NASA's MAVEN Mission Spared from Shutdown
Launch preparations will resume
Launch preparations will resume for NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, due to launch to Mars on November 18th. Work had previously been suspended, potentially causing the spacecraft to miss its once-every-26-month launch opportunity.
Some brand-new images just arrived from Curiosity on Mars, and two of the most recent are Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) images of the wheels. Today's images contained two little surprises.
When LADEE launched on September 6, it launched into Earth orbit. Today, it is finally on a path that will take it to its October 6 lunar orbit insertion. Its operation is continuing normally in the face of the U.S. government's shutdown yesterday, as is that of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/02 11:45 CDT
Several Indian news sites posted a press wire article this morning indicating that India's Mars Orbiter Mission departed its assembly and testing facility in Bangalore today and is now on the way to the coastal launch site, the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota, a journey of about 400 kilometers.
I spoke with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Veronica McGregor and the Applied Physics Laboratory's Geoff Brown this morning to get accurate information about the operation of NASA planetary missions. In brief: All of NASA's missions that are operated out of JPL and APL are continuing to operate normally today and for at least a week.
NASA confirmed that a government shutdown could affect pre-launch processing of the MAVEN spacecraft, currently scheduled to launch to Mars on November 18th.
On the sixth anniversary of leaving Earth to embark on a daring deep-space expedition, Dawn is very, very far from its erstwhile planetary residence. Now humankind's only permanent resident of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the seasoned explorer is making good progress toward the largest object in that part of the solar system, the mysterious dwarf planet Ceres.
The European Space Agency will announce two major science missions this November, one of which is likely to be devoted to solar system exploration.
Indian media reported over the weekend that the Mars Orbiter Mission has passed some senior review, and has been approved to proceed toward a launch date of October 28, a week later than previously planned.
On sol 3425 Opportunity "waded ashore" at Solander Point after crossing a sea of sand between here and Cape York. Cape York was an "island" remnant of the rim of Endeavour crater that Opportunity left back in May. Since then it has been driving south to the next largest and mountainous remnant of the crater rim, Solander Point.
After a journey of more than 30 years, ICE is coming back to Earth next year. But do we know how to regain control of it, and can we find the means to do so?
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/09/13 07:25 CDT
Some good news to start your weekend: the newest member of our deep-space fleet, LADEE, has successfully completed its checkout phase and is now officially in its cruise phase. It is still in Earth orbit, headed for Lunar Orbit Insertion on Sunday, October 6.
I noticed something funny while examining MAVEN assembly and testing videos.
Watch LADEE Launch to the Moon with The Planetary Society
Live Webcast Begins HERE at 7:30pm PDT / 10:30pm EDT
Posted by Mat Kaplan on 2013/09/06 08:45 CDT
Starting at 7:30pm PDT/10:30pm EDT, we will webcast a special event around the launch of NASA's next lunar spacecraft. Watch our special coverage with lunar scientists and live video from the launch site, as well as NASA TV footage of the launch itself.
Posted by Ken Herkenhoff on 2013/09/05 02:49 CDT
From sols 373 to 383 (August 23 to September 3, 2013), Curiosity traveled about 250 meters toward Mount Sharp over five drives, trying out her new AutoNav capability.