NASA reports that it has detected a huge meteor explosion in Earth's atmosphere on December 18, 2018, above Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula. The explosion went largely unnoticed due to its location. The explosion, which was ten times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, was the second largest of its kind in 30 years.
SpaceX's scheduled launch of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is delayed until April 18. TESS is designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method and is 400 times more powerful than the "Kepler" space observatory.
An unmanned Antares rocket carrying NASA's Cygnus CRS Orb-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station explodes seconds after taking off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in the U.S. state of Virginia. The loss includes five thousand pounds of cargo.
Cygnus 1 (also known as Orbital Sciences COTS Demo Flight) launches the first planned flight of the Orbital Sciences' unmanned resupply spacecraft Cygnus, its first flight to the International Space Station and the second launch of the company's Antares launch vehicle. The flight is under contract to NASA as Cygnus' demonstration mission in the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. The launch site is MARS on the Delmarva Peninsula in Virginia.
NASA's Curiosity rover has detected several simple carbon-based organic compounds on Mars, but it remains unclear whether they were formed via Earthly contamination or whether they contain only elements indigenous to the planet.