Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/14 04:42 CST
Stardust is very close to the last major act of its mission: the flyby of Tempel 1, which will take place at 20:40 PST (04:40 UTC). Here's a summary of the recent and current status of the mission, and how to follow the events over the next 24 hours.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/09 12:47 CST
Thanks to the work of several amateurs, Google Mars is a great tool for following the past and future peregrinations of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/04 08:15 CST
The Rosetta blog has been strangely quiet of late, after they had been quite actively posting updates on the status of Rosetta during a critical series of orbit adjustment burns, which I wrote about two weeks ago.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/03 01:47 CST
Welcome to my monthly roundup of what's happening with our deep-space explorers across the solar system. I apologize for its lateness; two sick kids have drastically affected my productivity this week, but they're better and now I'm getting back to work.
Posted by Marc Rayman on 2011/02/03 12:10 CST
Dawn continues its flight through the asteroid belt, steadily heading toward its July rendezvous with Vesta, where it will take up residence for a year. On January 10, Dawn performed some of the activities that it will execute in its low altitude mapping orbit (LAMO) at Vesta.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/02/01 10:03 CST
Now that Stardust has images of its target comet to work with, the mission was able to figure out their relative positions more precisely, and they've gone ahead with an important rocket firing that shifts the spacecraft's aimpoint past the comet closer to the number that they want.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2011/01/31 11:00 CST
Seven years ago this month, Spirit bounced down onto the surface of the Red Planet, rolled to a stop upright, and beeped home, ready to roll. Three weeks later, Opportunity not only bounced down safely and right into a small crater, but opened its "eyes" to see what the Mars Exploration Rovers had been sent to find signs that water had once flowed there.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/26 11:18 CST
JAXA posted a report today stating that IKAROS "has completed its regular operations."
Posted by Ted Stryk on 2011/01/24 01:01 CST
The annual New Horizons Science Team Meeting was held last week at NASA's Ames Research Center.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/22 03:13 CST
A new update has been posted to the Stardust website: The spacecraft continues to operate as expected and all subsystems are healthy on approach to comet Tempel 1.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/19 02:53 CST
A press briefing was held at NASA Headquarters this morning to preview the planned February 14 encounter by Stardust with Tempel 1. There aren't often lots of questions from media after these "preview" briefings, but today there were zero. That's not good.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/12 10:32 CST
Today the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast aired my contribution, Unmanned Space Exploration in 2011, about what to look forward to in solar system exploration this year.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/07 10:25 CST
Stardust is healthy after performing a "cold boot" to clear a memory address problem (a "memory address latch-up") that occurred late last year and caused the spacecraft to go into safe mode three times.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/05 12:02 CST
There are two intriguing possibilities being discussed in the Japanese media for what to do with Akatsuki, a space probe in orbit near Venus with a fully functional, highly capable suite of cameras but a damaged main engine.
Posted by A.J.S. Rayl on 2010/12/31 11:00 CST
The Mars Exploration Rovers are wrapping up another year of exploring their seventh -- having experienced both the best of times and the worst of times: Spirit continued a 10-month struggle to endure its coldest, harshest Martian winter yet; Opportunity set a new record for driving despite an arthritic front wheel and a broken shoulder, putting more miles on her rocker bogie in 2010 than in any other single year.