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Curiosity update, sols 949-976: Scenic road trip and a diversion to Logan's Run

Emily Lakdawalla • May 06, 2015

Curiosity is finally on the road again! And she's never taken a more scenic route than this. Her path to Mount Sharp is taking her to the west and south, across sandy swales between rocky rises.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Logs Sol 4000, Digs Spirit of St. Louis Crater

A.J.S. Rayl • May 05, 2015

After investigating some flat, light and dark toned rocks around Spirit of St. Louis Crater in April, Opportunity chalked up another milestone achievement – the 4000th sol or Martian day of surface operations.

Mars Exploration Rovers Special Update: MERathon Celebrates Opportunity's Marathon

A.J.S. Rayl • May 01, 2015

MER mission ops team members joined other engineers and scientists, some who previously worked on the MER mission, to take on the challenge of a relay marathon to celebrate Opportunity's milestone achievement.

Farewell, MESSENGER

Emily Lakdawalla • May 01, 2015

There is one less robot exploring the solar system today. MESSENGER, which has orbited Mercury for four years, finally ran out of fuel and crashed into the planet at 17:26 UT on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

Dawn Journal: Getting Down to Science at Ceres

Marc Rayman • May 01, 2015

Dawn Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman gives a status update on the mission, having finally arrived at dwarf planet Ceres.

ISS-bound Cargo Spacecraft Doomed to Atmospheric Reentry

Jason Davis • April 29, 2015

The six crew members aboard the International Space Station will have to go without a scheduled delivery of food, supplies and fuel.

Russian Resupply Ship Spins Out Of Control after Reaching Orbit

Jason Davis • April 28, 2015

An International Space Station-bound cargo craft is spinning out of control in Earth orbit following an afternoon launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Rosetta update: Two close flybys of an increasingly active comet

Emily Lakdawalla • April 21, 2015

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.

Development of the OSIRIS-REx Sampling System: TAGSAM and the SRC

Dante Lauretta • April 21, 2015

The OSIRIS-REx team has been busy assembling and testing the Touch-and-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) and the Sample Return Capsule (SRC).

Dragon Launches to Station, but Falcon Doesn't Stick Landing

Jason Davis • April 14, 2015

SpaceX's ISS-bound Dragon spacecraft is in orbit, but the drone ship landing of the company's Falcon 9 rocket was unsuccessful.

PROCYON update: Asteroid 2000 DP107 target selected, ion engine stopped

Emily Lakdawalla • April 13, 2015

PROCYON (PRoximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation) is a microsatellite that launched on December 3 as a secondary payload with Hayabusa2. The mission has now selected their asteroid flyby target -- a binary asteroid named 2000 DP107 -- but is reporting a problem with their ion engines.

LightSail Launch Delayed until at least May 20

Jason Davis • April 13, 2015

The Planetary Society’s LightSail spacecraft will have to wait at least two more weeks before setting sail on its maiden voyage.

Curiosity update, sols 896-949: Telegraph Peak, Garden City, and concern about the drill

Emily Lakdawalla • April 10, 2015

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.

To Recover First Stage, Just Read the Instructions

Jason Davis • April 10, 2015

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.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 3978 - April 3, 2015

Larry Crumpler • April 09, 2015

Larry Crumpler gives an update on Opportunity's exploration of Mars as it approaches the entrance to Marathon Valley.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes First Marathon on Another Planet and Roves On

A.J.S. Rayl • April 02, 2015

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.

OSIRIS-REx Begins ATLO (Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations)

Dante Lauretta • April 02, 2015

The OSIRIS-REx mission passed another major milestone. We now have approval to build the spacecraft.

Dawn Journal: Preparing to Photograph Ceres

Marc Rayman • April 01, 2015

Dawn's Chief Engineer and Mission Director, Marc Rayman, explains why we haven't seen any new images of Ceres—and when we can expect them.

Field Report from Mars: Sol 3971 - March 26, 2015

Larry Crumpler • March 28, 2015

Opportunity reaches a marathon milestone—in more ways than one. Larry Crumpler reports on the current status of the seemingly unstoppable Mars rover.

In Pictures: One-Year ISS Mission Begins

Jason Davis • March 28, 2015

The one-year ISS mission of Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko began with an early morning launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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