NASA

Tyler Pratt/KCBX

NASA successfully launched a spacecraft to Mars from Vandenberg Air Force base on Saturday. It was the first ever interplanetary launch from the West Coast, and if all goes according to plan, just before Thanksgiving the Insight mission will land on Mars and begin drilling down into the surface. The mission's goal? To learn more about how rocky planets form.

Tyler Pratt/KCBX News

If you wake up early this coming Saturday and look to the north, or the south - depending where you on are on the Central Coast - you may see history in the making. 

Courtesy of NASA.

NASA has scuttled a spacecraft circling the planet Saturn and its moons for the past 13 years. The Cassini mission ended around 4 a.m. Friday when the spacecraft purposely steered into Saturn’s atmosphere and disintegrated in a fiery blaze. A scientist working on the Cassini mission is giving a free public talk this weekend at Cal Poly on the mission and the marvels it revealed.

Flooding expected from epic Sierra snowpack

May 2, 2017
Courtesy of NASA Airborne Snow Observatory

The water content of the Sierra snowpack is nearly double the average of long-time measurements. The state's lead water agency conducted the last survey of the wet season Monday. It's now a matter of managing run-off. 

Satellite to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base will measure world's rising sea levels

Jan 15, 2016
NASA

Several agencies at Vandenberg Air Force base are preparing to launch a satellite Sunday that will measure the effects of climate change on the world's oceans. 

NASA

 Victor Glover is a Cal Poly Alumnus and a NASA astronaut. 

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, launched from Vandenberg on January 31, 2015, has already sent back its first global maps.

The satellite focuses on soil moisture—liquid or solid—and will likely help develop more accurate long-term forecasts. The images could also help California track the state's ongoing drought conditions.

The SMAP mission is designed to help scientists understand the links between the Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.

NASA

A former Cal Poly professor is among the lead team members as NASA prepares to enter a historic orbit Friday morning of a dwarf planet. 

The Dawn spacecraft launched in 2007 is studying the largest object in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Scientists believe Ceres was on its way to becoming a full-sized planet... but had its development interrupted by Jupiter's gravity.

NASA

Scientists are looking forward to using a new satellite that will help them track California's ongoing drought and create more accurate and longer-term forecasts.

It's known as SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) and is scheduled to launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m.

It's main purpose is to observe the entire surface of the Earth with a focus on soil moisture and the world's freeze and thaw zones.