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Robotic Spacecraft: Far-Ranging Robots
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12 Aug 2013 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Swapping Motion-Sensing Units
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is switching from one motion-sensing device to a duplicate unit onboard. The veteran orbiter relies on this inertial measurement unit (IMU) for information about changes in orientation. This information is important for maintaining spacecraft attitude and for pointing the orbiter's large antenna and science-observation instruments.
12 Aug 2013 NASA's Juno is Halfway to Jupiter
NASA's Juno spacecraft is halfway to Jupiter. The Jovian-system-bound spacecraft reached the milestone today (8/12/13) at 5:25 a.m. PDT (8:25 a.m. EDT/12:25 UTC). "Juno's odometer just clicked over to 9.464 astronomical units," said Juno Principal Investigator Scott Bolton, of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. "The team is looking forward, preparing for the day we enter orbit around the most massive planet in our solar system."
9 Aug 2013 MAVEN Eyes Mars as Launch Preparations Begin
MAVEN's approach to Mars studies will be quite different from that taken by recent probes dispatched to the Red Planet. Instead of rolling about on the surface looking for clues to the planet's hidden heritage, MAVEN will orbit high above the surface so it can sample the upper atmosphere for signs of what changed over the eons and why.
8 Aug 2013 MAVEN Haiku Selected for Travel to Mars
Haiku recognized in the MAVEN Message-to-Mars contest were announced today on the Going to Mars campaign website. Haiku authors from around the world -- including Palestine, India, Australia, and Europe -- entered the contest. The top five winners -- all those whose haiku received 1,000 votes or more -- include popular British blogger Benedict Smith and well-known American poet Vanna Bonta. Other entries receiving special recognition include MAVEN team selections in categories ranging from haiku specifically about MAVEN to humorous haiku.
6 Aug 2013 Mars Curiosity Landing: Relive the Excitement
Where were you when Curiosity landed? It's a hot topic of discussion in the hallways of JPL and on social media this week, as people remember the dramatic, tension-filled landing of NASA's Curiosity rover and its Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft on Aug. 5, 2012 PDT (Aug. 6, 2012 EDT).
5 Aug 2013 NASA Begins Launch Preparations for Next Mars Mission
NASA's next spacecraft going to Mars arrived Friday, Aug. 2, at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and is now perched in a cleanroom to begin final preparations for its November launch. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is undergoing detailed testing and fueling prior to being moved to its launch pad. The mission has a 20-day launch period that opens Nov. 18.
1 Aug 2013 Pluto Science Conference Exceeds Expectations
Compressing eight decades of discoveries into five days, more than 100 scientists met last week at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., to talk everything Pluto - what we already know, what we'd like to know and what data we expect NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to deliver after its historic flight past the distant planet in the summer of 2015.
30 Jul 2013 NASA Invites Reporters and Public to Curiosity First Anniversary Event
NASA officials and crew members aboard the International Space Station will observe the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars at a public event in Washington from noon-1:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 6. The event will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed live on the agency's website.
24 Jul 2013 Curiosity Mars Rover Gleams in View from Orbiter
An image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter released today shows NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and the wheel tracks from its landing site to the "Glenelg" area where the rover worked for the first half of 2013. The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured the scene on June 27, 2013, with the orbiter rolled for an eastward-looking angle rather than straight downward. The afternoon sun illuminated the scene from the western sky, so the lighting was nearly behind the camera. This geometry hides shadows and reveals subtle color variations.
23 Jul 2013 Curiosity Makes Its Longest One-Day Drive on Mars
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove twice as far on July 21 as on any other day of the mission so far: 109.7 yards (100.3 meters). The length of the drive took advantage of starting the 340th Martian day, or sol, of the mission from a location with an unusually good view for rover engineers to plan a safe path. In weeks to come, the rover team plans to begin using "autonav" capability for the rover to autonomously navigate a path for itself, which could make such long drives more frequent.
19 Jul 2013 JPLers Wave at Saturn as Part of Worldwide Campaign
From its perch in the Saturn system, NASA's Cassini spacecraft took pictures of Earth from nearly 900 million miles (nearly 1.5 billion kilometers) today. To celebrate the first time the public has had advance notice that Earth's portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances, scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other Earthlings elsewhere gathered to wave at Saturn on July 19.
18 Jul 2013 Kepler Mission Manager Update: Recovery Begins
Over the next week, the team will attempt tests to explore recovery of the spacecraft's reaction wheels. The tests will begin with reaction wheel 4 on Thursday, July 18, 2013. The team anticipates continuing exploratory tests on reaction wheel 2 on Monday, July 22, 2013 or Thursday, July 25, 2013. Results of the wheel performance tests will be known later this month and an update will follow.
18 Jul 2013 MESSENGER to Capture Images of Earth and Moon During Search for Satellites of Mercury
NASA's Mercury-orbiting MESSENGER spacecraft will capture images of Earth on July 19 and 20. The images will be taken at 7:49 a.m., 8:38 a.m. and 9:41 a.m. EDT on both days. Nearly half of the Earth, including all the Americas, Africa, and Europe, will be illuminated and facing MESSENGER, according to Hari Nair, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory planetary scientist who designed and is implementing the campaign.
18 Jul 2013 NASA Interplanetary Probes to Take Pictures of Earth From Space
Two NASA spacecraft, one studying the Saturn system, the other observing Mercury, are maneuvering into place to take pictures of Earth on July 19 and 20. The image taken from the Saturn system by NASA's Cassini spacecraft will occur between 2:27 and 2:42 PDT (5:27 and 5:42 p.m. EDT, or 21:27 and 21:47 UTC) Friday, July 19. NASA is encouraging the public to look and wave in the direction of Saturn at the time of the portrait and share their pictures via the Internet.
17 Jul 2013 Overhead View of Mars Rover 10 Years After Launch
An image from Mars orbit taken 10 years after the launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows the long-lived rover on its trek to a new destination on Mars. The color image taken July 8, 2013, by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter catches Opportunity crossing relatively level ground called "Botany Bay" on its way to a rise called "Solander Point."
16 Jul 2013 Curiosity Mars Rover Passes Kilometer of Driving
The latest drive by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover brought the total distance that the rover has driven on Mars to more than 1 kilometer. One kilometer is about 0.62 mile. The drive covered about 38 meters (125 feet) and brought the mission's odometry to about 1.029 kilometers (3,376 feet). The drive was completed in the early afternoon of the rover's 335th Martian day, or sol, of work on Mars (July 17). It continued progress in a multi-month trek begun this month toward a mountain destination.
11 Jul 2013 Third Drive of Curiosity's Long Trek Covers 135 Feet
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity drove 135 feet (41 meters) on Tuesday, July 9, the third drive of a journey of many months from the "Glenelg" area to Mount Sharp. The mission's next major destination is at the lower layers of Mount Sharp, about 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of Glenelg. The July 9 drive brought Curiosity's odometry to about 325 feet (99 meters) since completing the Glenelg investigations and about 0.51 mile (0.95 kilometer) since landing on Mars in August 2012.
9 Jul 2013 Science Team Outlines Goals for NASA's 2020 Mars Rover
The rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 should look for signs of past life, collect samples for possible future return to Earth, and demonstrate technology for future human exploration of the Red Planet, according to a report provided to the agency.
8 Jul 2013 Mars Rover Curiosity Begins Trek Toward Mount Sharp
With drives on July 4 and July 7, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has departed its last science target in the "Glenelg" area and commenced a many-month overland journey to the base of the mission's main destination, Mount Sharp.
1 Jul 2013 New LADEE Animation
NASA Ames' Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust.
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Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014