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Robotic Spacecraft: Far-Ranging Robots
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17 Sep 2014 NASA Mars Spacecraft Ready for Sept. 21 Orbit Insertion
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft is nearing its scheduled Sept. 21 insertion into Martian orbit after completing a 10-month interplanetary journey of 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).
16 Sep 2014 Dawn Operating Normally After Safe Mode Triggered
The Dawn spacecraft has resumed normal ion thrusting after the thrusting unexpectedly stopped and the spacecraft entered safe mode on September 11. That anomaly occurred shortly before a planned communication with NASA's Deep Space Network that morning. The spacecraft was not performing any special activities at the time. Engineers immediately began working to restore the spacecraft to its normal operational state. The team determined the source of the problems, corrected them, and then resumed normal ion thrusting on Monday night, Sept. 15.
11 Sep 2014 NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover Arrives at Martian Mountain
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet's Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission's long-term prime destination.
8 Sep 2014 MAVEN spacecraft makes final preparations for Mars
On Sept. 21, 2014, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft will complete roughly 10 months of travel and enter orbit around the Red Planet. The orbit-insertion maneuver will be carried out as the spacecraft approaches Mars, wrapping up an interplanetary journey of 442 million miles (711 million kilometers). Six thruster engines will fire briefly for a "settling" burn that damps out deviations in pointing. Then the six main engines will ignite two by two in quick succession and will burn for 33 minutes to slow the craft, allowing it to be captured in an elliptical orbit.
25 Aug 2014 New Horizons Crosses Neptune Orbit En Route to Historic Pluto Encounter
NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft has traversed the orbit of Neptune. This is its last major crossing en route to becoming the first probe to make a close encounter with distant Pluto on July 14, 2015.
25 Aug 2014 Rosetta: Landing Site Search Narrows
The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has chosen five candidate landing sites on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its Philae lander. Philae's descent to the comet's nucleus, scheduled for this November, will be the first such landing ever attempted. Rosetta is an international mission spearheaded by the European Space Agency with support and instruments provided by NASA.
7 Aug 2014 Cassini Prepares For Its Biggest Remaining Burn
NASA's Cassini spacecraft will execute the largest planned maneuver of the spacecraft's remaining mission on Saturday, Aug. 9. The maneuver will target Cassini toward an Aug. 21 encounter with Saturn's largest moon, Titan.The main engine firing will last about a minute and will provide a change in velocity of 41 feet per second (12.5 meters per second). This is the largest maneuver by Cassini in five years. No other remaining maneuver comes close, in the amount of propellant it will consume and the amount by which it will change the spacecraft's velocity. By contrast, the smallest maneuvers Cassini routinely executes are about 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) per second.
6 Aug 2014 Orbiter Completes Maneuver to Prepare for Comet Flyby
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has successfully adjusted the timing of its orbit around Mars as a defensive precaution for a comet's close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19, 2014. The orbiter fired thrusters for five and a half seconds on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The maneuver was calculated to place the orbiter behind Mars during the half hour on the flyby date when dust particles released from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring are most likely to reach Mars. The nucleus of the comet will miss Mars by about one-third of the distance between Earth and Earth's moon.
5 Aug 2014 Curiosity Celebrates Two Years and Counting on Red Planet
NASA's most advanced roving laboratory on Mars celebrates its second anniversary since landing inside the Red Planet's Gale Crater on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, 2012, EDT).
15 Jul 2014 New Horizons Only One Year from Pluto
In July 2015, NASA will discover a new world. No one knows what to expect when the alien landscape comes into focus. There could be icy geysers, towering mountains, deep valleys, even planetary rings. At this point, only one thing is certain: Its name is Pluto.
10 Jun 2014 NASA Instruments on Rosetta Start Comet Science
Three NASA science instruments aboard the European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta spacecraft, which is set to become the first to orbit a comet and land a probe on its nucleus, are beginning observations and sending science data back to Earth. The three U.S. instruments aboard the spacecraft are the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO), an ultraviolet spectrometer called Alice, and the Ion and Electron Sensor (IES). They are part of a suite of 11 science instruments aboard the Rosetta orbiter.
19 May 2014 Construction to Begin on 2016 NASA Mars Lander
NASA and its international partners now have the go-ahead to begin construction on a new Mars lander, after it completed a successful Mission Critical Design Review on Friday. NASA's Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission will pierce beneath the Martian surface to study its interior. The mission will investigate how Earth-like planets formed and developed their layered inner structure of core, mantle and crust, and will collect information about those interior zones using instruments never before used on Mars.
30 Apr 2014 Target on Mars Looks Good for NASA Rover Drilling
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used several tools to examine the candidate site over the weekend, including a wire-bristle brush -- the Dust Removal Tool -- to clear away dust from a patch on the rock. The target slab of sandstone has been given the informal name "Windjana," after a gorge in Western Australia.
22 Apr 2014 MESSENGER Completes Its 3,000th Orbit of Mercury, Sets Mark for Closest Approach
On April 20, MESSENGER completed its 3,000th orbit of Mercury and moved closer to the planet than any spacecraft has been before, dropping to an altitude of 199 kilometers (123.7 miles) above the planet's surface.
18 Apr 2014 NASA Completes LADEE Mission with Planned Impact on Moon's Surface
Ground controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m. PDT Thursday, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent into the lunar surface. The spacecraft's orbit naturally decayed following the mission's final low-altitude science phase.
17 Apr 2014 NASA Rover Opportunity's Selfie Shows Clean Machine
In its sixth Martian winter, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity now has cleaner solar arrays than in any Martian winter since its first on the Red Planet, in 2005. Cleaning effects of wind events in March boosted the amount of electricity available for the rover's work.
16 Apr 2014 NASA Mars Orbiter Spies Rover Near Martian Butte
Scientists using NASA's Curiosity Mars rover are eyeing a rock layer surrounding the base of a small butte, called "Mount Remarkable," as a target for investigating with tools on the rover's robotic arm.
10 Apr 2014 Construction to Begin on NASA Spacecraft Set to Visit Asteroid in 2018
NASA's team that will conduct the first U.S. mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.
10 Apr 2014 Join in the Cassini Name Game
Starting in late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will repeatedly climb high above Saturn's north pole, flying just outside its narrow F ring. Cassini will probe the water-rich plume of the active geysers on the planet's intriguing moon Enceladus, and then will hop the rings and dive between the planet and innermost ring 22 times. Because the spacecraft will be very close to Saturn, the team has been calling this phase "the proximal orbits." But they think someone out there can conjure up a cooler name. Here's where you come in: you can choose your faves from a list already assembled, or you can submit your own ideas (up to three).
