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Examining India's new RISAT 1 Earth observation satellite

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/05/02 12:03 CDT | 1 comment

Last week, India launched RISAT 1, a new Earth-observing satellite. How does its synthetic aperture radar compare to that of Envisat, which has fallen silent?

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Of inclinations and azimuths

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/04/11 12:29 CDT

A classified U.S. military satellite recently launched into an orbital inclination of 123 degrees. What makes this trajectory so unique? Pondering the answer affords the opportunity to learn some deceptively tricky concepts about the nature of all spacecraft orbits.

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Curiosity is on its way to Mars!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/26 09:09 CST

It was a textbook launch for the Atlas V 541 today at 15:02 UTC, and within an hour after liftoff, the Centaur second stage had sent Curiosity on its way for an 8.5-month journey to Mars.

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SLS updates: tower crawl, engine burn and flight test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/11/21 02:22 CST | 1 comment

A few updates on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep exploration vehicle.

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From the "Just Plain Cool" department: Time-lapse photo of GRAIL's Delta 2 tower rollback

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/09/08 01:01 CDT

The terrific launch photographer Ben Cooper is at the Cape waiting for GRAIL's Delta 2 rocket to take off, and last night he took this very cool photo.

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GRAIL twins together on their rocket

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/18 07:35 CDT

It's the first time I've ever seen anything like this -- two identical spacecraft, side by side on one launch adapter ring.

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ESA mission analyst suggests 2010 AL30 might be Venus Express rocket

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/01/13 10:30 CST

2010 AL30 zipped past us harmlessly about five hours ago. Because of its one-year orbital period, many people speculated it might be a manmade object, but 2010 AL30 might, in fact, be artificial.

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Watching Spirit Launch to Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2003/06/10 09:27 CDT

Spirit has successfully launched to Mars, and I was there with members of the science team to witness it.

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