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Blog Archive

 

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 | 19 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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Curiosity update, sols 1489-1547: Drilling at Sebina, driving up through Murray, drill problems at Precipice

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/12/12 05:09 CST | 1 comments

It's been a drive-heavy two months for Curiosity. Since my last update, the rover has drilled at a site named Sebina, then traveled about 500 meters to the south across increasingly chunky-looking Murray rocks to a new attempted drill site at Precipice. They were planning to attempt a new drilling technique at Precipice, but encountered a new problem with the drill instead.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 4577 - December 9, 2016

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2016/12/09 06:25 CST

Opportunity has begun the ascent of the steep slopes here in the inner wall of Endeavour crater after completion of a survey of outcrops close to the crater floor. The goal now is to climb back to the rim, drive south, and arrive at the next major mission target on the rim before the next Martian winter.

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Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection

Posted by Van Kane on 2016/12/08 11:48 CST | 8 comments

If NASA’s managers hold to their schedule, we will learn sometime this month what NASA’s next planetary mission will be.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Spirit Mound, Embarks on Toughest Exit Ever
Sols 4541 - 4569

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2016/12/02 07:55 CST | 1 comments

Opportunity worked along Endeavour Crater's western rim through November, taking pictures, hiking slopes, and finishing work in the depths of Cape Tribulation.

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What's the matter with Russia's rockets?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/12/02 06:01 CST | 9 comments

Fifteen Russian rockets have failed in the past 6 years. Of those mishaps, all but two involved upper stages. So what's going on? The problem may actually lie far beyond the country's aerospace industry.

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TeamIndus Announces Launch Contract with ISRO

Posted by Sandhya Ramesh on 2016/12/01 04:45 CST | 3 comments

TeamIndus, India’s only entry for the Google Lunar XPRIZE, just announced their launch contract with ISRO. If successful, TeamIndus would be the first private company from India to land a craft on an extraterrestrial body.

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ISS-bound Progress spacecraft fails to reach orbit, breaks apart over southern Siberia

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/12/01 09:49 CST

This morning's launch of an uncrewed Russian Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station went awry. Following a third-stage failure, the vehicle reentered Earth's atmosphere and broke apart over southern Siberia in Russia.

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Dawn Journal: Maneuvering for Science

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2016/11/29 10:24 CST | 6 comments

Dawn is completing another elegant spiral around dwarf planet Ceres, maneuvering to its sixth science orbit. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

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Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/11/23 11:28 CST | 11 comments

ESA issued an update on the Schiaparelli landing investigation today, identifying a problem reading from an inertial measurement unit as the proximate cause of the crash. Meanwhile, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is operating its science instruments for the first time this week, and HiRISE has released calibrated versions of the Schiaparelli crash site images.

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HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/11/18 05:28 CST | 1 comments

As she did before for Curiosity, Emily Lakdawalla has searched through the HiRISE image archive for photos of the Opportunity landing site and sorted them all out so that you don't have to.

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Spektr-RG sees (x-ray) light at the end of the tunnel

Posted by Anatoly Zak on 2016/11/17 07:00 CST

After many years of development, a cutting-edge Russian-German space observatory with little-known contribution from the US is finally approaching the launch pad...or so its scientists say.

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