On the sixth anniversary of leaving Earth to embark on a daring deep-space expedition, Dawn is very, very far from its erstwhile planetary residence. Now humankind's only permanent resident of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the seasoned explorer is making good progress toward the largest object in that part of the solar system, the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres.
With the recent announcement by NASA that the 36 year-old spacecraft Voyager 1 has officially entered interstellar space at a distance from the sun about four times further than Neptune's orbit, and with Voyager 2 not far behind, it seems worthwhile to explore how humans managed to fling objects so far into space.
The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.
Follow along with Roscosmos during the launch of Soyuz TMA-10M using this list of common Russian flight terms.
Touching the Stars
Conversations with Lou Friedman and Gregory Benford about the starships in our future.
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/24 10:29 CDT
Two new programs about renewed interest in the technologies that will enable humanity to cross the interstellar gulf. Lou Friedman talks with Mat from the 100-Year Starship Symposium, while physicist and science fiction author Gregory Benford is Mat's guest for a webcast.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/24 10:19 CDT
Curiosity looked up after dark and captured more cool photos of Mars' moons. They include Phobos and Deimos passing in the night, and Phobos entering Mars' shadow.
Indian media reported over the weekend that the Mars Orbiter Mission has passed some senior review, and has been approved to proceed toward a launch date of October 28, a week later than previously planned.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/09/22 05:46 CDT
The private spacecraft Cygnus was forced to abort its first attempt to berth with the International Space Station Sunday morning due to a software glitch.
Plutonium-238 is Crucial for Space Exploration – and it's Running Out
The Planetary Society works to maintain plutonium availability for deep space missions
Plutonium-238 provides electricity to deep space missions, but NASA only has a little bit left. A new article in Wired highlights the disastrous consequences of no plutonium for use in space, something the Planetary Society is currently fighting for in Washington, D.C.
Rock Star -- the memoir of television "Meteorite Man" Geoff Notkin -- is a life's journey full of joy, wonder, and fun, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
On sol 3425 Opportunity "waded ashore" at Solander Point after crossing a sea of sand between here and Cape York. Cape York was an "island" remnant of the rim of Endeavour crater that Opportunity left back in May. Since then it has been driving south to the next largest and mountainous remnant of the crater rim, Solander Point.
After a journey of more than 30 years, ICE is coming back to Earth next year. But do we know how to regain control of it, and can we find the means to do so?
Orbital Sciences Corporation's Antares rocket lifted off from the Virginia coast this morning, successfully carrying the first operational Cygnus resupply spacecraft into orbit.