June 20, 2019

Scientific riches await Philae comet lander, if it wakes up

December 23, 2014

Optimistic Europe’s hibernating Philae comet lander can be revived, mission controllers plan to try and contact the spacecraft as soon as January as the search narrows for the probe’s final resting place — a site within arm’s reach of pristine ice and organic matter ripe for analysis if the mission gets a new lease on life.

Ratchet wrench ’emailed’ to space station

December 22, 2014

A future where mission control can digitally dispatch tools, spare parts and other vital materials to far-flung space crews took one giant leap toward reality when a 3D printer aboard the International Space Station produced a ratchet wrench on demand.

Russia set for debut launch of Angara 5 rocket

December 22, 2014

Russia’s powerful new Angara 5 rocket — made of a cluster of five kerosene-fueled main engines — is being prepared for a maiden test flight as soon as Tuesday that could usher in a new era in the Russian space program, according to Russian news reports.

Woerner tapped as next ESA director general

December 21, 2014

Johann-Dietrich Woerner, head of the German Aerospace Center, will take over as director general of the European Space Agency on July 1. Woerner will take the helm from Jean-Jacques Dordain, who has held the top post at ESA since 2003.

Planet-hunting telescope to launch on Falcon 9 rocket

December 21, 2014

NASA’s decision to launch a satellite to search for planets around other stars on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2017 will allow officials to cancel plans to order a solid-fueled kick motor to send the telescope into a unique high-altitude orbit, the mission’s top scientist said.

Photos: Soyuz soars skyward from French Guiana

December 20, 2014

Flying for the 10th time from a tropical launch facility along the South American coastline, a Russian Soyuz rocket lifted off Dec. 18 and streaked through partly sunny skies with four satellites to extend the reach of the O3b Networks, a company founded to bring broadband to the world’s most remote and impoverished countries.

Falcon 9 completes full-duration static fire

December 20, 2014

SpaceX fueled up a Falcon 9 rocket, ran through a mock countdown and fired the booster’s nine Merlin main engines Friday in a successful preflight static fire test officials hope will clear the way for liftoff Jan. 6 on a space station resupply mission.

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