The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft successfully completed testing to prepare it for a possible 2015 test flight.
China is moving forward with plans to launch an orbiter and rover to Mars in the 2020 launch opportunity. The Mars program also includes plans for sample return in 2030.
NASA's Orion spacecraft is back on dry land following its offloading from the USS Anchorage late Monday night. Here are some selected photographs by Kevin Baird.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/05 07:46 CST
NASA’s Orion spacecraft returned safely to Earth this morning after what looked like a flawless four hour, 24-minute test flight.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/04 12:27 CST
Here are some scenes from launch day, shot from the unique perspective of the Vehicle Assembly Building.
It's been a long journey, but it's nearly over: New Horizons is just about ready to begin its science mission to Pluto, Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. I'll remind you of New Horizons' capabilities and simulate how Pluto will appear in optical navigation images.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2014/12/03 02:53 CST
The stage is set for NASA’s Orion spacecraft to launch on a two-orbit, four-hour shakedown cruise tomorrow morning. Patrick Air Force Base’s 45th Weather Squadron changed their forecast of an on-time launch to 70 percent—up from the 40 percent chances that marked the start of the week.
Hayabusa 2 successfully launched on December 3, 2014 at 04:22 UTC, and embarked on its interplanetary journey about two hours later. During the launch, cameras captured video of the spacecraft fairing separation.
Last month, the Earth's longest-lived and most traveled robot on another planet drove into a network of fractures the likes of which the scientists had never seen before on Mars and wound up working there through the end of the month – and then something not completely unexpected happened.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/12/02 10:54 CST
Hayabusa 2's H-IIA rocket has just reached its launchpad! Japan's next asteroid sample return mission was supposed to launch this weekend, but weather has not been good at the Tanegashima launch site and it has been delayed four days already. If the weather holds, it will launch December 3 at 04:22 UT (13:22 JST, or December 2 at 20:22, PT). UPDATED to add links to live webcasts.
Posted by Larry Crumpler on 2014/11/25 11:01 CST
Larry Crumpler returns with an update on Opportunity's recent activities, and its road ahead.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2014/11/19 07:50 CST
At Pahrump Hills, Curiosity is becoming the field geologist she was intended to be.
This morning ESA released a set of images of the Philae lander taken by the Rosetta orbiter during -- and after -- the lander's first touchdown. The images contain evidence for the spot Philae first touched the comet, and a crucial photo of Philae's position several minutes into its first long bounce.