Even if alien life is never discovered, all is not lost.
The spacecraft will cruise for years before it reaches Mercury.
Operating the two spacecraft that make up BebpiColombo will be harder than rocket science, says a member of its science team.
Artist’s impression of Cassini ending its life as a fireball in Saturn’s atmosphere.
Cassini is about to crash into Saturn to avoid contaminating its habitable moon Enceladus.
A view from the ‘Kimberley’ formation on Mars taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover. The strata in the foreground dip towards the base of Mount Sharp, indicating flow of water toward a basin that existed before the larger bulk of the mountain formed.
We could learn a lot from any mission to send people to Mars, such as whether there's life elsewhere in the universe or even the technology for new household appliances.
This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s south pole and its swirling atmosphere was created by citizen scientist Roman Tkachenko using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.
We may need to re-think our models of Jupiter’s formation thanks to the first results from Juno probe orbiting the planet, and new observations from Earth.
There are loads of applications for 3D printers in space.
Between the Earth and the moon: An artist’s rendering of a refueling depot for deep-space exploration.
Sung Wha Kang (RISD)
To get us to Mars and beyond, a team of students from around the world has a plan involving lunar rovers mining ice and a space station between the Earth and the moon.
Ultrasonic “tractor beam”
Asier Marzo, Bruce Drinkwater, Sriram Subramanian
From acoustic holograms to tractor beams.
Saturn and its rings backlit by the sun, which is blocked by the planet in this view. Encircling the planet and inner rings is the much more extended E-ring.
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
With the probe now on its 'Grand Finale,' a Cassini team member describes the amazing discoveries it made about the ringed planet and its many moons.
Eugene Cernan inside the lunar module after his second moonwalk of the mission. His spacesuit is covered with moondust.
Often eclipsed by Apollo 11, the final manned moonshot left far more than bootprints in the dust. In these troubling times, it also left us with a lasting message of hope.
Strange shape in Venus’ atmosphere.
Enormous odd feature presents puzzle for scientists.
John Glenn stands in the NASA mailroom surrounded by thousands of letters sent to him.
John Glenn Archives, The Ohio State University.
Letters from would-be girl astronauts in the 1960s tell part of the complicated story of sexism – in both NASA and the US at large – at the dawn of the space age.
Jupiter’s South Pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft on August 27 2016.
Credit: NASA/SwRI/MSSS, processed by R. Tkachenko
NASA's Juno spacecraft has faced a series of challenges during its first 150 days.
Asgardia is calling for unrestricted research but history has given us many examples where this has resulted in unacceptable consequences.
The idea that there’s a moral imperative for humans to expand beyond Earth is echoed by influential proponents of space exploration.
Technology had enabled humans to explore the deep sea, the Earth's poles, and outer space. But we shouldn't forget historical lessons about frontiers in the process of traversing them.
The health of astronauts will be one of the main challenges for Musk.
Musk's know-how cannot be dismissed but there are significant challenges standing between him and his dream of colonising Mars.
Comet 67P taken with a wide-angle lens from an altitude of about 15.5km above the surface during the spacecraft’s final descent on September 30.
ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
A moment of sadness with tears shed ... then it was on with the work.
Artist’s impression of Rosetta’s descent.
It has been an epic journey, much more than 12 years in the making, but Rosetta is just about to go out in a blaze of glory. The final commands were uploaded to the spacecraft mid-morning on September…
Workers wave flags as the rocket carrying the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft being moved to the launch pad.
We don't know where Tiangong-1 will land but the risk of someone being hit is about 1 in 3,200.
Artist’s conception of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at Bennu asteroid.
Scientists are hoping to collect 100g of material from asteroid Bennu.