October 23, 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: 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.

Hayabusa 2 team sets dates for asteroid landings

September 6, 2018

Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft is preparing to release three hopping robots to land on asteroid Ryugu in the coming month, with tiny instruments scientists hope will explore the airless world’s boulder-strewn landscape and return the first images from the surface of an asteroid.

Hayabusa 2 probe gets a closer look at asteroid amid landing preps

August 15, 2018

The Japanese Hayabusa 2 spacecraft dropped within a half-mile of asteroid Ryugu last week, probing its gravity field ahead of key decisions in the coming days to settle on a target site for the robotic mission’s first sample collection attempt, and the best touchdown location for a European lander stowed on the mothership.

InSight lander flown to California for final launch preps

March 2, 2018

NASA’s robotic InSight Mars lander arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California this week aboard a U.S. Air Force cargo plane, ready for final testing, fueling and launch aboard an Atlas 5 rocket May 5, two years later the originally planned.

Photos: Vega rocket lifts off from French Guiana

August 3, 2017

A four-stage Vega rocket streaked into space Tuesday night from French Guiana, hauling two Israeli-made satellites into polar orbit on military surveillance and environmental research missions.

Vega launcher achieves on-target deployment of Earth-imaging satellites

August 2, 2017

Firing off a launch pad on the fringes of the Amazon rainforest, a European Vega rocket climbed into space Tuesday night and deployed a new optical surveillance craft for the Italian military and a French-Israeli environmental satellite to monitor vegetation, snow cover and coastal waterways.

Timeline for Vega launch with Optsat 3000 and Venµs

August 1, 2017

A Vega rocket is set to deliver two satellites into similar but distinct orbits for the Italian military and the French and Israeli space agencies. Follow key events scheduled during the launch with this timeline.

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