November 17, 2017

Preview: Orion spacecraft poised for critical test flight

December 3, 2014

NASA is gearing up for a milestone unmanned test flight Thursday, the first launch of the agency’s Orion deep space exploration spacecraft intended to one day carry astronauts on missions beyond low-Earth orbit to the vicinity of the moon, one or more nearby asteroids and, eventually, Mars.

Philae’s “little cousin” heading for asteroid touchdown

December 2, 2014

Weeks after accomplishing the first touchdown on a comet, the team of European scientists that developed the Philae landing craft is awaiting launch of a related robot riding piggyback with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft to achieve the same feat on an asteroid.

Video: Orion countdown status briefing

December 2, 2014

NASA, Lockheed Martin and United Launch Alliance officials hold the L-2 day countdown status briefing following the launch readiness review on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

Japan set to launch asteroid sample return mission

December 2, 2014

Japan is readying an H-2A rocket for liftoff Tuesday to kick off an audacious six-year roundtrip journey to a carbon-rich asteroid, drop a fleet of landers to its surface, collect primordial rock samples, and return the materials to terrestrial laboratories for analysis.

Small satellites have another way to get into space

December 2, 2014

A spherical U.S. Navy spacecraft the size of a beach ball spring-ejected from a new satellite deployer outside the International Space Station last week, debuting a fresh way for low-budget space missions to reach orbit.

Live coverage: Orion lands in Pacific

December 2, 2014

NASA’s first space-worthy Orion capsule blasted off atop a Delta 4-Heavy booster rocket for a two-orbit, four-hour shakedown cruise in orbit. Liftoff occurred at 7:05 a.m. EST (1205 GMT), with splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 11:29 a.m. EST (1629 GMT).

Live coverage: Japanese asteroid mission blasts off

December 2, 2014

An ambitious mission of exploration launched from Japan at 0422 GMT Wednesday (11:22 p.m. EST Tuesday). An H-2A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center with Hayabusa 2, starting a six-year journey to collect rocks from an asteroid and return them to Earth.

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