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Blog Archive

 

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.

Field Report From Mars: Sol 4535 - October 26, 2016

Larry Crumpler • November 02, 2016

Opportunity is currently finishing up observations of its first outcrop target of its 10th extended mission plan.

What's up in the solar system, November 2016 edition: Cassini takes a leap, ExoMars starts science, Long March 5 launch

Emily Lakdawalla • November 01, 2016

Cassini is going to make a major change to its orbit, getting much close to Saturn, setting up 20 "F-ring" orbits. ExoMars will get two science orbits before beginning aerobraking. Long March 5 will have its first launch, while many Earth-observing missions, including Himawari-9 and GOES-R, will go up. But Juno science is on hold.

Dawn Journal: 5th Mapping Orbit

Marc Rayman • November 01, 2016

Dawn just completed another successful observation campaign at Ceres from its latest mapping orbit. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman brings us his monthly update.

Kate Rubins, NASA's DNA sequencing scientist, returning to Earth

Jason Davis • October 28, 2016

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is returning to Earth from the International Space Station. During her mission, she became the first person to sequence DNA in space.

Schiaparelli crash site imaged by HiRISE

Emily Lakdawalla • October 27, 2016

Following up the detection of the Schiaparelli crash site by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter CTX, the higher-resolution HiRISE camera has now definitively identified the locations of lander impact site, parachute with backshell, and heat shield impact site on the Martian surface.

Likely Schiaparelli crash site imaged by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

Emily Lakdawalla • October 21, 2016

Just a day after the arrival of ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and its lander Schiaparelli, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken a photo of the landing site with its Context Camera, and things do not look good.

ExoMars: Schiaparelli Analysis to Continue

Ruth McAvinia • October 20, 2016

The fate of the ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, remains uncertain. European Space Agency mission controllers had been optimistic on Wednesday night that a definitive answer would be known by Thursday morning’s news briefing. However, although some more details have been made public about the lander’s descent, it is not yet clear whether it hit the martian surface at a speed it could not survive.

Brief update: Opportunity's attempt to image Schiaparelli unsuccessful

Emily Lakdawalla • October 19, 2016

Today, the Opportunity rover attempted a difficult, never-before-possible feat: to shoot a photo of an arriving Mars lander from the Martian surface. Unfortunately, that attempt seems not to have succeeded. Opportunity has now returned the images from the observation attempt, but Schiaparelli is not visible.

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