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Heads up! ROSAT is coming down this week

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/17 07:44 CDT

It should give you a feeling of déjà vu: a defunct satellite's orbit is decaying, and because that orbit is circular it's going to be impossible to predict where and when along its ground track it's going to happen.

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Phobos-Grunt update; lots of new images and video!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/14 05:39 CDT

Фобос-Грунт is getting ready for launch!

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Photos: Preparations for Curiosity's launch proceeding (don't show these to Blofeld!)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/11 11:27 CDT

Kennedy Space Center has recently created a photo album collecting their photos from the clean rooms where technicians are working madly to prepare the Curiosity Mars rover for launch.

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Notes from Day 3 of the EPSC/DPS meeting (all about MESSENGER)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/10/05 11:04 CDT

Today I largely spent in the MESSENGER sessions. They have a lot of data to talk about.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Digs In at Endeavour Crater, Team Remembers 9/11

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/09/30 11:24 CDT

Since leaving the plains of Meridiani, pulling up to Endeavour Crater and checking out its first rock last month, Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has wasted no time in getting the "new mission" underway.

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What's up in the solar system in October 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/29 12:12 CDT

Without a doubt the most exciting events in space in October are Cassini's two, count them, two extremely close flybys of Enceladus, spaced only eighteen days apart, on October 1 and 19 (and followed by a third one on November 6).

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Dawn Journal: Fourth year in space, and arrival in HAMO

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/09/29 08:12 CDT

Dawn's fourth anniversary of being in space is very different from its previous ones. Indeed, those days all were devoted to reaching the distant destination the ship is now exploring. Celebrating its anniversary of leaving Earth, Dawn is in orbit around a kindred terrestrial-type world, the ancient protoplanet Vesta.

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Finally, an official statement on UARS' exact reentry time and location

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/27 12:25 CDT

The world watched on Friday as the derelict spacecraft named UARS made its final few orbits around Earth. And then we waited for final word of its reentry location. And waited. And waited.

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MAVEN's baby picture

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/26 01:57 CDT

A new Mars mission, MAVEN, has finally leapt the hurdle separating its existence as an idea from its material existence. Here's MAVEN's baby picture: the just-completed "primary structure" of the spacecraft.

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Earth science's next big thing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/09/22 11:27 CDT

Meet the next big thing in NASA's mission to study planet Earth: NPP, the NPOESS Preparatory Project satellite.

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Keeping track of UARS' reentry

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/21 01:40 CDT

Unless you've been living under a rock you've probably heard that a very large Earth-orbiting satellite is going to be reentering Earth's atmosphere soon, and there's a small but nonzero chance of debris coming down where somebody might actually find it.

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GRAIL A and B are on their way to the Moon!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/10 09:55 CDT

After some exasperating delays due to pesky and changeable high-level winds, the twin GRAIL spacecraft launched this morning on their trip to the Moon.

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Dawn Journal: Spiraling Down from Survey Orbit

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/09/02 11:39 CDT

Dawn has completed the first phase of its exploration of Vesta with tremendous success, and the peripatetic adventurer is now in powered flight again, on its way to a new location from which to scrutinize its subject.

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Progress comes to a halt

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/09/01 11:58 CDT

The first post-shuttle resupply mission in ISS history got off to a rocky start, as a Russian Progress cargo spacecraft failed to reach orbit, crashing into south central Russia.

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Mars Exploration Rover Update: Opportunity Finds Martian Mystery at Endeavour Crater

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/09/01 11:24 CDT

More than seven and a half years after landing, Opportunity arrived at its long-anticipated destination, the rim of Endeavour Crater, and in less than three weeks found something strange enough to launch a new Martian mystery.

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What's up in the solar system in September 2011

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/31 05:28 CDT

September is going to start with a bang: the twin GRAIL spacecraft are set for launch on September 8. I would love to be able to attend the launch but my older daughter's first day of kindergarten is September 7! That's a launch of a different kind.

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Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Arrives at Endeavour Crater, Mission Begins Anew

Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/08/31 11:24 CDT

The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission roves back into the exploration spotlight this month as Opportunity arrives at the rim of Endeavour Crater, a destination that wasn't even an impossible dream when the rover landed back in January 2004.

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Dawn Journal: In Survey Orbit (belatedly)

Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/08/29 09:11 CDT

Dawn is now beginning intensive observations of the alien world it orbits. The approach phase, which began on May 3 is complete. Today Dawn is in its survey orbit around Vesta.

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Nifty GRAIL animation

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/25 05:21 CDT

A pair of lunar spacecraft is launching in two weeks, and NASA had their preview press briefing this morning. Notable from that briefing was this spiffy video.

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GRAIL twins together on their rocket

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/18 07:35 CDT

It's the first time I've ever seen anything like this -- two identical spacecraft, side by side on one launch adapter ring.

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