June 27, 2017

Soyuz with two-man crew lands safely in Kazakhstan

June 2, 2017

Leaving crewmate Peggy Whitson behind in orbit for an extended mission, a Russian cosmonaut and his French co-pilot undocked from the International Space Station early Friday and plunged back to Earth, landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 196-day mission.

Live coverage: Two-man crew departs space station, returns home

June 2, 2017

Two crewmen returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Friday, riding a Russian Soyuz spaceship to a parachute-assisted, rocket-cushioned landing in Kazakhstan to close out more than 196 days in orbit. Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet undocked from the station at 1047 GMT (6:47 a.m. EDT) and landed in Kazakhstan at 1410 GMT (10:10 a.m. EDT).

Probe into crash of ESA lander recommends more checks on ExoMars descent craft

May 24, 2017

Investigators who studied the crash of the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander on Mars last year have recommended more stringent testing and computer modeling before the launch of a joint European-Russian landing craft in 2020 to avoid a repeat of the mistakes that doomed the probe’s descent through the Martian atmosphere.

Gravitational wave testbed repurposed as comet dust detector

April 26, 2017

In the final months of Europe’s LISA Pathfinder mission, scientists have found an unexpected use for the trailblazing testbed for a future gravitational wave observatory by tracking the tiny dings made by microscopic particles that strike the spacecraft in deep space, exploiting the impacts to learn about the population of dust grains cast off by comets and asteroids across the solar system.

Brexit raises question mark over UK’s role in some European space projects

April 15, 2017

The future participation of major segments of Britain’s space industry in Europe’s Galileo navigation system and Copernicus environmental network, two multibillion-dollar flagship programs with dozens of satellites, is sure to be a significant part of negotiations as the UK withdraws from the European Union, according to a member of the European Commission.

Rosetta’s comet shows scars from swing through inner solar system

March 22, 2017

Scientists examining imagery from Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft have logged numerous changes to the face of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, from collapsing cliffs to a growing crack through the comet’s neck that could foretell the eventual unraveling of the city-sized icy world.

Europe’s ExoMars spacecraft begins lowering its orbit

March 20, 2017

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a Russian-launched, European-built spacecraft that arrived at Mars in October, is starting to dip into the upper reaches of the red planet’s atmosphere in a year-long “aerobraking” campaign place the observatory in the right position to hunt for methane, an indicator of potential biological activity.

Photos: Vega rocket vaults off launch pad

March 7, 2017

Firing off the launch pad with more than a half-million pounds of thrust, a Vega rocket soared into space Monday night from French Guiana with Europe’s Sentinel 2B environmental satellite.

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