Posted by Sanjay Limaye on 2015/12/08 10:29 CST
One day after closest approach, Akatsuki is now speeding away from Venus at 4.09 kilometers per second and is 180,000 kilometers from the planet. In his last report from Sagamihara, Sanjay Limaye gets some updates on the new orbiter's trajectory.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/08 09:23 CST
SpaceX is preparing to return its Falcon rocket to service after the loss of a mission in June 2015. A backlog of payloads, including an ISS-bound Dragon cargo craft, await.
The Akatsuki team achieved something that no mission as done before – put a spacecraft into orbit around a planet using only the attitude control thrusters. An event that one could not even conceive or propose!
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/06 05:28 CST
It took four tries for the weather to cooperate, but on Sunday afternoon, a Cygnus cargo spacecraft loaded with 3.3 metric tons of critical crew supplies launched toward the International Space Station.
Venus researcher Sanjay Limaye reports from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) in Sagamihara on the status of Akatsuki's second Venus orbit insertion attempt.
This is it: Akatsuki's final chance at Venus orbit insertion. The rocket firing should begin on December 7 at 08:51 Japan time (December 6 23:51 UT / 15:51 PST) and last for 20 minutes. It will take two days for JAXA to determine whether the orbit has been changed enough for Akatsuki to stay at Venus.
Perhaps forgotten by the general public in the West, a long-lost spacecraft is set to enter orbit around our sister planet in December, picking up where ESA’s Venus Express left off when its operations ended last year.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/12/03 06:51 CST
Opportunity faced the challenges of winter as well as technological issues in November, but pressed on, hiking up hill and into a geological treasure trove that may well present the scientists with the evidence they need to solve the clay mineral mystery of Marathon Valley.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/02 05:04 CST
Orbital ATK is returning its Cygnus cargo spacecraft to service on Thursday. This time, the ride to orbit will be a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
I just love photos of Earth from planetary missions -- especially if they manage to get Earth and Moon in the same shot, as Hayabusa2 did on November 26.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/12/01 06:04 CST
The Orion European Service Module test article has arrived at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, where it's being prepared for acoustic and vibration testing.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2015/11/30 07:03 CST
The third entry in my series of blog posts about Favorite Astro Plots contains one of the biggest discoveries from the Apollo program -- as well as one of the biggest questions in planetary science. The chart was nominated by planetary scientist Barbara Cohen. It has to do with the ages of surfaces on the Moon.
Stories about exploration and wonder can be powerful antidotes to seemingly endless suffering and destruction.