News

British-built solar probe shipping to Florida launch site before Brexit

24 October 2019 Stephen Clark

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft — assembled in Britain and set for liftoff in February — has completed environmental testing in Germany and is scheduled to ride a cargo plane to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin launch preparations 31 October, several weeks earlier than planned to avoid complications stemming from Brexit.

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NASA lunar orbiter to image Chandrayaan 2 landing site

13 September 2019 Stephen Clark

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will try to locate India’s Vikram lander on the moon during a flyover of the landing site Tuesday. Indian space officials said they found the disabled spacecraft on the moon using the country’s own Chandrayaan 2 orbiter, but declined to release any images.

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Mars 2020 rover on track for launch next July

31 July 2019 Stephen Clark

The launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover is less than a year away, and the steady pace of work inside the craft’s pristine assembly hall in California is keeping the mission on schedule for liftoff from Cape Canaveral next July, despite growing costs, according to mission managers.

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Russia launches international X-ray astronomy mission

14 July 2019 Stephen Clark

A Proton rocket and Block DM upper stage climbed into space Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Spektr-RG, an astronomical observatory with dual X-ray telescopes developed by Russian and German scientists on the hunt for the signature of dark energy.

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Japanese spacecraft snags second sample from asteroid

11 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Scientists celebrated another success with Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft late Wednesday (U.S. time), when the robot explorer accomplished a second pinpoint touch-and-go landing on asteroid Ryugu, this time to collect a sample of pristine dust and rock excavated by an explosive impactor earlier this year.

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Hayabusa 2 cleared for second touchdown on asteroid

5 July 2019 Stephen Clark

Ground teams have approved plans for Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sample return mission to briefly land on asteroid Ryugu for the second time on 11 July, aiming for a targeted touch-and-go to gather material exposed by an explosive impactor released by the robot explorer in April.