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Say "hi!" to asteroid -- actually, asteroids -- (285263) 1998 QE2

A large asteroid is passing reasonably close to Earth in a few hours, and astronomers at the great radio telescopes at Goldstone and Arecibo are zapping it. The latest discovery: QE2, like many asteroids, is a binary.

Goldstone: Desert outpost performs radio imaging of close-passing asteroid 2005 YU55

Anticipating the close flyby of asteroid 2005 YU55 yesterday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory invited media to tour Goldstone, one of three facilities that make up NASA's Deep Space Network. I've always wanted to see these massive radio dishes up close, so I jumped at the chance!

Pretty picture: Talking to GRAIL

Here's a lovely picture from the Canberra DSN this morning, showing two of the workhorse 34-meter antennas communicating with the nearby GRAIL spacecraft. In the distance, the huge DSS-43 talks to the solar observatory STEREO-B.

Joint replacement operation takes Goldstone 70-meter dish offline until at least November

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced yesterday that the venerable 70-meter dish at the Goldstone Deep Space Network station is being taken offline so that major surgery can be performed.

Welcome news on DSN upgrades

I've written before about a serious problem looming for planetary exploration: the aging infrastructure of NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN).

OPAG, Day 1: Status of radioisotope power and communications support for future missions

Following the mission- and science-focused presentations of the morning, there came two rather alarming presentations.

Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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