October 31, 2020
Mission Reports

Asteroid samples sealed in OSIRIS-REx return capsule

October 29, 2020

A collection chamber that could contain more than 2 pounds of samples gathered from an asteroid in deep space last week has been sealed inside of a return capsule on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to bring the extraterrestrial specimens back to Earth in 2023, officials announced Thursday.

  • SpaceX traces engine problem to blocked valve ahead of November crew launch

    October 28, 2020

    SpaceX is replacing two engines on the Falcon 9 booster set to launch four astronauts next month on the company’s first operational Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, following an investigation that revealed a subcontractor failed to adequately clean out narrow vent ports on multiple engines across the company’s fleet, officials said Wednesday.

  • Live coverage: Rocket Lab launches 10 small satellites

    October 28, 2020

    A week after scrubbing a launch attempt to evaluate an issue with an oxygen sensor, Rocket Lab launched a mission Wednesday to deliver 10 small commercial Earth observation satellites to orbit. Liftoff of the Electron booster from Rocket Lab’s spaceport in New Zealand occurred at 5:21 p.m. EDT (2121 GMT).

  • SpaceX crew launch set for Nov. 14

    October 27, 2020

    After a two-week delay to evaluate a concern with Falcon 9 rocket engines, NASA and SpaceX have set Nov. 14 as the target launch date for the first operational Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, kicking off a half-year expedition in orbit for three U.S. astronauts and a veteran Japanese space flier.

  • SpaceX executive pitches Starship for space debris cleanup

    October 27, 2020

    SpaceX could use its Starship vehicles to clear out space debris in Earth orbit, alongside the program’s more publicized purpose of ferrying people and cargo to the moon and Mars, a company executive said.

  • Atlas 5 launch from Cape Canaveral scheduled for next week

    October 27, 2020

    United Launch Alliance teams mounted a top secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office on top of an Atlas 5 rocket Monday at Cape Canaveral in preparation for a liftoff scheduled just after sunset Nov. 3.

  • China launches three military spy satellites

    October 26, 2020

    Three mysterious payloads widely believed to be signals intelligence satellites for the Chinese military rocketed into orbit on top of a Long March 2C booster Monday from a launch base in southwestern China.

  • Russia launches Glonass navigation satellite

    October 26, 2020

    A Soyuz booster and Fregat upper stage successfully delivered an upgraded Russian Glonass navigation satellite to an orbit nearly 12,000 miles above Earth on Saturday.

  • Water molecules detected on moon’s sunlit surface, adding impetus to Artemis

    October 26, 2020

    Water molecules have been directly detected across sunlit regions of the moon, not just in ultra-cold, permanently shadowed polar craters, scientists announced Monday, indicating the precious resource may be more easily accessible to future astronauts than previously thought.

  • SpaceX adds another 60 satellites to Starlink network

    October 24, 2020

    SpaceX successfully deployed 60 more Starlink internet satellites in orbit Saturday, continuing a record launch cadence while engineers assess a concern with Falcon 9 rocket engines that has delayed other missions, including the next crew flight to the International Space Station.

  • OSIRIS-REx overflows with asteroid samples after bagging bounty from Bennu

    October 23, 2020

    The sampling mechanism on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is stuffed with specimens captured from asteroid Bennu earlier this week — so full that some of the rocks are floating out into space. Officials said Friday they will stow the samples inside the mission’s Earth return capsule sooner than planned to minimize the loss of asteroid material.

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