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Asteroid missions on track to reach their destinations in 2018

18 January 2018 Stephen Clark

Pioneering spacecraft from NASA and the Japanese space agency promise to reveal two unexplored asteroids later this year, officials said Wednesday, beginning surveys that will culminate in daring descents to capture samples for return to Earth, where eager scientists await a hands-on look at the specimens.

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft to remain in current orbit around Jupiter

21 February 2017 Stephen Clark

Concerns about the health of the Juno spacecraft’s main engine have compelled NASA managers to keep the research probe in its current arcing, high-altitude orbit around Jupiter, a decision that will delay the full science return from the $1.1 billion mission but should still allow it to meet all predetermined objectives.

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Juno dives over Jupiter’s cloud tops with main engine still offline

2 February 2017 Stephen Clark

NASA’s Juno spacecraft made a high-speed pass less than 3,000 miles over Jupiter’s turbulent clouds Thursday, taking dozens of pictures, measuring radiation and plasma waves, and peering deep inside the planet’s atmosphere, but officials still have not cleared the orbiter’s main engine for a planned maneuver to position the probe for improved science observations.

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Juno gets its closest look at Jupiter

28 August 2016 Stephen Clark

Nearly two months after NASA’s Juno spacecraft slipped into orbit around Jupiter, the solar-powered probe made a passage 4,200 kilometres over the giant planet’s colourful banded clouds Saturday, the closest planned encounter during its 20-month exploration of the solar system’s largest world.

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One of NASA’s cleanest spacecraft ever is ready to fly

24 August 2016 Stephen Clark

Five years after winning $1 billion from NASA to mount the first U.S. asteroid sample return mission, scientists and engineers will get their last look at the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft this week as it is closed up inside the nose cone of an Atlas 5 rocket for launch in September.