8 Apr 2014 Images From NASA Mars Rover Include Bright Spots
Images taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on April 2 and April 3 include bright spots, which might be due to the sun glinting off a rock or cosmic rays striking the camera's detector. The image from April 3, from Curiosity's Navigation Camera, is online at: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/multimedia/images/?ImageID=6135.
3 Apr 2014 Scientists Favor Four ExoMars Landing Sites
Some 60 scientists and engineers came together March 26-28, 2014, for the first ExoMars 2018 Landing Site Selection Workshop, held at ESA's European Space Astronomy Centre near Madrid. Their task was to begin the process of drawing up a shortlist of the most suitable landing locations for ESA's first Mars rover. The workshop attendees favored four candidate sites - all of which are located relatively near the equator - that were considered to be the most likely to achieve the mission's objectives. They are: Mawrth Vallis (for which 2, very similar, proposals were received), Oxia Planum, Hypanis Vallis and Oxia Palus.
3 Apr 2014 NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Scoping Out Next Study Area
On Wednesday, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover drove the last 98 feet feet (30 meters) needed to arrive at a site planned since early 2013 as a destination for studying rock clues about ancient environments that may have been favorable for life. The rover reached a vantage point for its cameras to survey four different types of rock intersecting in an area called "the Kimberley," after a region of western Australia.
27 Mar 2014 Cleaner NASA Rover Sees Its Shadow in Martian Spring
Late afternoon lighting produced a dramatic shadow of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity photographed by the rover's rear hazard-avoidance camera on March 20, 2014. The shadow falls across a slope called the McClure-Beverlin Escarpment on the western rim of Endeavour Crater, where Opportunity is investigating rock layers for evidence about ancient environments. The scene includes a glimpse into the distance across the 14-mile-wide (22-kilometer-wide) crater.
24 Mar 2014 NASA Mars Rover's Next Stop Has Sandstone Variations
Variations in the stuff that cements grains together in sandstone have shaped the landscape surrounding NASA's Curiosity Mars rover and could be a study topic at the mission's next science waypoint. On a journey with many months yet to go toward prime destinations on the lower slope of Mount Sharp, Curiosity is approaching a site called "the Kimberley." Scientists on the team picked this location last year as a likely place to pause for investigation. Its informal name comes from a northwestern Australia region known as the Kimberley. The Martian site's geological appeal, based on images taken from orbit, is that four types of terrain with different rock textures intersect there.
11 Mar 2014 NASA Orbiter Safe After Unplanned Computer Swap
NASA's long-lived Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a precautionary safe standby mode March 9 after an unscheduled swap from one main computer to another. The mission's ground team has begun restoring the spacecraft to full operations.
27 Feb 2014 New Horizons Reaches the Final 4 (AU)
New Horizons sailed past another milepost today when the NASA spacecraft moved to within four astronomical units (AU) of Pluto - which is less than four times the distance between the Earth and the sun, or about 371 million miles (598 million kilometers).
19 Feb 2014 Curiosity Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection
Terrain that NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is now crossing is as smooth as team members had anticipated based on earlier images from orbit. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, the rover covered 329 feet (100.3 meters), the mission's first long trek that used reverse driving and its farthest one-day advance of any kind in more than three months. The reverse drive validated feasibility of a technique developed with testing on Earth to lessen damage to Curiosity's wheels when driving over terrain studded with sharp rocks.
19 Feb 2014 NASA Mars Orbiter Views Opportunity Rover on Ridge
A new image from a telescopic camera orbiting Mars shows NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity at work on "Murray Ridge," without any new impact craters nearby. Rover tracks from Opportunity, as well as the rover itself, are visible. A rock, dubbed "Pinnacle Island," appeared in January 2014 next to Opportunity where it had been absent a few days earlier. After that, researchers using HiRISE planned this observation to check the remote possibility that a fresh impact by an object from space might have excavated a crater near Opportunity and thrown this rock to its new location. No fresh impact site is seen in the image.
14 Feb 2014 Mars Rover Heads Uphill After Solving 'Doughnut' Riddle
Researchers have determined the now-infamous Martian rock resembling a jelly doughnut, dubbed Pinnacle Island, is a piece of a larger rock broken and moved by the wheel of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in early January. Only about 1.5 inches wide (4 centimeters), the white-rimmed, red-centered rock caused a stir last month when it appeared in an image the rover took Jan. 8 at a location where it was not present four days earlier. More recent images show the original piece of rock struck by the rover's wheel, slightly uphill from where Pinnacle Island came to rest.
11 Feb 2014 NASA Moves Longest-Serving Mars Spacecraft for New Observations
NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has tweaked its orbit to help scientists make the first systematic observations of how morning fogs, clouds and surface frost develop in different seasons on the Red Planet. The maneuver took place Tuesday, Feb. 11. Odyssey team engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver, designed the gentle move to accelerate Odyssey's drift toward a morning-daylight orbit. The desired change will occur gradually until the intended orbit geometry is reached in November 2015 and another maneuver halts the drift.
6 Feb 2014 NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Sees 'Evening Star' Earth
New images from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover show Earth shining brighter than any star in the Martian night sky. The rover's view of its original home planet even includes our moon, just below Earth. The distance between Earth and Mars when Curiosity took the photo was about 99 million miles (160 million kilometers).
6 Feb 2014 Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead
New Horizons completed a quick, two-week maintenance wake-up on Jan. 17 and is back in hibernation. We'll wake the craft again in mid-June for our last active checkout, lasting about 10 weeks, on the journey to Pluto. We'll hibernate again from late August through early December, and then wake our baby up for the encounter we built her for.
5 Feb 2014 MAVEN on Track to Carry Out its Science Mission
The MAVEN spacecraft and all of its science instruments have completed their initial checkout, and all of them are working as expected. This means that MAVEN is on track to carry out its full science mission as originally planned.
31 Jan 2014 NASA Extends Moon Exploring Satellite Mission
NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, observatory has been approved for a 28-day mission extension. The spacecraft is now expected to impact the lunar surface on or around April 21, 2014, depending on the final trajectory. The extension provides an opportunity for the satellite to gather an additional full lunar cycle worth of very low-altitude data to help scientists unravel the mysteries of the moon's atmosphere.
