupiter’s backward-flying asteroid from another star system
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Just months after the discovery of our first known interstellar visitor, it turns out there's another asteroid from yet another star system residing in our cosmic club in plain view.
Scientists reported Monday that this interstellar resident is an asteroid sharing Jupiter's orbit but circling in the opposite direction.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A five-person team of scientists at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff helps maintain a giant database of the orbits of all 775,092 known asteroids in the solar system.
Recently a large space rock almost hit the Earth. It passed between us and the moon at a distance of 119-thousand miles. The moon is 240-thousand miles away, so the small asteroid was halfway between.
Our 1st interstellar visitor likely came from 2-star system
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Our first known interstellar visitor likely came from a two-star system.
That's the latest from astronomers who were amazed by the mysterious cigar-shaped object, detected as it passed through our inner solar system last fall.
Asteroid coming close Friday: Don’t worry, we’re safe
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Another asteroid is headed our way — the second this week — but there's no need to worry.
The newly discovered space rock will pass within 39,000 miles (64,000 kilometers) of Earth on Friday afternoon. That's less than one-fifth the distance to the moon.
Designated 2018 CB, the asteroid is an estimated 50 feet to 130 feet (15 meters to 40 meters) in size, possibly bigger than the one that exploded over Russia five years ago this month.
Space sports car is racing toward the asteroid belt
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The world's first space sports car is cruising toward the asteroid belt, well beyond Mars.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk confirmed the new, more distant route for his rocketing Tesla Roadster. The red electric convertible was the unorthodox cargo aboard his company's new Falcon Heavy rocket during a test flight on Tuesday.
With the successful launch, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket flying today.
Space sports car now flying toward asteroid belt beyond Mars
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The world's first space sports car is cruising toward the asteroid belt, well beyond Mars.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk confirmed the new, more distant route for his rocketing Tesla Roadster. The red electric convertible was the unorthodox cargo aboard his company's brand new Falcon Heavy rocket during a test flight on Tuesday.
With the successful launch, the Heavy became the most powerful rocket flying today.
Asteroid will pass ‘close’ to Earth on Super Bowl Sunday
An asteroid will whip past Earth just before the Philadelphia Eagles face off against the New England Patriot in Super Bowl LII, but NASA assures it won't interrupt the game.
The asteroid, which has been given the catchy name 2002 AJ129, will make a "close approach" to Earth around 1:30 p.m. Feb. 4. However, "close" is a relative term when dealing with the vastness of space. The asteroid will get about 2.6 million miles from the planet, or 10 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
Astromers probe interstellar asteroid
For an early Christmas present, you can't beat the Geminids. This meteor shower, which will peak in the early-morning hours of Thursday, is one of the more dependable of the year, apart from the fact that it arrives when the skies are often cloudy. Last year's Geminids were largely a dud because of a full moon, but this time around the moon will be a waning crescent, assuring dark skies. It's up to meteor watchers to find a location that's free of light pollution.
NASA using asteroid’s close flyby to test warning network
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is using an asteroid's close flyby to test Earth's warning network for incoming space rocks.
The small asteroid was on track to pass within 27,200 miles (43,800 kilometers) of Antarctica early Thursday.
Program scientist Michael Kelley said that's "pretty close" as these things go. But he stressed there's no chance it will hit us. Future space rocks might, though — thus this first-of-its-kind cosmic fire drill.
NASA’s asteroid chaser swings by Earth on way to space rock
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's asteroid-chasing spacecraft swung by Earth on Friday on its way to a space rock.
Launched a year ago, Osiris-Rex passed within 10,711 miles (17,237 kilometers) of the home planet early Friday afternoon — above Antarctica. It used Earth's gravity as a slingshot to put it on a path toward the asteroid Bennu.
Why asteroids loom as future frontier for mining, manufacturing
In the field of asteroid research, UNL is playing an important part to help prevent ?‘Game Over’
Now seems as good a time as any to contemplate fiery death raining down from the heavens.
Today is Asteroid Day, an international movement founded in 2015 to acknowledge the fact that — at some point in the future — Earth will experience a large-scale asteroid impact. And there’s a lot we’ve yet to consider.
Can't see the video? Click here.
Q&A: Afraid of sharks? Flu, asteroids pose far greater risk
BOSTON (AP) — You might want a bigger boat, but you probably don't need better odds.
The confirmed return of great white sharks to Cape Cod has rattled some boaters and beachgoers. Yet the chances of an encounter involving a human are infinitesimally small, and the likelihood of an attack resulting in serious injury or death is smaller still.
How small? With apologies to "The Hunger Games," may the odds be ever in your favor — because they are.
Museum in Lincoln to host special Asteroid Day event
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A special Asteroid Day event has been scheduled at the University of Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall in Lincoln.
The event is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Elsbeth Magilton is executive director of space, cyber and telecommunications law at the university Law College, and she'll discuss during her opening remarks how law and policy play important roles in global efforts to track asteroids.
An asteroid will buzz by Earth tonight. Here’s why you shouldn’t freak out
NASA is confident the world will not be destroyed by a large asteroid that will pass Earth on Wednesday.
The asteroid is expected to pass safely at a distance of about 1.1 million miles, or about 4.6 times the distance from Earth to the moon.
The pass is the closest heavenly encounter since asteroid Toutatis, a 3.1-mile space rock, flew by 13 years ago. That asteroid came within four lunar distances from Earth.
Telescope camera boosts asteroid sightings in Tucson
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A customized telescope camera near Tucson is playing an important role in discovering asteroids and other objects zipping by Earth.
Upgrades helped the Catalina Sky Survey record 924 of the sightings in 2016, reported the Arizona Daily Star (http://bit.ly/2kC60yz).
No other survey has spotted as many, according to Lindley Johnson, who leads NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
Boulder scientists to lead NASA asteroid exploration
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — NASA has chosen Boulder's Southwest Research Institute to lead a Discovery mission to perform the first survey of the Trojans, a population of asteroids orbiting with Jupiter.
The Daily Camera reports (http://bit.ly/2jcpNqI ) that the spacecraft, named Lucy, will launch in 2021 to study six of the asteroids.
Asteroid Bennu getting first visitor in billions of years
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An asteroid that may hold the key to life is getting its first visitor in billions of years.
Asteroid Bennu, a black roundish rock taller than the Empire State Building, is the intended target of a NASA spacecraft set to blast off Thursday night. Not only will the robotic probe named Osiris-Rex fly to this ancient asteroid, it will scout it out for two years before scooping up some gravel and dust, and deliver the samples back to Earth.
CU professor gets pair of asteroids named after him
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The University of Colorado has announced that a pair of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter has been named after Professor Jay McMahon.
The Daily Camera reports (http://bit.ly/2aPwN9Z ) that university officials said Monday the asteroids, which are orbiting each other in the asteroid belt between the two planets, have been named "(46829) McMahon." The name was approved by the International Astronomical...