Visit the USGS Home Page Go to the Astrogeology Research Program Home Page USGS Astrogeology Research Program

Historic Lunar Images Revived

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Historic space images taken by NASA's Lunar Orbiters in the 1960s are now available in digital form on the internet. Thanks to modern scanning technology and processing methods developed by the USGS, these important images can now be viewed by everyone at a NASA-funded web site established by the USGS Astrogeology Program in Flagstaff, Arizona where mapping of planets continues to be a primary function.

More: USGS Astro - Lunar Orbiter Digitization Project


Continue reading "Historic Lunar Images Revived"

Galileo To Taste Jupiter Before Taking Final Plunge

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

In the end, the Galileo spacecraft will get a taste of Jupiter before taking a final plunge into the planet's crushing atmosphere, ending the mission on Sunday, Sept. 21. The team expects the spacecraft to transmit a few hours of science data in real time leading up to impact. The spacecraft has been purposely put on a collision course with Jupiter to eliminate any chance of an unwanted impact between the spacecraft and Jupiter's moon Europa, which Galileo discovered is likely to have a subsurface ocean. The long-planned impact is necessary now that the onboard propellant is nearly depleted.

More: JPL - Galileo To Taste Jupiter Before Taking Final Plunge

More: JPL - Countdown to Jupiter Impact

Link: JPL - Galileo Journey to Jupiter

Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission Receives Funding

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Initial funding for a NASA mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt of frozen objects at the outskirts of our solar system received formal approval President Bush quietly signed an omnibus bill last week. Pluto is the only planet in our solar system yet to be visited by a spacecraft.

More: Space.com - Pluto Mission a Go! Initial Funding Secured

Link: New Horizons - A Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission Study

Farewell to Pioneer 10

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

After more than 30 years, it appears the venerable Pioneer 10 spacecraft has sent its last signal to Earth. Pioneer's last, very weak signal was received on Jan. 22, 2003. NASA engineers report Pioneer 10's radioisotope power source has decayed, and it may not have enough power to send additional transmissions to Earth. NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) did not detect a signal during the last contact attempt Feb. 7, 2003. The previous three contacts, including the Jan. 22 signal, were very faint with no telemetry received. The last time a Pioneer 10 contact returned telemetry data was April 27, 2002. NASA has no additional contact attempts planned for Pioneer 10.

More: NASA - Pioneer 10 Spacecraft Sends Last Signal

Long Distance Call to Pioneer 10 on its 30th Anniversary

Monday, March 4, 2002

It took a little extra effort, but NASA this weekend bridged a nearly seven-and-a-half billion mile span to make contact with Pioneer 10, a plucky space probe that first left Earth's gravitational pull more than 30 years ago...

More: NASA - An early NASA Pioneer still on the job in deep space

DS-1 Close Encounter with Comet Borrelly

Saturday, September 22, 2001

The Deep Space 1 (DS-1) spacecraft flew by the comet Borrelly on September 22, 2001, providing the highest resolution imagery ever collected of a comet to date.

More: NASA/JPL - NASA Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View of Comet's Core

More: USGS Astro - Deep Space 1 MICAS Data & Information