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Blog Archive

 

Dawn Journal: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Marc Rayman • January 03, 2017

Dawn is concluding a remarkable year of exploring dwarf planet Ceres. Chief Engineer and Mission Manager Marc Rayman brings us his latest update.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 2: Robots beyond Earth orbit

Emily Lakdawalla • December 30, 2016

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.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Jason Davis • December 29, 2016

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

GOES-R: What’s Next?

Heather Hunter • December 23, 2016

After a series of maneuvers in-orbit, GOES-R—now known as GOES-16—has reached its designated location in space. What happens next?

Field Report from Mars: Sol 4588 - December 20, 2016

Larry Crumpler • December 20, 2016

Opportunity continues to climb up the inner crater wall of Endeavour crater, heading south on its journey toward its next valley target.

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

Emily Lakdawalla • December 12, 2016

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.

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

Larry Crumpler • December 09, 2016

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.

Countdown to the Next NASA Discovery Mission Selection

Van Kane • December 08, 2016

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

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Departs Spirit Mound, Embarks on Toughest Exit Ever

A.J.S. Rayl • December 02, 2016

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

What's the matter with Russia's rockets?

Jason Davis • December 02, 2016

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.

TeamIndus Announces Launch Contract with ISRO

Sandhya Ramesh • December 01, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • December 01, 2016

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.

Dawn Journal: Maneuvering for Science

Marc Rayman • November 29, 2016

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.

Schiaparelli investigation update; crash site in color from HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • November 23, 2016

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.

HiRISE coverage of the Opportunity field site, version 1.0

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2016

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.

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

Anatoly Zak • November 17, 2016

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.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Scales Spirit Mound, Takes Shot at Schiaparelli

A.J.S. Rayl • November 05, 2016

Opportunity spent the month of October on Spirit Mound studying the rich yet familiar geology at the first science stop on its 10th extended mission – pausing only to take a shot at freeze-framing part of the descent of Europe’s Schiaparelli lander.

Long March 5 launch blasts China into age of space station and deep space exploration

Andrew Jones • November 03, 2016

Today, China launched its largest rocket yet, the Long March 5, from the new coastal launch center on Hainan Island. The launch is a major step forward on the country's path to deep space.

Juno update: 53.5-day orbits for the foreseeable future, more Marble Movie

Emily Lakdawalla • November 03, 2016

Juno may be staying in its 53.5-day orbit for quite a while. Here's a list of the future dates of the next 20 close approaches to Jupiter if the mission stays in that orbit, as well as the latest, near-final version of JunoCam's "Marble Movie."

An international outpost near the Moon gets closer to reality

Anatoly Zak • November 03, 2016

International Space Station (ISS) project partners are inching ever closer toward an agreement to begin the development of a new human outpost in the vicinity of the Moon. If successful, the cis-lunar space station (a space station in the vicinity of the Moon) will be the largest international space project to date, influencing the direction of human space flight for decades to come.

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