29 Jan 2014 NASA's LRO Snaps a Picture of NASA's LADEE Spacecraft
With precise timing, the camera aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was able to take a picture of NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft as it orbited our nearest celestial neighbor. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) operations team worked with its LADEE and LRO operations counterparts to make the imaging possible.
29 Jan 2014 Curiosity Mars Rover Checking Possible Smoother Route
The team operating NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is considering a path across a small sand dune to reach a favorable route to science destinations. A favorable route would skirt some terrain with sharp rocks considered more likely to poke holes in the rover's aluminum wheels.
27 Jan 2014 Countdown to Pluto
Are we there yet? One of the fastest spacecraft ever built -- NASA's New Horizons -- is hurtling through the void at nearly one million miles per day. Launched in 2006, it has been in flight longer than some missions last, and it is nearing its destination: Pluto.
27 Jan 2014 NASA Instruments on European Comet Spacecraft Begin Activation Countdown
Three NASA science instruments are being prepared for check-out operations aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, which is set to become the first to orbit a comet and land a probe on its nucleus in November.
27 Jan 2014 NASA Receives Mars 2020 Rover Instrument Proposals for Evaluation
NASA has received 58 proposals for science and exploration technology instruments to fly aboard the agency's next Mars rover in 2020, twice the usual number submitted for instrument competitions in the recent past, and an indicator of the extraordinary interest in exploration of the Red Planet.
23 Jan 2014 NASA's Opportunity at 10: New Findings from Old Rover
New findings from rock samples collected and examined by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity have confirmed an ancient wet environment that was milder and older than the acidic and oxidizing conditions told by rocks the rover examined previously. Opportunity's original mission was to last only three months. On the day of its 10th anniversary on the Red Planet, Opportunity is examining the rim of the Endeavour Crater.
15 Jan 2014 NASA Invites Public to Send Names on an Asteroid Mission and Beyond
NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard a spacecraft headed to the asteroid Bennu in 2016. The "Messages to Bennu!" microchip will travel to the asteroid aboard the agency's Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft. The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the 1,760-foot (500-meter)-wide asteroid. The spacecraft will collect a sample of Bennu's surface and return it to Earth in a sample return capsule.
8 Jan 2014 A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons
With Pluto encounter operations now just a year away, the New Horizons team has brought the spacecraft out of hibernation for the first of several activities planned for 2014.
3 Jan 2014 Decade-Old Rover Adventure Continues on Mars and Earth
Ten years ago, the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars. What an adventure it's been. Though Spirit and Opportunity were built as nearly identical twins, and both succeeded in the main goal of finding evidence for ancient watery environments on Mars, their stories diverged early.
30 Dec 2013 NASA Images of Chang'e 3 Landing Site
Chang'e 3 landed on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) just east of a 450 m diameter impact crater on 14 December 2013. Soon after landing, a small rover named Yutu (or Jade Rabbit in English) was deployed and took its first tentative drive onto the airless regolith. At the time of the landing LRO's orbit was far from the landing site so images of the landing were not possible. Ten days later on 24 December, LRO approached the landing site, and LROC was able to acquire a series of six LROC Narrow Angle Camera ( NAC ) image pairs during the next 36 hours (19 orbits).
24 Dec 2013 NASA Releases New Earthrise Simulation Video
NASA has issued a new visualization of the events leading to one of the iconic photographs of the 20th Century - Earth rising over the moon captured by the crew of the Apollo 8 mission.
23 Dec 2013 Cassini Sees Saturn and Moons in Holiday Dress
This holiday season, feast your eyes on images of Saturn and two of its most fascinating moons, Titan and Enceladus, in a care package from NASA's Cassini spacecraft. All three bodies are dressed and dazzling in this special package assembled by Cassini's imaging team.
9 Dec 2013 NASA Curiosity: First Mars Age Measurement and Human Exploration Help
NASA's Curiosity rover is providing vital insight about Mars' past and current environments that will aid plans for future robotic and human missions. In a little more than a year on the Red Planet, the mobile Mars Science Laboratory has determined the age of a Martian rock, found evidence the planet could have sustained microbial life, taken the first readings of radiation on the surface, and shown how natural erosion could reveal the building blocks of life. The second rock Curiosity drilled for a sample on Mars, which scientists nicknamed "Cumberland," is the first ever to be dated from an analysis of its mineral ingredients while it sits on another planet.
5 Dec 2013 Laser Instrument on NASA Mars Rover Tops 100,000 Zaps
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has passed the milestone of 100,000 shots fired by its laser. It uses the laser as one way to check which chemical elements are in rocks and soils. The 100,000th shot was one of a series of 300 to investigate 10 locations on a rock called "Ithaca" in late October, at a distance of 13 feet, 3 inches (4.04 meters) from the laser and telescope on rover's mast. The Chemistry and Camera instrument (ChemCam) uses the infrared laser to excite material in a pinhead-size spot on the target into a glowing, ionized gas, called plasma. ChemCam observes that spark with the telescope and analyzes the spectrum of light to identify elements in the target.
18 Nov 2013 NASA Launches Mission to Study Upper Atmosphere of Mars
A NASA mission that will investigate how Mars lost its atmosphere and abundant liquid water launched into space at 1:28 p.m. EST Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The agency's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft separated from an Atlas V Centaur rocket's second stage 53 minutes after launch. The solar arrays deployed approximately one hour after launch and currently power the spacecraft. MAVEN now is embarking on a 10-month interplanetary cruise before arriving at Mars next September.
13 Nov 2013 Mars Rover Teams Dub Sites In Memory of Bruce Murray
Features on Mars important to the missions of NASA's two active Mars rovers are now called "Murray Ridge" and "Murray Buttes," in honor of influential planetary scientist Bruce Murray (1931-2013). The rover Opportunity, which has been roaming Mars for nearly a decade, is currently climbing Murray Ridge, part of an uplifted crater rim. NASA's newer rover, Curiosity, is headed toward Murray Buttes as the entryway to that mission's main destination.
4 Nov 2013 Dawn Journal
Deep in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn is continuing its smooth, silent flight toward dwarf planet Ceres. Far behind it now is the giant protoplanet Vesta, which the spacecraft transformed from a tiny splotch in the night sky to an exotic and richly detailed world.
29 Oct 2013 NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Approaches 'Cooperstown'
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity completed its first two-day autonomous drive Monday, bringing the mobile laboratory to a good vantage point for pictures useful in selecting the next target the rover will reach out and touch.
