An unheralded anniversary
Yesterday, August 27th, 2012, was, in a sense, the 50th anniversary of interplanetary travel. Fifty years ago yesterday, Mariner 2 launched toward Venus, and became the first object to leave Earth and travel to another world.
Notes from this morning's press conference. Curiosity has successfully steered the corner wheels and deployed and restowed the robotic arm. ChemCam tests went well over the weekend. But one of the two wind speed sensors in REMS appears to have suffered permanent damage during landing.
The thumbnail versions of the Mars Descent Imager images have shown up on the Curiosity raw images page, and hiding among them was a single full-resolution frame containing the heat shield.
Even a preliminary, low-resolution, low-frame-rate version of Curiosity's descent imager animation of the arrival on Mars contains almost more awesome than I can stand.
In 2008, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped an amazing photo of Phoenix descending to the surface of Mars under its parachute. Now it's repeated the feat, with Curiosity.
Chris Biddy from Stellar Exploration Inc. presented information about our LightSail project at the 2012 Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium.
Posted by Ben Cooper on 2012/04/08 11:59 CDT
After 12 years of photographing the space shuttle, and even getting to work for NASA as a photographer for the final three years of the program, I never had the privilege of going inside the cockpit until the program was over.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/08 08:00 CST
Russia's Phobos-Grunt sample return spacecraft, carrying the Planetary Society's Phobos LIFE experiment, plus China's Yinghuo-1 Mars minisatellite, are poised for launch at Baikonur! The launch window opens in less than six hours, at 20:16 UTC.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/04 03:24 CDT
About a week after Curiosity passed through the same milestone, Phobos-Grunt and Yinghuo-1 -- still slated for a November 8 launch -- were encapsulated in their payload fairing in preparation for being stacked on their rocket. And, of course, our little Phobos LIFE capsule is inside there too!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/11/04 12:43 CDT
It's still three weeks until Curiosity's launch date, but the spacecraft has already been placed on top of its rocket. The Kennedy Space Center's Curiosity photo album now has lots of pictures of the spacecraft being enclosed inside the payload fairing (the rocket's "nose cone") and hoisted to the top of the Atlas V.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/01/26 11:18 CST
JAXA posted a report today stating that IKAROS "has completed its regular operations."
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/15 08:50 CDT
We've already seen IKAROS' view of its deployed sails from cameras attached to the spacecraft, but, in a brilliant idea, the Japanese built IKAROS with two deployable cameras that could view the thing from a distance.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/10 10:46 CDT
JAXA finally issued the formal announcement: they successfully expanded IKAROS' square sail!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/09 09:19 CDT
Several pictures from the sail deployment monitoring cameras showed up on the IKAROS blog overnight.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/06/08 11:32 CDT
Just a brief update on IKAROS: According to their blog, JAXA has decided to proceed with the final stage of IKAROS' sail deployment.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2010/03/17 12:26 CDT
Yesterday I posted a bit of a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter camera image showing the tracks of the Russian Lunokhod 2 rover. Today, I can post for you an image showing the rover's final resting place
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2009/12/14 01:12 CST
The ever-vigilant Doug Ellison just posted this animation, which really actually does show a teeny tiny bit of motion in the right front wheel. If you don't notice any motion, look closer.