The Next Generation of Exploration: The DAVINCI Spacecraft

It’s no secret that there has been a resurgence in interest in space exploration in recent years. Much of the credit for this goes to NASA’s ongoing exploration efforts on Mars, which in the past few years have revealed things like organic molecules on the surface, evidence of flowing water, and that the planet once […]

Japan’s Akatsuki Spacecraft to Make Second Attempt to Enter Orbit of Venus in December 2015

Back in 2010, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the The Venus Climate Orbiter “Akatsuki” with the intention of learning more about the planet’s weather and surface conditions. Unfortunately, due to engine trouble, the probe failed to make it into the planet’s orbit. Since that time, it has remained in a heliocentric orbit, some […]

Universe Today’s Top 10 Space Stories of 2014

It seems a lot of the space stories of this year involve spacecraft making journeys: bouncing across a comet, or making their way to Mars. Private companies also figure prominently, both in terms of successes and prominent failures. These are Universe Today’s picks for the top space stories of the year. Disagree? Think we forgot […]

Morning Star, We Hardly Knew Ya: Venus Express’ Best Discoveries In 8 Years

Venus Express is mostly dead. The spacecraft spent more than eight years faithfully relaying information from the Morning Star/Evening Star planet, but it’s now out of fuel, out of control and within weeks of burning up in the atmosphere. While we mourn the end of the productive mission, the European Space Agency spacecraft showed us […]

Venus Express Out Of Gas; Mission Concludes, Spacecraft On Death Watch

After surviving an eight-year mission and a daring plunge into part of the atmosphere of Venus, a plucky spacecraft orbiting the hothouse planet is finished its mission, the European Space Agency declared. Venus Express can no longer communicate consistently with Earth. The spacecraft itself will fall into the atmosphere and likely be destroyed in the […]

Venus Express May Be Out Of Fuel After Death-Duelling Maneuvers

After more than eight years orbiting a hellish planet, Venus Express is showing its age. The spacecraft made some risky maneuvers this summer, dipping down into the atmosphere as it nears the end of its mission. Now, the European Space Agency reports it has mostly lost contact with the probe. The reason could be lack […]

Venus Express Spacecraft, Low On Fuel, Does Delicate Dance Above Doom Below

It’s been an interesting year for Venus Express. A few months ago, controllers deliberately dipped the spacecraft into the atmosphere of the planet — for science purposes, of course. The daring maneuver was approved because the spacecraft is near the end of its mission. It’s nearly out of fuel and will fall into Venus — […]

Aurora on Venus Versus Solar Activity

It’s a major mystery posed by our sister world. Does the atmosphere of Venus possess upper atmospheric phenomena similar to the Earth, such as aurora or nightglow? Now, a recent announcement out of the American Astronomical Society’s 46th annual meeting of the Division of Planetary Science being held this week in Tucson, Arizona has shed new light on […]