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NASA Delays Asteroid Redirect Mission Concept Selection until 2015

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/17 05:35 CST | 1 comments

NASA's efforts to capture a near-Earth asteroid and tow it back to lunar orbit will have to wait a little bit longer for a final mission concept.

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SpaceX to Attempt First-Ever Ocean Barge Rocket Landing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/17 12:20 CST | 1 comments

This Friday, SpaceX will attempt what no agency or company has done before: land a used rocket stage on a floating ocean platform.

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LightSail Completes Testing, Announcement Expected in January

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/12 10:19 CST

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft successfully completed testing to prepare it for a possible 2015 test flight.

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Brief Venus Express update: Not quite dead yet

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/11 07:06 CST | 1 comments

Venus Express is still alive and talking to Earth, but may fall into Venus' atmosphere in January.

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InSight assembly begins

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/11 10:31 CST

NASA's next Mars lander is becoming real, now under construction at Lockheed Martin.

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China plans a Mars rover and orbiter for 2020 launch opportunity

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/09 10:44 CST | 3 comments

China is moving forward with plans to launch an orbiter and rover to Mars in the 2020 launch opportunity. The Mars program also includes plans for sample return in 2030.

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First Look Photographs of Orion's Return to Dry Land

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/09 10:41 CST | 1 comments

NASA's Orion spacecraft is back on dry land following its offloading from the USS Anchorage late Monday night. Here are some selected photographs by Kevin Baird.

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Ceres is round!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/05 02:44 CST | 3 comments

Okay, so the fact that Ceres is round is not news. It's still thrilling to see Ceres begin to come into focus as a round world.

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Orion Returns to Earth after Successful Test Flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/05 07:46 CST

NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned safely to Earth this morning after what looked like a flawless four hour, 24-minute test flight.

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In Pictures: Orion's Scrub, from the Vehicle Assembly Building

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/04 12:27 CST

Here are some scenes from launch day, shot from the unique perspective of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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Orion Scrub Report: Sticky Hydrogen Valves

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/04 12:13 CST

Windy weather and stuck liquid hydrogen valves forced a one-day delay of the maiden voyage of NASA’s Orion spacecraft.

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The New Horizons science mission to the Pluto-Charon system is about to begin

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/03 07:40 CST | 6 comments

It's been a long journey, but it's nearly over: New Horizons is just about ready to begin its science mission to Pluto, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. I'll remind you of New Horizons' capabilities and simulate how Pluto will appear in optical navigation images.

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Orion L-1 Report: Go for Launch

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/03 02:53 CST

The stage is set for NASA’s Orion spacecraft to launch on a two-orbit, four-hour shakedown cruise tomorrow morning. Patrick Air Force Base’s 45th Weather Squadron changed their forecast of an on-time launch to 70 percent—up from the 40 percent chances that marked the start of the week.

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Hayabusa 2 launches toward asteroid rendezvous

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/03 12:48 CST | 4 comments

Hayabusa 2 successfully launched on December 3, 2014 at 04:22 UTC, and embarked on its interplanetary journey about two hours later. During the launch, cameras captured video of the spacecraft fairing separation.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Roves from Wdowiak Ridge into Network of Fractures
Sols 3829 - 3858

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2014/12/03 12:13 CST

Last month, the Earth's longest-lived and most traveled robot on another planet drove into a network of fractures the likes of which the scientists had never seen before on Mars and wound up working there through the end of the month – and then something not completely unexpected happened.

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Orion L-2 Report: The Old Gives Way to the New

Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/02 04:06 CST

With less than two days before Orion's maiden voyage, NASA and United Launch Alliance are cautiously optimistic the flight will launch Thursday as scheduled.

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Hayabusa 2 is about to launch! [UPDATED]

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/02 10:54 CST

Hayabusa 2's H-IIA rocket has just reached its launchpad! Japan's next asteroid sample return mission was supposed to launch this weekend, but weather has not been good at the Tanegashima launch site and it has been delayed four days already. If the weather holds, it will launch December 3 at 04:22 UT (13:22 JST, or December 2 at 20:22, PT). UPDATED to add links to live webcasts.

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Dawn Journal: Looking Ahead at Ceres

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2014/12/01 02:51 CST

This month, Marc Rayman looks ahead to some upcoming activities for Dawn as it approaches the dwarf planet Ceres.

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Field Report from Mars: Sol 3848 — November 20, 2014

Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/11/25 11:01 CST

Larry Crumpler returns with an update on Opportunity's recent activities, and its road ahead.

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Close to the end for Venus Express

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/11/24 02:42 CST

Venus Express is nearly out of fuel. Any day could be the last of its long mission to Venus.

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