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Your hypothetical questions, answered: SpaceX prepares to refly rocket booster

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/03/28 06:00 CDT | 5 comments

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster recovered by a drone ship last year will be reflown later this week, marking what could be a new milestone in the quest for affordable spaceflight.

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Juno just flew past Jupiter for the fifth time. What have we learned from the mission so far?

Posted by Anna Scott on 2017/03/27 06:00 CDT | 3 comments

There's no verdict quite yet on the giant planet's core, and scientists are still gathering clues about the accuracy of our current solar system formation models.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4662 - March 6, 2017

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2017/03/11 04:02 CST | 1 comments

For nearly two years, Opportunity's world has been tilted 10–25 degrees as it drove down to the lower slopes of the wall of Endeavour Crater. Toward the end of last week, Opportunity pulled itself up and over the lip of the crater.

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MAVEN dodges Phobos, with (maybe) a little help from Curiosity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2017/03/06 06:00 CST | 2 comments

This week MAVEN had to execute a short rocket burn in order to prevent a future collision with Phobos. Curiosity (and other rovers) may have played a role in those trajectory predictions.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Reaches Top of Endeavour Rim, Wraps Cape Tribulation
Sols 4631 - 4657

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2017/03/03 07:54 CST | 5 comments

Driving the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission further into its fourteenth year of surface operations, Opportunity continued hiking the slopes of Cape Tribulation in February and finally reached the crest of Endeavour Crater’s western rim.

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Dawn Journal: Intricate Maneuvers

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2017/03/02 09:00 CST | 2 comments

The Dawn mission is executing an ambitious bonus goal recently devised for its extended mission. Mission Manager and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4639 - February 10, 2017

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2017/02/10 04:30 CST

Opportunity has successfully clawed its way to within a few meters of the crater rim after spending the last few months climbing and the last two years inside the crater.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4633 - February 6, 2017

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2017/02/06 08:21 CST

Several sols ago, Opportunity made it up and past the steepest section of its climb out of Endeavour crater.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Celebrates the Big 1-3, Begins 14th Year of Ops!
Sols 4600 - 4630

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2017/02/04 07:14 CST | 2 comments

2017 got off to a start that was unprecedented in every good way: Opportunity completed her 13th Earth year of surface operations and drove the first overland expedition of the Red Planet into its 14th year.

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Curiosity update, sols 1548-1599: Serious drill brake problem as Curiosity drives through Murray red beds

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2017/02/03 02:21 CST

Since my last update, the Curiosity mission has developed a better understanding of the problem that prevented them from drilling at Precipice, but its intermittent nature has slowed the development of a workable solution that will allow them to use the drill again. In the meantime, the rover has driven onward, making good use of its other instruments.

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Dawn Journal: A New Perspective on Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2017/02/01 03:45 CST | 9 comments

Dawn has moved into its sixth orbital phase, with a new sun angle that provides an opportunity to gain a new perspective on the asteroid Ceres.

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SpaceX is ready to fly rockets again. An expert talks about the reason a Falcon 9 blew up last year

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/01/10 06:02 CST | 40 comments

SpaceX says they fixed a problem with the helium pressurization system that destroyed a Falcon 9 rocket last year. The company pushes the boundaries of rocket science, creating an occasional jaw-dropping fireball in the process. But will the risk-reward equation change when SpaceX starts flying astronauts?

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NASA is visiting 8 asteroids in 8 years. Here are 8 things to know about the missions

Posted by Jason Davis on 2017/01/04 04:33 CST | 12 comments

NASA announced two new asteroid missions today named Lucy and Psyche that will fill important gaps in our understanding of how the solar system was formed. Here are eight things to know about the two missions.

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Mystery of Russia’s doomed Progress spacecraft may delay next ISS crew launch

Posted by Anatoly Zak on 2017/01/04 06:00 CST | 2 comments

More than a month after a Progress spacecraft bound for the International Space Station plunged to the ground during a botched launch attempt, investigators are still unable to clear its rocket to carry future ISS crews.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Wraps 2016, Heads into 2017 Toward 13th Anniversary

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2017/01/04 01:04 CST

As 2016 came to an end and 2017 rang in, Opportunity was working the first leg of the ascent up the rugged western rim of Endeavour Crater on her way to an ancient gully, the next scientific tour de force down the road, and the mission was closing in on its 13th anniversary of surface operations coming up in the New Year.

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Dawn Journal: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2017/01/03 02:40 CST | 1 comments

Dawn is concluding a remarkable year of exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

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Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/12/30 12:22 CST | 4 comments

What's ahead for our intrepid space explorers in 2017? It'll be the end of Cassini, but not before the mission performs great science close to the rings. OSIRIS-REx will fly by Earth, and Chang'e 5 will launch to the Moon, as a host of other spacecraft continue their ongoing missions.

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Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/12/29 06:04 CST | 21 comments

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

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GOES-R: What’s Next?

Posted by Heather Hunter on 2016/12/23 05:30 CST | 1 comments

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4588 - December 20, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/12/20 08:25 CST

Opportunity continues to climb up the inner crater wall of Endeavour crater, heading south on its journey toward its next valley target.

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