In the two months since I last checked up on the Rosetta mission, the comet has heated up, displaying more and more jet activity. Rosetta completed very close flybys on February 14 and March 28, taking amazing photos. But comet dust is making navigation difficult, so the mission is now keeping a respectful distance from the comet and replanning its future path.
Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2015/04/21 04:55 CDT
The OSIRIS-REx team has been busy assembling and testing the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) and the Sample Return Capsule (SRC).
SpaceX's ISS-bound Dragon spacecraft is in orbit, but the drone ship landing of the company's Falcon 9 rocket was unsuccessful.
PROCYON (PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation) is a microsatellite that launched on December 3 as a secondary payload with Hayabusa 2. The mission has now selected their asteroid flyby target -- a binary asteroid named 2000 DP107 -- but is reporting a problem with their ion engines.
Since I last wrote about Curiosity drilling at Pink Cliffs, the rover has visited and studied two major sites, drilling at one of them. It has also suffered a short in the drill percussion mechanism that presents serious enough risk to warrant a moratorium on drill use until engineers develop a plan to continue to operate it safely.
SpaceX is gearing up for a second attempt to land the spent first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2015/04/02 09:37 CDT
On March 24, 2015, after spending several weeks investigating some new rock types along the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Opportunity roved past 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) and put the first off-Earth marathon in her rear view mirror, driving the Mars Exploration Rovers mission back into the space history books.
Posted by Dante Lauretta on 2015/04/02 12:49 CDT
The OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone. We now have approval to build the spacecraft.
At last week's Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the MESSENGER team held a press briefing to share results from the recent few months of incredibly low-altitude flight over Mercury's surface. The mission will last only about five weeks more.
NASA has decided to pluck a small boulder off a large asteroid, instead of bagging an entire asteroid outright, the agency announced Wednesday.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2015/03/25 10:13 CDT
This Friday, astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko will embark for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station.
As New Horizons approaches Pluto, when will the images get good? In this explainer, I tell you what images will be coming down from Pluto, when. Mark your calendars!
A cadre of CubeSats including The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft completed a cross-country journey to Florida, where they await installation aboard an Atlas V rocket.
Dawn has successfully entered orbit at Ceres, becoming the first mission to orbit a dwarf planet and the first to orbit two different bodies beyond Earth. I also have updates on Curiosity, Rosetta, Mars Express, Hayabusa 2, the Chang'e program, InSIGHT, and OSIRIS-REx.