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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.

Thanksgiving in space

November 27, 2014

Six people living on the International Space Station shared an out-of-this-world Thanksgiving dinner in orbit.

Soyuz ferry craft moved to launch pad

November 21, 2014

Riding a specialized railroad car before dawn Friday, a Soyuz rocket rolled out of a cavernous assembly building and arrived at its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for liftoff Sunday with American, Russian and Italian crew members heading for the International Space Station.

Video: Space station Expedition 42 fit check

November 20, 2014

The next Expedition 42 trio waiting to join the International Space Station crew conducted final Sokol launch and entry suit fit checks at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Loss of contact with Philae

November 15, 2014

A few moments after the pirouette, battery voltage suddenly plummeted and engineers said the end was near. Trapped between a rock and a dark place beyond its ability to survive, Philae dutifully sent back stored data and even made fresh measurements until finally, just after 7:30 p.m. (EST-5), contact was finally lost.

Comet lander’s batteries near exhaustion

November 14, 2014

Trapped in rough, forbidding terrain with its solar panels draped in shadow, the Philae comet lander raced the clock Friday to carry out high-priority science operations, including an attempt to drill into the surface of the nucleus, before exhausting its on-board batteries and effectively losing consciousness.

Photos: Orion’s rollout to the pad

November 13, 2014

On Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, NASA’s next-generation Orion crew capsule made a six-hour trek from a processing building to launch pad 37B where the United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket awaits liftoff of the test flight Dec. 4 . Photo credit: Walter Scriptunas II

European space probe makes first landing on a comet

November 12, 2014

After making history as the first spacecraft to touch down on a comet, Europe’s Philae lander collected data on the rugged alien world’s environment and may have rebounded into space before settling back on the surface, scientists said Wednesday.

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