November 21, 2018

NASA picks Jezero Crater landing site for next Mars rover

November 19, 2018

After years of analyses and debate, NASA announced Monday that the agency’s next Mars rover will land on or near an ancient river delta where water once flowed into a 30-mile-wide, 1,600-foot-deep crater to search for signs of ancient microbial life and to continue ongoing studies of the red planet’s history and evolution.

Ariane 5 launches two satellites on 7-year voyage to Mercury

October 20, 2018

A powerful European Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana late Friday and boosted a pair of satellites into space for a seven-year plunge into the inner solar system, a voyage requiring seven planetary flybys to slow down enough in the sun’s gravitational clutches to slip into orbit around hellish Mercury.

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.

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