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The Chang'e 5 test vehicle landed successfully in Inner Mongolia today after an 8-day mission. It demonstrated technology that China plans to use for automated sample return by the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017.
The private spaceflight company's spaceplane was destroyed in an accident over California's Mojave Desert.
Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2014/10/31 11:52 CDT
On October 17-19, 2014, the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory on the University of Arizona campus hosted the second annual Art of Planetary Science exhibition. This exhibition featured works of art inspired by the solar system, alongside works by scientists created from their scientific data.
LightSail's random vibration test, meant to simulate the stress of an Atlas V rocket launch, shook loose new problems that the team will have to address.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/10/30 10:15 CDT
On October 27, JAXA provided media with an opportunity to view the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft at the Tanegashima space center, where it's making final preparations for launch. Koumei Shibata was there, and took several photos. And artist Go Miyazaki has shared several terrific new renderings of the spacecraft in flight.
Despite some in the media declaring it a NASA rocket disaster, Antares represents a new way of doing business. It's owned by a private company providing a service to NASA to resupply the space station. How is this different from other rockets NASA uses?
An Antares rocket fell back to the launch pad shortly after liftoff, exploding in a fireball that destroyed the vehicle.
The Planetary Society has a futuristic new project: the Planetary Deep Drill with Honeybee Robotics to develop a prototype of a drill that could allow drilling hundreds of meters to even kilometers through planetary ices.
The Chang'e 5 test vehicle's short mission is more than half over. It has rounded the far side of the Moon and is on its way back to Earth for a planned October 31 test of lunar sample return technology. It's not a science mission -- it's an engineering mission -- but it has managed to return an absolutely iconic photo of its distant home, seen across the very unfamiliar far side of the Moon.