From Saturn, Earth would appear too small for Voyager spacecraft to make out any detail. Our planet would be just a lonely point of light. That pale dot, that’s home. That’s us. Earth is a grain of sand in the vast cosmic arena. Carl Sagan pointed out that “all of human history has happened on that tiny pixel (shown here inside a blue circle), which is our only home” (speech at Cornell University, October 13, 1994.) Watch the amazing video
After spending a year examining asteroid Vesta, Dawn NASA‘s spacecraft is preparing to leave and head to the largest asteroid – dwarf planet Ceres, where it will arrive in 2015. This image shows the south pole of the giant asteroid Vesta. Image credit: NASA Scroll down for video
One idea on how to change the course of an Earth-threatening asteroid, is the scenario worked out by Edward Lu and Stanley Love at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in 2005. A 20 ton nuclear-electric spacecraft tows a 200 meter diameter asteroid by simply hovering near the asteroid.
Dawn is a NASA spacecraft tasked with the exploration and study of the two largest members of the asteroid belt: Vesta and the dwarf planet, Ceres. This video (below) features images taken by Dawn as well as animated recreations of Vesta’s most focal geological formations. Credit NASA
An engineer has proposed to build a full-sized, ion-powered version of the Enterprise complete in foul details, with 1G of gravity on board, and says it could be done with current technology, within 20 years.
A test model of the Orion spacecraft with its parachutes was tested the skies high above the U.S. Army’s Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz. The Orion spacecraft will replace the space shuttle as NASA’s vehicle for human space exploration and is designed to accommodate four to six astronauts on deep space missions.
This mosaic of Vesta one of the largest asteroids, with a mean diameter of about 530 kilometres (330 mi), shows the location of the data acquired by VIR (visible and infrared spectrometer) during the HAMO (high-altitude mapping orbit) phase of the Dawn mission.