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Robotic Spacecraft: Far-Ranging Robots
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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.
1 Jul 2013 Opportunity's Improbable Anniversary
When NASA's Mars rover Opportunity blasted off from Cape Canaveral in 2003, many onlookers expected a relatively short mission. Landing on Mars is risky business. The Red Planet has a long history of destroying spacecraft that attempt to visit it. Even if Opportunity did land safely, it was only designed for a 3-month mission on the hostile Martian surface. Few, if any, imagined that Opportunity would still be roving the red sands of Mars -- and still making discoveries -- ten years later. On July 7, 2013, Opportunity celebrates the 10th anniversary of its launch and more than 9 years on Mars.
28 Jun 2013 NASA Launches Satellite to Study How Sun's Atmosphere Is Energized
NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched Wednesday at 7:27 p.m. PDT (10:27 p.m. EDT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket. IRIS is a NASA Explorer Mission to observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through a little-understood region in the Sun's lower atmosphere.
20 Jun 2013 NASA's LRO: Four Years in Orbit
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or LRO, in orbit around the moon for four years, has forever changed our view of our nearby neighbor.
18 Jun 2013 Cassini to Take Photo of Earth from Deep Space
NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now exploring Saturn, will take a picture of our home planet from a distance of hundreds of millions of miles on July 19. NASA is inviting the public to help acknowledge the historic interplanetary portrait as it is being taken.
14 Jun 2013 New Horizons Team Sticking to Original Flight Plan at Pluto
Unless significant new hazards are found, expect NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to stay on its original course past Pluto and its moons, after mission managers concluded that the danger posed by dust and debris in the Pluto system is less than they once feared.
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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014