December 4, 2020
Mission Reports

Chinese probe completes sample collection work on lunar surface

December 2, 2020

Chinese officials said the Chang’e 5 mission finished drilling and scooping samples from a lunar lava plain late Wednesday, hours before the spacecraft’s robotic ascender was due to take off from the moon to begin the trip back to Earth.

  • Video replay of Chang’e 5’s landing on the moon

    December 2, 2020

    The China National Space Administration released an accelerated video replay of the Chang’e 5 spacecraft’s landing in the Oceanus Procellarum region of the moon Tuesday.

  • Soyuz rocket launches Emirati military satellite after lengthy delay

    December 2, 2020

    After months of delays caused by launch vehicle issues and the coronavirus pandemic, a Russian Soyuz rocket and Fregat upper stage took off from South America and delivered the French-built Falcon Eye 2 military observation satellite to an on-target orbit Tuesday night for the United Arab Emirates.

  • Arecibo Observatory collapses as scientists lament loss of deep space radar

    December 1, 2020

    The 900-ton suspended platform of Puerto Rico’s famed Arecibo Observatory collapsed Tuesday after cable failures, crashing into the radio telescope’s iconic dish and shattering a research instrument used to study pulsars, galaxies, planets, and asteroids that might threaten Earth.

  • China lands sample return probe on moon

    December 1, 2020

    A Chinese spacecraft successfully touched down on the moon Tuesday, beginning what engineers have described as the most challenging phase of the mission to drill, scoop, and seal rocks for launch back into orbit later this week and return to Earth in mid-December.

  • Live coverage: Soyuz launches Falcon Eye 2 satellite on third attempt

    November 30, 2020

    A Soyuz rocket carrying a military spy satellite for the United Arab Emirates lifted off from French Guiana at 8:33 p.m. EST Tuesday (0133 GMT Wednesday). A launch attempt Sunday night was scrubbed due to the risk of lightning, and a countdown Monday was called off due to a telemetry issue associated with the range safety system at the Guiana Space Center.

  • Photos: Falcon 9 launches and lands at Vandenberg Air Force Base

    November 29, 2020

    These photos show the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Nov. 21 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich oceanography satellite.

  • Soyuz rocket ready to launch with UAE’s Falcon Eye 2 military satellite

    November 29, 2020

    A Soyuz booster is set for launch from French Guiana Sunday night with a European-built military reconnaissance satellite for the United Arab Emirates, the twin of a UAE surveillance craft lost in a rocket failure last year.

  • Japanese data relay satellite launches on H-2A rocket

    November 29, 2020

    A Japanese satellite designed to relay data and imagery from civilian and military Earth observation spacecraft launched Sunday aboard an H-2A rocket.

  • China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft enters lunar orbit

    November 28, 2020

    Five days after taking off on a heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket, China’s Chang’e 5 sample return spacecraft entered orbit around the moon Saturday, moving into position for a descent to the lunar surface in a bid to gather specimens and bring them back to Earth.

  • SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites on 100th Falcon 9 flight

    November 25, 2020

    The 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket delivered 60 satellites to orbit for SpaceX’s Starlink network Tuesday night, adding another building block to a planned fleet of thousands of solar-powered space-based relay stations to beam broadband connectivity around the world.

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