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Blog Archive


That new Soyuz smell: Next ISS trio launches tonight aboard upgraded crew craft

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/07/06 06:31 CDT

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin begin a two-day trip to the International Space Station tonight aboard a newly upgraded Soyuz MS spacecraft.

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Juno has arrived!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/07/05 01:14 CDT | 7 comments

For a second time, NASA has placed a spacecraft into orbit at Jupiter. The spacecraft operated exactly according to plan, and Juno successfully entered orbit today, July 5, 2016, UTC

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A peek at the JunoCam approach movie

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/07/04 09:36 CDT | 2 comments

We're now just about 12 hours away from Juno's Jupiter orbit insertion. As anticipation ramps up, NASA has released this sneak peek at JunoCam's approach movie, made of views of Jupiter and its largest moons shot during the final approach, up until about five days ago.

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How to watch Juno's orbit insertion

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/07/01 05:22 CDT | 3 comments

The big day is almost here. Juno begins firing its main engine at 20:18 PT / 23:18 ET / 03:18 UT on July 4/5, and the maneuver should be over 35 minutes later at 20:53 / 23:53 / 03:53. Here's how you can follow the mission through its most hazardous event since launch.

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What's up in the solar system, July 2016 edition: Juno to enter orbit, NASA missions all extended

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/07/01 03:49 CDT | 2 comments

Highlights this month include the impending arrival of Juno at Jupiter, the approval of extended missions for all of NASA's solar system spacecraft, and public data releases from Rosetta, New Horizons, and Cassini.

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Juno's first taste of science from Jupiter

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/30 06:23 CDT | 8 comments

Jupiter is growing in Juno's forward view as the spacecraft approaches for its orbit insertion July 5 (July 4 in the Americas). The mission has released images from JunoCam and sonifications of data from the plasma waves instrument as Juno begins to sense Jupiter.

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Big booster blasts Utah hillside, and NASA discusses Journey to Mars

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/28 06:41 CDT | 1 comments

NASA and Orbital ATK successfully completed a qualification motor firing of a five-segment solid rocket booster that will fly on the Space Launch System in 2018.

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Watch a test of the world's largest solid rocket booster tomorrow on NASA TV

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/27 06:04 CDT | 3 comments

Tomorrow morning at 10:05 a.m. EDT (14:05 UTC), NASA and Orbital ATK are test-firing the world's largest solid rocket booster in northern Utah. You can follow along live on NASA TV.

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Quick multimedia roundup: China's new rocket blasts off on inaugural mission

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/25 03:35 CDT

China's new Long March 7 rocket successfully blasted off on its inaugural mission today at 8:00 p.m. Beijing time (12:00 UTC, 7:00 a.m. EDT).

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WISE Views in Infrared

Posted by Judy Schmidt on 2016/06/24 12:04 CDT | 3 comments

Amateur image processor Judy Schmidt explains the process of creating gorgeous views of the cosmos from infrared data from the WISE telescope.

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An Astronomer Learns to Make His CASE

Posted by Kevin Cooke on 2016/06/24 01:32 CDT

Science in America depends on federal funding, yet many young scientists don't understand how the U.S. government decides to spend its money on science, nor are they encouraged to use their new degrees to advise the process. This is changing with support from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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All about China's new rocket and spaceport, which may see action this Saturday

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/23 06:33 CDT | 1 comments

Sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, China plans to launch a brand new rocket from a brand new launch site, and conduct a small-scale test of its next-generation crew capsule.

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Plans for China's farside Chang'e 4 lander science mission taking shape

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/22 12:09 CDT | 3 comments

The future Chang'e 4 lunar farside landing mission is rapidly taking shape. Now the mission's team is coming to a consensus on the landing location, as well as on the mission's instrument package.

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National Selfie Day: Spacecraft self-portraits

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/21 11:27 CDT | 6 comments

It's apparently National Selfie Day. I'm not entirely sure who has the authority to declare these things, or why they decided we needed a National Selfie Day, but since the self-portrait is one of my favorite subgenres of spacecraft photography, I couldn't resist writing about them.

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Multimedia roundup: Blue Origin completes two-parachute test flight

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/20 12:30 CDT | 6 comments

Yesterday in West Texas, Blue Origin launched its New Shepard spacecraft on its sixth suborbital test flight. The capsule normally descends using three parachutes, but on Sunday, just two were used to show the spacecraft could still land safely in the event of a parachute mishap.

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Picture-perfect landing for Soyuz crew on sunny Kazakh steppe

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/18 09:10 CDT | 4 comments

Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are back on Earth this morning following a picture-perfect landing on the sunny Kazakhstan steppe.

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Night owl? Early bird? Watch a Soyuz crew plunge back to Earth Saturday morning

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/17 01:41 CDT | 1 comments

Tomorrow morning, Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are coming home from the International Space Station. But if you live in the United States or Europe, you're going to have to get up pretty early—or stay up late—to see it happen.

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Timeline of Juno Jupiter Orbit Insertion events

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/16 02:55 CDT | 1 comments

Today NASA held a press briefing and released a press kit for the impending orbit insertion of the Juno spacecraft. The 35-minute orbit insertion burn is scheduled to begin July 5 at 03:18 UTC (July 4 20:18, PDT). Here's a timeline for events relating to orbit insertion.

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ExoMars sights Mars

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2016/06/16 12:26 CDT

Today ESA released ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's first photo of Mars, taken from a distance of 41 million kilometers. It's no more detail than you can get through a pair of a binoculars, just a little taste of what's to come.

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Multimedia roundup: Falcon 9 makes dual-satellite delivery run

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/06/15 06:41 CDT

SpaceX placed two communications satellites into orbit today, but the company's attempt to go four-in-a-row on first stage drone ship recoveries fell short.

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