25 Oct 2013 New Horizons: On the Path to Pluto, 5 AU and Closing
Pluto isn't quite the next exit on New Horizons' voyage through the outer solar system, but the destination is definitely getting closer. Today the NASA spacecraft speeds to within five astronomical units (AU) of Pluto -- which is less than five times the distance between the Earth and the sun, or about 460 million miles.
23 Oct 2013 Mars Rover Opportunity Heads Uphill
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover has begun climbing "Solander Point," the northern tip of the tallest hill it has encountered in the mission's nearly 10 Earth years on Mars. Guided by mineral mapping from orbit, the rover is exploring outcrops on the northwestern slopes of Solander Point, making its way up the hill much as a field geologist would do.
22 Oct 2013 NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon
NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps). LLCD is NASA's first system for two-way communication using a laser instead of radio waves. It also has demonstrated an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps transmitted from the primary ground station in New Mexico to the spacecraft currently orbiting the moon.
21 Oct 2013 The Sounds of New Horizons
What does New Horizons say when it calls home? Nothing, without the help of software that transforms zeros and ones from New Horizons' computers into images, instrument readings, or useful information on the spacecraft's status. Those datasets are then transmitted to Earth by the telecommunications (radio) system aboard New Horizons.
21 Oct 2013 Earth from Juno
On Oct. 9, Juno flew by Earth using the home planet's gravity to get a boost needed to reach Jupiter. The JunoCam caught this image of Earth, and other instruments were tested to ensure they work as designed during a close planetary encounter.
21 Oct 2013 NASA: Back to Work, Back to Mission
NASA is once again open for business in a big way. While we were out, several of our on-going missions achieved significant milestones, and although it will take a little time to fully assess the impacts of the government shut down on our other operations, this week will make clear we're back to our core mission implementing America's ambitious space program.
18 Oct 2013 LADEE Mission Update
During the NASA shutdown, the LADEE mission continued to perform its critical maneuvers and capture into the commissioning orbit around the moon. The LADEE spacecraft commissioning activities are now complete, and the instrument commissioning activities have begun. The LDEX and UVS aliveness activities were completed successfully on Oct. 16, with both instrument covers deployed. These instrument cover deployments were the last remaining planned critical events for the mission. All critical maneuvers and all instrument cover deployments are completed at this point.
17 Oct 2013 Managing the Deluge of 'Big Data' From Space
For NASA and its dozens of missions, data pour in every day like rushing rivers. Spacecraft monitor everything from our home planet to faraway galaxies, beaming back images and information to Earth. All those digital records need to be stored, indexed and processed so that spacecraft engineers, scientists and people across the globe can use the data to understand Earth and the universe beyond.
20 Sep 2013 Communications Tests Go the Distance for MAVEN
It's not easy to simulate millions of miles electronically, but that's what engineers did recently as they tested the all-important communications system the MAVEN spacecraft will use to relay its study results from Mars orbit to Earth-bound researchers. Working from their consoles at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, a team of test engineers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, better known as JPL, conducted more than a week of evaluations on the antennas and circuitry aboard the spacecraft.
20 Sep 2013 NASA's Deep Space Comet Hunter Mission Comes to an End
After almost 9 years in space that included an unprecedented July 4th impact and subsequent flyby of a comet, an additional comet flyby, and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, NASA's Deep Impact mission has ended. The project team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has reluctantly pronounced the mission at an end after being unable to communicate with the spacecraft for over a month. The last communication with the probe was Aug. 8. Deep Impact was history's most traveled comet research mission, going about 4.71 billion miles (7.58 billion kilometers).
17 Sep 2013 NASA Hosts Social Media Event at MAVEN Launch in Florida
NASA will give 150 of its social media followers an insider's look at America's space program and the opportunity to see a launch in person. The NASA Social, scheduled for Nov. 16 and 18 to coincide with the launch of NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), will be held at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA Socials are in-person meetings with people who engage with the agency through Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social networks. MAVEN is targeted to launch at 1:27 p.m. EST Nov. 18 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
10 Sep 2013 Long Drive Puts NASA Mars Rover Near Planned Waypoint
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity now has a view of a patch of exposed bedrock scientists selected for a few days of close-up study, the first such study since the rover began its long trek to Mount Sharp two months ago. Curiosity reached the crest of a rise informally called "Panorama Point." From Panorama Point, the rover took photographs of a pale-toned outcrop area that the team chose earlier as "Waypoint 1" on the basis of imagery from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
7 Sep 2013 LADEE Launches, Heads for the Moon
NASA has confirmed its Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) has separated from its ride into space, powered up and is communicating with ground controllers following a successful launch at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 6, from the agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. LADEE is on its way to arrive at the moon in 30 days, then enter lunar orbit.
4 Sep 2013 NASA Evaluates Four Candidate Sites for 2016 Mars Mission
NASA has narrowed to four the number of potential landing sites for the agency's next mission to the surface of Mars, a 2016 lander to study the planet's interior. The stationary Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars six months later. It will touch down at one of four sites selected in August from a field of 22 candidates. All four semi-finalist spots lie near each other on an equatorial plain in an area of Mars called Elysium Planitia.
3 Sep 2013 NASA Mission To Study Mysterious Lunar Twilight Rays
Back in the 60s and 70s, Apollo astronauts circling the Moon saw something that still puzzles researchers today. About 10 seconds before lunar sunrise or lunar sunset, pale luminous streamers would pop up over the gray horizon. These "twilight rays" were witnessed by crewmembers of Apollo 8, 10, 15 and 17. Later this week a NASA spacecraft is going back to the Moon to investigate. Slated for launch on Sept 6, 2013, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer ("LADEE" for short) will seek out twilight rays and other mysteries of the lunar atmosphere.
27 Aug 2013 NASA's Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used autonomous navigation for the first time, a capability that lets the rover decide for itself how to drive safely on Mars. This latest addition to Curiosity's array of capabilities will help the rover cover the remaining ground en route to Mount Sharp, where geological layers hold information about environmental changes on ancient Mars.
23 Aug 2013 New Horizons: Late in Cruise, and a Binary Ahoy
New Horizons has just completed a summer of intensive activities and entered hibernation on Aug. 20. The routine parts of the activities included thorough checkouts of all our backup systems (result: they work fine!) and of all our scientific instruments (they work fine too!). We also updated our onboard fault protection (a.k.a. "autonomy") software, collected interplanetary cruise science data, and tracked the spacecraft for hundreds of hours to improve our trajectory knowledge. Added to this mix of routine summer wake-up activities for New Horizons were two major activities that had never been performed before.
