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Robotic Spacecraft: Far-Ranging Robots
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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.
11 Jun 2013 NASA's Robotic LRO Spacecraft Provides Data for Human Exploration
NASA's robotic Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the agency's spacecraft that set out to map the moon, is yielding information about the radiation environment humans will encounter as they venture into deep space. An instrument on LRO, Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER), gauged the radiation dose of cosmic rays after passing through a plastic material that simulates how space radiation interacts with human muscle tissue.
7 Jun 2013 Mars Rover Opportunity Trekking Toward More Layers
Approaching its 10th anniversary of leaving Earth, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is on the move again, trekking to a new study area still many weeks away. The destination, called "Solander Point," offers Opportunity access to a much taller stack of geological layering than the area where the rover has worked for the past 20 months, called "Cape York." Both areas are raised segments of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, which is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter.
6 Jun 2013 NASA Prepares for Launch of Next Solar Satellite
NASA's next scientific satellite, which is scheduled for launch June 26, will provide the most detailed look ever at the sun's lower atmosphere or interface region. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) mission will observe how solar material moves, gathers energy and heats up as it travels through this largely unexplored region of the solar atmosphere. The interface region, located between the sun's visible surface and upper atmosphere, is where most of the sun's ultraviolet emission is generated. These emissions impact the near-Earth space environment and Earth's climate.
5 Jun 2013 NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Nears Turning Point
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is approaching its biggest turning point since landing its rover, Curiosity, inside Mars' Gale Crater last summer. Curiosity is finishing investigations in an area smaller than a football field where it has been working for six months, and it will soon shift to a distance-driving mode headed for an area about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, at the base of Mount Sharp.
31 May 2013 MESSENGER Images 100% of Mercury's Surface under Daylight Conditions
At the very end of 2012, MESSENGER obtained the final image needed to view 100% of Mercury's surface under daylight conditions. The mosaics shown here cover all of Mercury's surface and were produced by using the monochrome mosaic released by NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) on March 8, 2013, as the base. The full resolution mosaics are available for download on MESSENGER's Global Mosaics webpage.
30 May 2013 Data From NASA Rover's Voyage To Mars Aids Planning
Measurements taken by Mars Science Laboratory mission as it delivered the Curiosity rover to Mars in 2012 are providing NASA the information it needs to design systems to protect human explorers from radiation exposure on deep-space expeditions in the future. Curiosity's Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) is the first instrument to measure the radiation environment during a Mars cruise mission from inside a spacecraft that is similar to potential human exploration spacecraft. The findings reduce uncertainty about the effectiveness of radiation shielding and provide vital information to space mission designers who will need to build in protection for spacecraft occupants in the future.
24 May 2013 MESSENGER Completes Its 2,000th Orbit of Mercury, Provides Data on Solar Magnetic Field
MESSENGER began its 2,000th orbit around Mercury on May 22, 2013. The spacecraft completed its primary mission on March 17, 2012, and its first extended mission on March 17, 2013. The team is awaiting word from NASA on a proposal for a second extended mission. In the meantime, instruments aboard the spacecraft continue to gather new data on Mercury and its environment.
20 May 2013 NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland." Plans call for delivering portions of the sample in coming days to laboratory instruments inside the rover. This is only the second time that a sample has been collected from inside a rock on Mars. The first was Curiosity's drilling at a target called "John Klein" three months ago. Cumberland resembles John Klein and lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) farther west. Both are within a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay."
16 May 2013 New Horizons PI's Perspective: Encounter Planning Accelerates
The New Horizons team studied numerous alternate flybys, called SHBOTs, before recommending to NASA a pair of backups to protect New Horizons from possible impact hazards in the Pluto system.
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Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014