October 21, 2018

MASCOT lander hops around asteroid, exceeding scientists’ expectations

October 5, 2018

The MASCOT lander released from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft this week made three hops to different locations on asteroid Ryugu before draining its battery, outliving its design life and sending back data from all four of its instruments, according to German and French officials who developed the surface robot.

Live coverage: Two Americans, one Russian back on Earth from space station

October 3, 2018

Two U.S. astronauts flanked a veteran Russian cosmonaut Thursday for a ride back to Earth from the International Space Station. The trio undocked from the station in their Soyuz spacecraft at 0757 GMT (3:57 a.m. EDT), beginning a return flight that culminated in a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 1145 GMT (7:45 a.m. EDT).

SpaceX completes hotfire test, preps for first California rocket landing

October 2, 2018

A Falcon 9 rocket powered by a recycled first stage lit its main engines for a hold-down firing on a launch pad Tuesday at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in preparation for launch with an Argentine radar satellite on a mission that will feature the first SpaceX booster landing on the West Coast.

Live coverage: MASCOT lander begins exploring asteroid Ryugu

October 2, 2018

Track the progress of the MASCOT lander, a tiny robot developed in Germany and France, as it explores asteroid Ryugu for a daring mission to hop across the austere world’s boulder-strewn landscape, taking pictures and collecting scientific data along the way. The robotic probe was released from the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft around 0200 GMT Wednesday (10 p.m. EDT Tuesday), and touched down a few minutes later.

Descent begins for European asteroid lander

October 2, 2018

A German-built landing probe the size of a microwave oven carrying a camera and a suite of scientific instruments was closing in on an asteroid Tuesday, riding aboard Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to join two other robots deployed to the asteroid’s surface last month.

Photos: Ariane 5 rolls to launch pad with two commercial comsats

September 25, 2018

An Ariane 5 rocket emerged from the final assembly building at the Guiana Space Center in South America on Monday for the journey across the tropical spaceport to the ELA-3 launch zone, where the 179-foot-tall (54.8-meter) booster will lift off Tuesday with a pair of commercial communications satellites.

Live coverage: Ariane 5 rocket launches for 100th time

September 25, 2018

Two U.S.-built communications satellites rode the 100th European-made Ariane 5 rocket into orbit Tuesday from the jungle of French Guiana. Liftoff occurred at 2238 GMT (6:38 p.m. EDT) after a 45-minute delay caused by a range technical problem.

Japanese robots land on asteroid, send back pictures

September 22, 2018

A pair of tiny automated robots touched down on asteroid Ryugu on Friday after separating from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, sending back pictures as the probes bounced across the asteroid’s alien landscape nearly 200 million miles from Earth.

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