NASA

If signs of life are found on a planet beyond our solar system sometime in the next decade, they'll most likely be on a planet discovered by a NASA satellite that's scheduled to launch on Monday.

The mission is called TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, and it will spend two years scanning almost the entire sky to search for alien worlds.

Nothing conveys the excitement of space exploration like pictures from another planet. Now NASA is planning to go one better than pictures. The space agency is aiming to launch a probe carrying a communication system that will let future missions to Mars transmit live, high definition video to Earth.

NASA

The Trump administration’s $19.9 billion budget for NASA calls for privatizing the International Space Station. Senator Bill Nelson is blasting the proposed budget.

The budget proposal provides nearly $10 billion to support human space exploration of the moon. It pays for the Space Launch System and Orion capsule, that will launch from Kennedy Space Center, slated for a mission to the moon in 2020.

A rocket more powerful than any other flying today is scheduled to blast off Tuesday for the first time, if all goes well.

Here's a reminder that while you are out in the world buying groceries, picking up dry cleaning or catching up on The Crown, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is on the red planet doing work.

Nestled among palm trees at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens near Pasadena, Calif., there's a mysterious, metallic structure that curls like a nautilus shell. It's called the Orbit Pavilion, and it was created by a team of artists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratories, or JPL.

Step inside the 17-foot-tall structure and you'll hear otherworldly sounds triggered by the tracking signal of 19 orbiting satellites above Earth.

President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon.

"The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said.

Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this week.

Snacks? Check. Bottled water? Check. Orion capsule?

Check.

At the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., 120 people settled in to wait out Hurricane Irma and oversee some of the nation's premier space technology. That includes the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle capsule. The four-person spacecraft — now in development — is intended to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond.

President Trump's pick for the next leader of NASA is a fighter pilot who wants Americans to return to the moon but doesn't believe that humans are causing climate change.

Scientists are about to get an up-close and personal look at the planet Jupiter's most famous landmark, the Great Red Spot.

NASA's Juno spacecraft will be directly over the spot shortly after 10 p.m. ET Monday, July 10, about 5,600 miles above the gas giant's cloud tops. That's closer than any spacecraft has been before.

The spot is actually a giant storm that has been blowing on Jupiter for centuries. It's huge, larger than Earth in diameter.

Joey Roulette / WMFE

Vice President Mike Pence promised to return Americans to the moon during his visit Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center. Pence touted a commitment to returning to the moon, and putting humans on Mars under the leadership of President Trump.

“We will return our nation to the moon. We will go to Mars, and we will go still further to places that our children’s children can only imagine.”

Twenty years ago Tuesday, a plucky little probe named Pathfinder landed at Ares Vallis on the surface of Mars.

It didn't land in the traditional way, with retrorockets firing until it reached the surface. No, Pathfinder bounced down to its landing site, cushioned by giant air bags. It was a novel approach, and the successful maneuver paved the way for a similar system used by the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity in 2003.

The morning that the space shuttle Columbia was supposed to return home, Wayne Hale was at the landing site. At age 48, Hale was an up-and-coming manager with NASA. He'd just taken a job overseeing shuttle launches. But since this was a landing day, he didn't have much to do.

WMFE

When it comes to reporting beats, you can’t get much better than the cosmos. And that’s where Brendan Byrne spends a great deal of his time – journalistically speaking, of course.

Nearly 15 years after her first space launch, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has now spent more time off-planet than any other American, at more than 534 days. Whitson, 57, is a biochemist who has twice commanded the International Space Station.

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