22 Aug 2013 Will You See LADEE?
Live on the U.S. East Coast between Charleston and Cape Cod? You may be able to see the LADEE spacecraft launch for the Moon on Sept. 6!
21 Aug 2013 NASA Spacecraft Reactivated to Hunt for Asteroids
A NASA spacecraft that discovered and characterized tens of thousands of asteroids throughout the solar system before being placed in hibernation will return to service for three more years starting in September, assisting the agency in its effort to identify the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, as well as those suitable for asteroid exploration missions.
21 Aug 2013 Cassini Releases Image of Earth Waving at Saturn
People around the world shared more than 1,400 images of themselves as part of the Wave at Saturn event organized by NASA's Cassini mission on July 19 -- the day the Cassini spacecraft turned back toward Earth to take our picture. The mission has assembled a collage from those images, which came from 40 countries and 30 U.S. states via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Google+ and email.
16 Aug 2013 LADEE: The Movie
NASA's Ames Research Center released a sharp animation chronicling the life of the upcoming LADEE moon mission. The 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. LADEE launches September 6.
15 Aug 2013 NASA Ends Attempts to Fully Recover Kepler Spacecraft, Potential New Missions Considered
Following months of analysis and testing, the Kepler Space Telescope team is ending its attempts to restore the spacecraft to full working order, and now is considering what new science research it can carry out in its current condition. Two of Kepler's four gyroscope-like reaction wheels, which are used to precisely point the spacecraft, have failed. The first was lost in July 2012, and the second in May [2013]. Engineers' efforts to restore at least one of the wheels have been unsuccessful. ... the spacecraft needs three functioning wheels to continue its search for Earth-sized exoplanets.
14 Aug 2013 Watch Live Talk Online: Mars Curiosity, Year One
Are you ready for some science? No matter where you are, you can join us online for a live public talk from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. PDT (10 p.m. EDT) about the Curiosity rover's first year on Mars. This talk will revisit the dramatic, nail-biting landing and some of the mission's top science results. Live streaming high-definition video of the event will be carried on Ustream, with chat available, at: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl.
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.
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.
16 May 2013 Nine-Year-Old Mars Rover Passes 40-Year-Old Record
While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until yesterday. The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received confirmation in a transmission from Mars today that the rover drove 263 feet (80 meters) on Thursday, bringing Opportunity's total odometry since landing on Mars in January 2004 to 22.220 statute miles (35.760 kilometers).
16 May 2013 NASA's Asteroid Sample Return Mission Moves into Development
NASA's first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016. The Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) passed a confirmation review Wednesday called Key Decision Point (KDP)-C. NASA officials reviewed a series of detailed project assessments and authorized the spacecraft's continuation into the development phase. OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2018 and return a sample of it to Earth in 2023.
15 May 2013 Mission Manager Update: Kepler Spacecraft Status
Update on the status of the Kepler Spacecraft. At our semi-weekly contact on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, we found the Kepler spacecraft once again in safe mode. As was the case earlier this month, this was a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode. The spacecraft is stable and safe.
9 May 2013 NASA Curiosity Rover Team Selects Second Drilling Target On Mars
The team operating NASA's Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days. This second drilling target, called "Cumberland," lies about nine feet (2.75 meters) west of the rock where Curiosity's drill first touched Martian stone in February. Curiosity took the first rock sample ever collected on Mars from that rock, called "John Klein." The rover found evidence of an ancient environment favorable for microbial life. Both rocks are flat, with pale veins and a bumpy surface. They are embedded in a layer of rock on the floor of a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay."
3 May 2013 LADEE Passes Thermal Test
NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Observatory recently completed the Thermal-Vacuum (TVAC) phase of environmental testing at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. During the TVAC environmental testing phase, LADEE underwent a variety of rigorous tests that simulate the full range of extreme temperatures and vacuum the spacecraft will experience during the course of its mission. The successful completion of this phase of testing means NASA engineers are confident that LADEE will be able to operate in the harsh conditions of space.
1 May 2013 NASA Invites Public to Send Names And Messages to Mars
NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere. The DVD will be in NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, which is scheduled for launch in November. The DVD is part of the mission's Going to Mars Campaign coordinated at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP).
1 May 2013 Opportunity Exits Standby, Back at Work
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project received confirmation from Mars this morning (May 1) that the Opportunity rover is back under ground control, executing a sequence of commands sent by the rover team. Opportunity is no longer in standby automode and has resumed normal operations.
30 Apr 2013 Dawn Journal
Nearly three times as far from Earth as the sun is, the Dawn spacecraft is making very good progress on its ambitious trek from Vesta to Ceres. After a spectacular adventure at the second most massive resident of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn used its extraordinary ion propulsion system to leave it behind and undertake the long journey to a dwarf planet.
29 Apr 2013 Opportunity Exits Standby, Back at Work
During a moratorium on commanding this month while Mars passed nearly behind the sun -- a phase called solar conjunction -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity entered a type of standby mode. Mission controllers learned of the changed status on April 27 when they first heard from Opportunity after the period of minimized communication during the solar conjunction. They prepared fresh commands today (April 29) for sending to the rover to resume operations.
25 Apr 2013 Curiosity Wins National Air and Space Museum Trophy
The team in charge of successfully landing NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., received the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's highest group honor at a dinner in Washington on Wednesday night, April 24. The 2013 Trophy for Current Achievement honors outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology.
22 Apr 2013 NASA Successfully Launches Three Smartphone Satellites
Three smartphones destined to become low-cost satellites rode to space Sunday aboard the maiden flight of Orbital Science Corp.'s Antares rocket from NASA's Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia. The trio of "PhoneSats" is operating in orbit, and may prove to be the lowest-cost satellites ever flown in space. The goal of NASA's PhoneSat mission is to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics of a capable, yet very inexpensive, satellite. Transmissions from all three PhoneSats have been received at multiple ground stations on Earth, indicating they are operating normally.
15 Apr 2013 NASA-Funded Asteroid Tracking Sensor Passes Key Test
An infrared sensor that could improve NASA's future detecting and tracking of asteroids and comets has passed a critical design test. The test assessed performance of the Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) in an environment that mimicked the temperatures and pressures of deep space. NEOCam is the cornerstone instrument for a proposed new space-based asteroid-hunting telescope.
