NASA’s Latest Mission To The Moon Is On Track

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer is on its way to the Moon. It lifted off on time Friday night from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Some early software problems have been successfully resolved.

NASA Lunar Orbiter Hits Snag After Successful Launch

The LADEE spacecraft, which began its trip to the moon last night in a launch on Virginia’s coast, has run into some mechanical problems, NASA says. But officials say the robotic probe remains on track, and its problems can be resolved before it reaches the moon next month.

Industrial Soot May Have Melted Europe’s Glaciers

About 160 years ago, Europe’s glaciers began melting, centuries before the temperatures started rising. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice. (This piece initially aired Sept. 3 on Morning Edition.)

Industrial Soot May Have Melted Europe’s Glaciers

About 160 years ago, Europe’s glaciers began melting, centuries before the temperatures started rising. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice. (This piece initially aired Sept. 3 on Morning Edition.)

NASA Craft to Sniff Moondust, Test Laser Broadband

NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) will suck up dust and gas floating above the Moon to catalog the ingredients of the thin lunar atmosphere. LADEE project scientist Richard Elphic says the orbiter will also shoot data from the Moon using a laser, in the first test of space-based broadband.

Pollution, Not Rising Temperatures, May Have Melted Alpine Glaciers

About 160 years ago, before Europe began warming up, glaciers in the Alps started rapidly retreating. Now NASA scientists offer a possible explanation for this apparent paradox: Soot from the Industrial Revolution could have heated up the ice.

Space Telescope Reawakened for an Asteroid Hunt

After the WISE telescope used up the coolant needed to operate its detectors, its primary mission as an infrared survey telescope ended. NASA’s Amy Mainzer describes how the agency is repurposing the dormant craft for a new three-year mission looking for near-Earth asteroids. Astronomer Brett Gladman also discusses a newly spotted asteroid-like object trailing Uranus.

A Telescope Fails, but the Hunt for Exoplanets Continues

The ailing Kepler planet-hunting telescope cannot be fixed, the victim of failed reaction wheels required to aim the instrument. However, researchers still have reams of data to sift through. William Borucki of NASA and Joshua Winn of MIT discuss the search for distant planets.