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How REXIS Made It on OSIRIS-REx

Dante Lauretta • January 23, 2016

The OSIRIS-REx instrument team has successfully installed the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) on the spacecraft. However, there is more to the story of how REXIS made it onto the spacecraft.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Ocean Satellite but Breaks a Leg on Drone Ship

Jason Davis • January 17, 2016

The Jason-3 ocean monitoring satellite reached orbit today, but SpaceX's third attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship came up short.

Updates on China's lunar missions

Emily Lakdawalla • January 14, 2016

It's official: China plans to send a lander mission to the lunar farside. A relay satellite will launch to the Earth-Moon L2 point in June of 2018, and a lander will follow at the end of 2018. The landing site may be within the south pole-Aitken basin.

Two Astronauts to Make Friday Trek to Edge of Space Station

Jason Davis • January 13, 2016

This Friday, astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake will perform a spacewalk to replace a failed power regulator on one of the outermost sections of the International Space Station.

SpaceX Set for Sunday Sea Satellite Launch, Booster Recovery Attempt

Jason Davis • January 12, 2016

SpaceX is set to launch a sea level-monitoring satellite from the California coast this Sunday, while attempting to land the rocket's spent first stage on a floating drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.

Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Opportunity Finishes Another Record Year, Approaches 12th Anniversary

A.J.S. Rayl • January 08, 2016

Perched on the southern wall of Marathon Valley at Endeavour Crater, Opportunity braved temperatures descending well below -100° F in December to work the winter science campaign and home in on the remnants of ancient clays.

Curiosity update, sols 1166-1217: First reconnaissance of Bagnold dunes

Emily Lakdawalla • January 07, 2016

In the six weeks since my last detailed Curiosity update, the rover has driven to, on, and around a couple of active barchan sand dunes on Mars. They are now searching for a site to scoop and sample sand on the western edge of Namib dune.

Dawn Journal: Science on Ceres

Marc Rayman • January 01, 2016

The Dawn mission is developing humankind’s most intimate portrait ever of a dwarf planet. Mission Director and Chief Engineer Marc Rayman returns with his monthly update on the mission's progress.

Planetary Exploration Timelines: A Look Ahead to 2016

Emily Lakdawalla • December 31, 2015

How many planetary exploration missions are there, and where are they? These days, it's hard to keep track, because there are so many. I plan to begin the new year by taking stock of active missions, figuring out what each has set out to do and accomplished so far, but first I want to step back to consider the spread of missions across the solar system as a whole.

Preview: 2016 aboard the International Space Station

Jason Davis • December 30, 2015

A look ahead to see what's in store for the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard humanity's orbital outpost.

ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander travel safely to Baikonur

Emily Lakdawalla • December 28, 2015

Europe's second mission to Mars has begun its journey from its birthplace in Cannes to its planned arrival at Mars on October 19. Since December 17 we've been able to watch every step of its journey via Twitter.

InSight's Problems: Possible Impacts

Van Kane • December 23, 2015

Van Kane details the potential repercussions of the launch delay of InSight Mars lander on the rest of NASA's Discovery mission program.

NASA's Next Mars Mission Delayed for Two Years

Casey Dreier • December 22, 2015

A problem with the French space agency's seismometer instrument will delay NASA's InSight Mars lander by two years.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Returns to Flight, Sticks Landing at Cape Canaveral

Jason Davis • December 21, 2015

SpaceX returned its Falcon 9 rocket to flight with flair tonight, successfully deploying 11 communications satellites after returning the rocket's first stage to Cape Canaveral for an upright landing.

Spacewalkers Unstick Cart ahead of Cargo Ship Arrival

Jason Davis • December 21, 2015

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra successfully completed a spacewalk to free a stuck Mobile Transporter cart outside the International Space Station.

OSIRIS-REx Completes Mechanical Environmental Testing

Dante Lauretta • December 18, 2015

The OSIRIS-REx team successfully and safely completed sine vibration (sine vibe) testing on the spacecraft prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The sine vibe tests are designed to verify the system performs as expected after being exposed to flight-like low frequency vibration input.

New Crew Arrives at ISS following Docking Drama

Jason Davis • December 15, 2015

Following a picture-perfect launch and some last minute docking drama, Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko arrived safely to the International Space Station today.

Expedition 45 Crew Makes Nighttime Landing in Kazakhstan

Jason Davis • December 11, 2015

Three International Space Station crewmembers are safely back on Earth following a post-sunset Soyuz touchdown in Kazakhstan.

Akatsuki's new orbit, first images, and science plans

Emily Lakdawalla • December 09, 2015

JAXA had a press briefing today to confirm the successful arrival of Akatsuki into Venus orbit. It's been a long time coming: today's announcement came twelve years to the day after Japan had to abandon efforts to put Nozomi into Mars orbit. They released lovely images and discussed future plans.

Live from Sagamihara: Akatsuki in Orbit, Day 1

Sanjay Limaye • December 08, 2015

One day after closest approach, Akatsuki is now speeding away from Venus at 4.09 kilometers per second and is 180,000 kilometers from the planet. In his last report from Sagamihara, Sanjay Limaye gets some updates on the new orbiter's trajectory.

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