11 Apr 2013 NASA Mars Orbiter Images May Show 1971 Soviet Lander
Hardware from a spacecraft that the Soviet Union landed on Mars in 1971 might appear in images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. While following news about Mars and NASA's Curiosity rover, Russian citizen enthusiasts found four features in a five-year-old image from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that resemble four pieces of hardware from the Soviet Mars 3 mission: the parachute, heat shield, terminal retrorocket and lander. A follow-up image by the orbiter from last month shows the same features. The Mars 3 lander transmitted for several seconds after landing on Dec. 2, 1971, the first spacecraft to survive a Mars landing long enough to transmit anything.
10 Apr 2013 NASA Administrator Bolden's Statement On The NASA FY 2014 Budget Request
This statement is from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the administration's budget request for the 2014 fiscal year.
8 Apr 2013 NASA Celebrates Four Decades of Plucky Pioneer 11
Forty years ago, on April 5, 1973, a small, ambitious spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, heading towards the third-brightest point of light in the night sky. Following in the footsteps of its sister craft, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11 was intended as a backup for the dangerous mission. After Pioneer 10 successfully survived its encounter with Jupiter, Pioneer 11 was retargeted mid-flight to include another planetary encounter.
3 Apr 2013 Final MAVEN Instrument Integrated to Spacecraft
An instrument that will measure the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere has been integrated into NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. MAVEN has a scheduled launch date of Nov. 18.
3 Apr 2013 Used Parachute On Mars Flaps In The Wind
Photos from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show how the parachute that helped NASA's Curiosity rover land on Mars last summer has subsequently changed its shape on the ground.
25 Mar 2013 Curiosity Resumes Science Investigations
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has resumed science investigations after recovery from a computer glitch that prompted the engineers to switch the rover to a redundant main computer on Feb. 28. The rover has been monitoring the weather since March 21 and delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis on March 23, among other activities.
20 Mar 2013 LADEE Project Manager Update: Thermal-Vacuum Testing
Engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., are about to begin the Thermal-Vacuum (TVAC) phase of environmental testing on NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) Observatory. During the TVAC environmental testing phase, LADEE will undergo a variety of rigorous tests that simulate the full range of extreme temperatures and vacuum the spacecraft will experience during the course of its mission.
20 Mar 2013 Apollo Moon Rocket Engine Recovered
After lying on the ocean floor for more than 40 years, two Apollo rocket engines that helped deliver astronauts to the Moon are once again seeing the light of day. A team organized by Jeff Bezos spent three weeks fishing at sea to recover the corroded F-1 engines, which sat more than 4 kilometers below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. Bezos does not yet know precisely which Apollo mission the engines flew on as the original serial numbers on the objects are missing. He is hoping they are the Apollo 11 engines that brought the first men to the Moon.
20 Mar 2013 Sun in the Way Will Affect Mars Missions in April
The positions of the planets next month will mean diminished communications between Earth and NASA's spacecraft at Mars. Mars will be passing almost directly behind the sun, from Earth's perspective. The sun can easily disrupt radio transmissions between the two planets during that near-alignment. To prevent an impaired command from reaching an orbiter or rover, mission controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., are preparing to suspend sending any commands to spacecraft at Mars for weeks in April. Transmissions from Mars to Earth will also be reduced.
19 Mar 2013 Curiosity Rover Exits 'Safe Mode'
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has returned to active status and is on track to resume science investigations, following two days in a precautionary standby status, "safe mode." Next steps will include checking the rover's active computer, the B-side computer, by commanding a preliminary free-space move of the arm. The B-side computer was provided information last week about the position of the robotic arm, which was last moved by the redundant A-side computer. The rover was switched from the A-side to the B-side by engineers on Feb. 28 in response to a memory glitch on the A-side. The A-side now is available as a back-up if needed.
19 Mar 2013 NASA's LRO Sees GRAIL's Explosive Farewell
Many spacecraft just fade away, drifting silently through space after their mission is over, but not GRAIL. NASA's twin GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) spacecraft went out in a blaze of glory Dec. 17, 2012, when they were intentionally crashed into a mountain near the moon's north pole. The successful mission to study the moon's interior took the plunge to get one last bit of science: by kicking up a cloud of dust and gas with each impact, researchers hoped to discover more about the moon's composition. However, with the moon about 380,000 kilometers (over 236,000 miles) away from Earth, the impact plumes would be difficult to observe from here.
15 Mar 2013 Panorama From NASA Mars Rover Shows Mount Sharp
Rising above the present location of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, higher than any mountain in the 48 contiguous states of the United States, Mount Sharp is featured in new imagery from the rover. A pair of mosaics assembled from dozens of telephoto images shows Mount Sharp in dramatic detail. This layered mound, also called Aeolis Mons, in the center of Gale Crater rises more than 3 miles (5 kilometers) above the crater floor location of Curiosity. Lower slopes of Mount Sharp remain a destination for the mission, though the rover will first spend many more weeks around a location called "Yellowknife Bay," where it has found evidence of a past environment favorable for microbial life.
14 Mar 2013 A Tribute to MESSENGER: Video!
This video showcases a small sampling of the thousands of images taken by the spacecraft, as well as animations illustrating how MESSENGER moves in orbit and how its orbit has changed during the mission.
8 Mar 2013 Planetary Data System Releases MESSENGER Data from Third Mercury Solar Day
The Planetary Data System (PDS), which archives and distributes data from all of NASA's planetary missions, today released data collected during MESSENGER's thirteenth through eighteenth month in orbit around Mercury. With this release, images and measurements are now available to the public for the third full Mercury solar day of MESSENGER orbital operations.
4 Mar 2013 Curiosity Rover's Recovery on Track
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has transitioned from precautionary "safe mode" to active status on the path of recovery from a memory glitch last week. Resumption of full operations is anticipated by next week.
28 Feb 2013 Computer Swap on Curiosity Rover
The ground team for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has switched the rover to a redundant onboard computer in response to a memory issue on the computer that had been active. The intentional swap at about 2:30 a.m. PST on Feb. 28 put the rover, as anticipated, into a minimal-activity precautionary status called "safe mode." The team is shifting the rover from safe mode to operational status over the next few days and is troubleshooting the condition that affected operations yesterday. The condition is related to a glitch in flash memory linked to the other, now-inactive, computer.
25 Feb 2013 Lab Instruments Inside Curiosity Eat Mars Rock Powder
Two compact laboratories inside NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have ingested portions of the first sample of rock powder ever collected from the interior of a rock on Mars. Curiosity science team members will use the laboratories to analyze the rock powder in the coming days and weeks.
