October 23, 2018

Photos: BepiColombo stacked for launch to Mercury

October 19, 2018

Ground crews at the Guiana Space Center in South America have spent the last few months preparing the BepiColombo spacecraft, a tandem mission with European and Japanese science orbiters bound for Mercury, for launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket.

Live coverage: Probe heading to Mercury blasts off from French Guiana

October 19, 2018

The nearly $1.9 billion BepiColombo mission to Mercury jointly developed by the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency lifted off Friday night from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. Launch occurred at 9:45 p.m. EDT Friday (0145 GMT Saturday).

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.

Japanese cargo ship reaches space station

September 27, 2018

A Japanese cargo ship loaded with more than 10,000 pounds of supplies and equipment, including a new set of solar array batteries, was captured by the International Space Station’s robot arm early Thursday to wrap up a trouble-free rendezvous.

Japanese robots land on asteroid, send back pictures

September 22, 2018

A pair of tiny automated robots touched down on asteroid Ryugu on Friday after separating from Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft, sending back pictures as the probes bounced across the asteroid’s alien landscape nearly 200 million miles from Earth.

Launch of Japan’s seventh HTV supply ship reset for Saturday

September 21, 2018

Japanese space officials have rescheduled the launch of an H-2B rocket and a space station-bound HTV supply ship for Saturday after halting a countdown last week due to a propulsion system problem and bypassing a launch opportunity Friday because of a poor weather forecast.

Japanese billionaire reserves moon flight with SpaceX

September 18, 2018

Promising to take a half-dozen or more artists with him on the journey, Japanese fashion magnate Yusaku Maezawa said Monday he has paid a deposit for a ride around the moon aboard SpaceX’s planned BFR rocket as soon as 2023, a financial infusion that will help bankroll development of the company’s futuristic interplanetary transporter.

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