September 22, 2018

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.

Two NASA probes catch first glimpses of primordial targets

August 29, 2018

Two NASA spacecraft — the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and the New Horizons probe at the edge of the solar system — have captured their first looks at their targets as they approach a pair of primordial relics for the first time.

Engineers still hopeful Mars rover will wake up after dust storm

August 22, 2018

Flight controllers have not heard from NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover since June 10 when an increasingly severe global dust storm blocked out the sun, preventing its solar arrays from recharging the robot’s batteries. But the dust storm is finally abating and engineers are hopeful the long-lived rover will wake up and phone home in the next few weeks.

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.

Arianespace aims for busy second half of 2018

July 3, 2018

Europe’s first mission to Mercury, a quartet of Galileo navigation spacecraft, the world’s first global winds observatory, and a new European weather satellite have arrived at an equatorial launch base in French Guiana in preparation for launches in the coming months.

Growing dust storm encircles Mars, rover remains silent

June 21, 2018

The effects of a global dust storm on Mars have been observed by NASA’s plutonium-powered¬†Curiosity rover, which continues its scientific campaign as the thick veil of dust continues starving the aging Opportunity rover of solar energy on the other side of the planet.

Asteroid Ryugu revealed by approaching Japanese spacecraft

June 20, 2018

In the final days of a three-and-a-half year pursuit, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return spacecraft is beaming back clearer images of asteroid Ryugu, an unexplored object that scientists say resembles a spinning top or dumpling nearly 180 million miles from Earth.

Dawn spacecraft flying low over Ceres

June 15, 2018

In the closing months of a nearly 11-year mission, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has arrived in its final orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres and is obtaining the sharpest views yet of the king of the asteroid belt.

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