21 Feb 2013 NASA and JPL Contribute to European Jupiter Mission
NASA has selected key contributions to a 2022 European Space Agency (ESA) mission that will study Jupiter and three of its largest moons in unprecedented detail. The moons are thought to harbor vast water oceans beneath their icy surfaces.
20 Feb 2013 NASA Rover Confirms First Drilled Mars Rock Sample
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has relayed new images that confirm it has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. No rover has ever drilled into a rock beyond Earth and collected a sample from its interior. Transfer of the powdered-rock sample into an open scoop was visible for the first time in images received Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.
13 Feb 2013 NASA's MAVEN Mission Completes Assembly
NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is assembled and is undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems facilities, near Denver, Colo. MAVEN is the next mission to Mars and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. During the environmental testing phase, the orbiter will undergo a variety of rigorous tests that simulate the extreme temperatures, vacuum and vibration the spacecraft will experience during the course of its mission.
9 Feb 2013 NASA Curiosity Rover Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample
NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars. The fresh hole, about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep in a patch of fine-grained sedimentary bedrock, can be seen in images and other data Curiosity beamed to Earth Saturday. The rock is believed to hold evidence about long-gone wet environments. In pursuit of that evidence, the rover will use its laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder collected by the drill.
7 Feb 2013 Preparatory Drill Test Performed on Mars
The drill on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity used both percussion and rotation to bore about 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) into a rock on Mars and generate cuttings for evaluation in advance of the rover's first sample-collection drilling. Completion of this "mini drill" test in preparation for full drilling was confirmed in data from Mars received late Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. If the drill cuttings on the ground around the fresh hole pass visual evaluation as suitable for processing by the rover's sample handling mechanisms, the rover team plans to proceed with commanding the first full drilling in coming days.
6 Feb 2013 State of the Solar System 2013
An update from the ongoing exploration of our cosmic neighborhood.
4 Feb 2013 Weekend Test on Mars Was Preparation to Drill a Rock
The bit of the rock-sampling drill on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity left its mark on a Martian rock this weekend during brief testing of the tool's percussive action. The successful activity, called a "drill-on-rock checkout" by the rover team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, is part of a series of tests to prepare for the first drilling in history to collect a sample of rock material on Mars.
1 Feb 2013 Building a Lunar Base with 3D Printing
Building a base on the moon could theoretically be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to construct it from local materials. The concept was recently endorsed by the European Space Agency (ESA) which is now collaborating with architects to gauge the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil.
30 Jan 2013 MSL Curiosity on Sol 157 in Color
The pair of bright white spots in the HiRISE image, taken from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft, show the area immediately below where sky crane's rockets were pointed. HiRISE also captured Curiosity on its 157th Sol as it was exploring Yellowknife Bay and about to drill its first rock. This is the first time that HiRISE has captured the rover tracks in color, and they show up as a pair of dark lines moving across the landscape.
28 Jan 2013 Curiosity Maneuver Prepares for Drilling
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has placed its drill onto a series of four locations on a Martian rock and pressed down on it with the rover's arm, in preparation for using the drill in coming days. The rover carried out this "pre-load" testing on Mars on Jan. 27. The tests enable engineers to check whether the amount of force applied to the hardware matches predictions for what would result from the commanded motions.
23 Jan 2013 The PI's Perspective: The Seven-Year Itch
It's been seven years since New Horizons' launch on 19 Jan. 2006, and our spacecraft remains healthy and on course.
22 Jan 2013 NASA's Veteran Mars Rover Ready to Start 10th Year
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, one of the twin rovers that bounced to airbag-cushioned safe landings on Mars nine years ago this week, is currently examining veined rocks on the rim of an ancient crater. Opportunity has operated on Mars 36 times longer than the three months planned as its prime mission.
17 Jan 2013 NASA Beams Mona Lisa to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at the Moon
As part of the first demonstration of laser communication with a satellite at the moon, scientists with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) beamed an image of the Mona Lisa to the spacecraft from Earth. The iconic image traveled nearly 240,000 miles in digital form from the Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging (NGSLR) station at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., to the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument on the spacecraft. By transmitting the image piggyback on laser pulses that are routinely sent to track LOLA's position, the team achieved simultaneous laser communication and tracking.
15 Jan 2013 NASA Mars Rover Preparing To Drill Into First Martian Rock
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is driving toward a flat rock with pale veins that may hold clues to a wet history on the Red Planet. If the rock meets rover engineers' approval when Curiosity rolls up to it in coming days, it will become the first to be drilled for a sample during the Mars Science Laboratory mission.
10 Jan 2013 New Horizons Gets a New Year's Workout
Like many of us, New Horizons is starting the new year with a workout regimen. After six months of cruising quietly through the outer solar system, NASA's Pluto-bound spacecraft came out of hibernation last weekend for three weeks of activity that include system checks, a new flight software upload and science data downloads.
9 Jan 2013 Cassini Top 10 Science Highlights -- 2012
The scientific discoveries made possible by the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn keep coming in at an astounding pace. How many layers does this solar-system-in-miniature have to unveil? As the data arrives, scientists the world over are digging deeper into the mysteries of the Saturnian system. Chosen by scientists on the Cassini mission, these 10 science highlights stood out in 2012.
7 Jan 2013 NASA's Big Mars Rover Makes First Use Of Its Brush
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has completed first-time use of a brush it carries to sweep dust off rocks. Nearing the end of a series of first-time uses of the rover's tools, the mission has cleared dust away from a targeted patch on a flat Martian rock using the Dust Removal Tool.  The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush designed to prepare selected rock surfaces for enhanced inspection by the rover's science instruments.
4 Jan 2013 Curiosity Rover Explores 'Yellowknife Bay'
After imaging during the holidays, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity resumed driving Jan. 3 and pulled within arm's reach of a sinuous rock feature called "Snake River."  Snake River is a thin curving line of darker rock cutting through flatter rocks and jutting above sand. Curiosity's science team plans to get a closer look at it before proceeding to other nearby rocks.
3 Jan 2013 LADEE Project Manager Update
Engineers at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, recently attached all of the solar panels to NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) observatory, and prepared to transport the observatory to the National Technical Systems mechanical testing facility in Santa Clarita, CA.  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.
19 Dec 2012 Cassini Top 10 Images of 2012
As the Cassini spacecraft roams the Saturnian system, each year it opens new windows on an amazing corner of our solar system. Images of mighty Saturn, its majestic rings, and the dynamic moons continue to stun us, offering ever-changing vistas that are truly inspiring. This collection of 10 best images was selected by the scientists on the mission.
