Mission leaders Tuesday gave approval for rollout of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on Wednesday morning, leading to liftoff Thursday night of the Magnetospheric Multiscale science project for NASA.
Three months into an interplanetary cruise expected to last three-and-a-half years, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe is in good health as it begins an ion-powered pursuit of an asteroid to return a piece of it to Earth.
A $1.1 billion science investigation involving four formation-flying satellites circling the Earth will share a single Atlas 5 rocket launch Thursday night from Cape Canaveral to probe explosions in the magnetic field with millisecond speed.
SES has selected Arianespace to launch a communications satellite ordered as part of a three-spacecraft procurement announced last month, after assigning the other two payloads for launches aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.
NASA has ordered four additional launches to deliver cargo to the International Space Station in 2017 — three from SpaceX and one from Orbital ATK — to cover the research lab’s logistics needs until a new set of resupply contracts take effect.
Officials are assessing how to adjust operations to collect future rock core samples with NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover after identifying its drill as the likely source of a short circuit that stopped the rover’s movement in late February.