Managers in charge of the privately-funded LightSail solar sail in Earth orbit said Wednesday the success of the experiment is a step toward opening up the solar system to scores of modest science probes that could explore space at a fraction of the cost of traditional government-backed missions.
One day after a supersonic parachute crafted to land robots on Mars failed on a test flight high above Hawaii, NASA officials said Tuesday a jackpot of high-resolution video recordings and other data from the otherwise successful experiment should lead to design improvements.
The next three-person crew will launch to the International Space Station sometime between July 23 and July 25 after a two-month delay triggered by the failure of an unmanned Progress resupply mission in April, Russian officials said Tuesday.
NASA is gearing up to fly a balloon-launched, rocket-powered test vehicle from Hawaii on Monday to wring out the design of a new supersonic parachute and entry probe scientists hope to use on Mars one day.
Mission managers say the shoebox-sized LightSail satellite powered up its tiny deployment motor Sunday, and data from the diminutive spacecraft indicate its experimental solar sail unfurled in orbit hundreds of miles above Earth.
SpaceX has released another jaw-dropping video from a camera fastened to a piece of a Falcon 9 rocket’s payload fairing, showing the nose cone spinning through space after its separation on a recent launch.
NASA’s Dawn asteroid explorer has arrived at its new perch 2,700 miles from the dwarf planet Ceres, a vantage point scientists say will yield better views as the probe continues to step closer to the surface.
After an up-and-down week of intermittent contact with the LightSail satellite, the tiny spacecraft radioed home Saturday, giving engineers hope to deploy the experiment’s solar sail as soon as Sunday.
Russia successfully launched a Kobalt-type optical reconnaissance satellite Friday aboard a Soyuz rocket, marking the workhorse booster’s first flight since the failure of a resupply launch to the International Space Station in April.