January 20, 2020

ESA’s Huygens probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan 15 years ago

January 14, 2020

Fifteen years after accomplishing the first-ever landing on Saturn’s moon Titan, lessons learned from the European Space Agency’s Huygens spacecraft continue aiding designers of future planetary probes, according to new results from a study looking at why the landing craft spun the wrong way as it descended through Titan’s thick, hazy atmosphere.

Stacking of ULA’s next Atlas 5 rocket begins at Cape Canaveral

January 6, 2020

United Launch Alliance teams began stacking an Atlas 5 rocket inside a vertical hangar at Cape Canaveral Monday in preparation for an early February launch with the Solar Orbiter spacecraft, a joint U.S.-European probe that will take the first pictures of the sun’s poles.

NASA’s next Mars rover will soon ship to Cape Canaveral launch site

January 2, 2020

Fresh off its first terrestrial test drive, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover was displayed to media last week at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California before it’s packed up and flown across the country to Cape Canaveral in February to begin final launch preparations for liftoff in July.

NASA selects site for OSIRIS-REx to collect asteroid samples

December 12, 2019

Using precise autonomous navigation algorithms, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will descend to the surface of an asteroid next year, aiming to retrieve rock specimens for return to Earth from a gravelly pit flanked by hazardous boulders, scientists said Thursday.

Amateur sleuth helps locate crash site of India’s Vikram moon lander

December 2, 2019

An Indian software developer and mechanical engineer combing through high-resolution imagery captured by a NASA spacecraft has located debris scattered on the lunar surface in September by the crash of the Vikram lander, India’s first probe to attempt a soft touchdown on the moon, NASA said Monday.

SpaceX offering Starship to NASA for lunar landing missions

November 19, 2019

SpaceX is eligible to propose using its next-generation Starship vehicle to carry NASA robotic science payloads to the lunar surface, the U.S. space agency announced Monday, on missions that could precede future Starship flights with people on-board. SpaceX is one of five companies NASA selected Monday to join a roster of commercial transportation providers to deliver scientific instruments and technology demonstration packages to the moon as soon as 2022.

Japanese sample return craft departs asteroid, heads for Earth

November 13, 2019

Closing out a year-and-a-half of exploration, surveys and sampling operations at asteroid Ryugu, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft fired thrusters in a departure maneuver Wednesday and headed for Earth with specimens snatched from the asteroid’s dark and rocky surface.

Solar Orbiter arrives at Kennedy Space Center for launch preps

November 2, 2019

The European-built Solar Orbiter spacecraft arrived in Florida late Friday after a trans-Atlantic journey from a test center in Germany, ready to begin preparations for a liftoff from Cape Canaveral in February aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

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