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Blog Archive

 

MAVEN has arrived at the launch pad

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/08 12:14 CST | 3 comments

As India's Mars Orbiter Mission continues to pump up the altitude of its orbit around Earth, NASA's MAVEN is making final preparations for its direct-to-Mars launch. All is proceeding acccording to schedule toward its November 18 launch at 1:28 EST / 10:28 PST / 18:28 UTC.

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A picture-perfect launch for ISRO's Mars Orbiter Mission

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/11/05 04:11 CST | 14 comments

The PSLV carrying ISRO's Mars Orbiter mission shot like a firework off the launch pad today, placing the spacecraft precisely into its planned elliptical orbit of Earth. Now the 10-month cruise phase begins. Congratulations to ISRO!

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India prepares to take flight to Mars with the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM)

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/10/31 02:38 CDT | 11 comments

The excitement is really building toward India's first-ever attempt at an interplanetary spacecraft! Launch day is quickly approaching for the Mars Orbiter Mission. In this lengthy post, I provide answers to frequently asked questions about the mission and its goals.

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India prepares to return troubled rocket to flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/30 06:00 CDT | 15 comments

India is preparing for the return-to-flight of their Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, which has suffered back-to-back failures.

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Pretty picture: An Atlas launch and a very surprised bird

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/07/19 12:30 CDT

If you take hundreds of photos of every single spacecraft launch you can get to, you will eventually get lucky shots like this one. It was taken by Ben Cooper at today's launch of the U.S. Navy satellite MUOS-2 and features a very surprised turkey vulture in a striking pose in front of the American flag.

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J-2X: A Distant Dot Lights Up the Night

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/18 09:51 CDT | 3 comments

On Tuesday, NASA released new high-definition video of a June 26 nighttime J-2X engine test at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.

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In-flight entertainment: cameras aboard the Space Launch System

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/09 06:04 CDT | 1 comments

When the Space Launch System lifts off on its inaugural flight in 2017, eight engineering cameras will collect crucial in-flight data while providing breathtaking views for the public.

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Russian rocket crashes in spectacular explosion

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/07/02 07:11 CDT | 2 comments

A Russian Proton-M rocket veered off course and crashed in a nearby field shortly after liftoff from Baikonur, Kazahkstan.

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Ten years since Spirit's launch

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2013/06/10 04:10 CDT | 1 comments

Ten years ago, Spirit launched on a Delta II rocket toward Mars, and I was there to see it.

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Antares sails test payload into orbit

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/04/22 11:12 CDT | 3 comments

Orbital Sciences Corporation completed a major milestone for NASA's COTS program as their Antares rocket sent a test payload into orbit.

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Antares ready for inaugural flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2013/04/11 09:48 CDT | 5 comments

Orbital Sciences Corporation is ready to send their Antares rocket system on its inaugural flight.

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SpaceX's Grasshopper makes leap toward reusability

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/26 01:18 CST | 14 comments

SpaceX's Grasshopper rocket passed its most ambitious test flight yet, rising 12 stories before hovering and settling gently back down onto its landing pad.

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North Korea launches first satellite

Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/12/12 05:04 CST

North Korea successfully launched their first satellite from the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at 9:49 a.m. local time Wednesday.

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One Year Ago

Posted by Casey Dreier on 2012/11/26 04:44 CST

MSL Curiosity left the Earth one year ago today. This is my experience of the launch.

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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 comments

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 comments

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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