18 Dec 2012 Curiosity Rover Explores 'Yellowknife Bay'
The NASA Mars rover Curiosity this week is driving within a shallow depression called "Yellowknife Bay," providing information to help researchers choose a rock to drill.  Using Curiosity's percussive drill to collect a sample from the interior of a rock, a feat never before attempted on Mars, is the mission's priority for early 2013.
17 Dec 2012 NASA GRAIL Lunar Twins Complete Their Last Burn
Ebb and Flow -- the two twin spacecraft of NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission -- have begun their final rocket burns. They are scheduled to impact the moon at around 2:28 p.m. PST (5:28 EST) on Dec. 17.  The two probes will hit a mountain near the lunar north pole, bringing their successful prime and extended science missions to an end. The two probes are being sent purposely into the moon because they no longer have enough altitude or fuel to continue science operations.
13 Dec 2012 NASA Probes Prepare for Mission-Ending Moon Impact
Twin lunar-orbiting NASA spacecraft that have allowed scientists to learn more about the internal structure and composition of the moon are being prepared for their controlled descent and impact on a mountain near the moon's north pole at about 2:28 p.m. PST (5:28 p.m. EST) Monday, Dec. 17.  Ebb and Flow, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission probes, are being sent purposely into the lunar surface because their low orbit and low fuel levels preclude further scientific operations.
11 Dec 2012 Mars Rover Self-Portrait Shoot Uses Arm Choreography
The robotic arm on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity held the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera in more than 50 positions in one day to generate a single scene combining all the images, creating a high-resolution, full-color portrait of the rover itself.  A larger version of the previously released self-portrait is now available online, along with an animation video showing how it was taken, and a practice self-portrait taken earlier by Curiosity's test-rover double on Earth.
5 Dec 2012 Orbiter Spies Where Rover's Cruise Stage Hit Mars
During the 10 minutes before the NASA Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere to deliver the rover Curiosity to the surface, the spacecraft shed its cruise stage, which had performed vital functions during the flight from Earth, and then jettisoned two 165-pound (75-kilogram) blocks of tungsten to gain aerodynamic lift. Cameras on the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have imaged impact scars where the tungsten blocks and the broken-apart cruise stage hit about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of where Curiosity landed on Aug. 5, 2012, PDT (Aug. 6, UTC).
4 Dec 2012 NASA Opportunity Rover Does Walkabout of Crater Rim
The latest work assignment for NASA's long-lived Mars rover Opportunity is a further examination of an area where the robot just completed a walkabout.
4 Dec 2012 NASA Announces Robust Multi-Year Mars Program; New Rover To Close Out Decade Of New Missions
Building on the success of Curiosity's Red Planet landing, NASA has announced plans for a robust multi-year Mars program, including a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020. This announcement affirms the agency's commitment to a bold exploration program that meets our nation's scientific and human exploration objectives.
3 Dec 2012 NASA Mars Rover Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil. Water and sulfur and chlorine-containing substances, among other ingredients, showed up in samples Curiosity's arm delivered to an analytical laboratory inside the rover.
28 Nov 2012 Halfway Between Uranus and Neptune, New Horizons Cruises On
On November 28, 2012, the Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft passed the halfway point between the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, zooming past another milepost on its historic trek to the planetary frontier.  New Horizons, launched in January 2006 and set to visit the Pluto system in July 2015, is the first spacecraft to cross this distant region since NASA's Voyager probes in the late 1980s.
26 Nov 2012 One Year After Launch, Curiosity Rover Busy on Mars
The NASA Mars rover Curiosity began its flight to Mars on Nov. 26, 2011, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., tucked inside the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft. One year after launch and 16 weeks since its dramatic landing on target inside Gale Crater, Curiosity has returned more than 23,000 raw images, driven 1,696 feet (517 meters) and begun helping researchers better understand the area's environmental history.
1 Nov 2012 Mars Longevity Champ Switching Computers
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, already the longest-working spacecraft ever sent to Mars, will switch to some fresh, redundant equipment next week that has not been used since before launch in 2001.  Like many spacecraft, this orbiter carries a pair of redundant main computers, so that a backup is available if one fails. Odyssey's "A-side" computer and "B-side" computer each have several other redundant subsystems linked to just that computer.
24 Oct 2012 Pew! Pew! Take *That*, Mars!
On October 20, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover aimed its megawatt laser at the sand on Mars and blasted it 30 times in rapid succession, carving out a hole about 3 mm across.
18 Oct 2012 Mars Soil Sample Delivered for Analysis Inside Rover
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has ingested its first solid sample into an analytical instrument inside the rover, a capability at the core of the two-year mission.  The rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument is analyzing this sample to determine what minerals it contains.
15 Oct 2012 A Long and Winding Road: Cassini Celebrates 15 Years
On October 15, 2012, NASA's Cassini spacecraft celebrated 15 years of uninterrupted drive time, earning it a place among the ultimate interplanetary road warriors.

Since launching on Oct. 15, 1997, the spacecraft has logged more than 3.8 billion miles (6.1 billion kilometers) of exploration -- enough to circle Earth more than 152,000 times. After flying by Venus twice, Earth, and then Jupiter on its way to Saturn, Cassini pulled into orbit around the ringed planet in 2004 and has been spending its last eight years weaving around Saturn, its glittering rings and intriguing moons.
4 Oct 2012 NASA Mars Curiosity Rover Prepares To Study Martian Soil
NASA's Curiosity rover is in a position on Mars where scientists and engineers can begin preparing the rover to take its first scoop of soil for analysis. The rover's preparatory operations will involve testing its robotic scooping capabilities to collect and process soil samples. Later, it also will use a hammering drill to collect powdered samples from rocks. To begin preparations for a first scoop, the rover used one of its wheels Wednesday to scuff the soil to expose fresh material.
17 Sep 2012 Juno's Two Deep Space Maneuvers Are 'Back-To-Back Home Runs'
NASA's Juno spacecraft successfully executed its second Deep Space Maneuver on September 17, called DSM-2. The 30 minute firing of its main engine refined the Jupiter-bound spacecraft's trajectory, setting the stage for a gravity assist from a flyby of Earth on Oct 9, 2013. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
30 Aug 2012 Jupiter-Bound Juno Changes its Orbit
On August 30, navigators and mission controllers for NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter watched their computer screens as their spacecraft successfully performed its first deep-space maneuver. This first firing of Juno's main engine is one of two planned to refine the spacecraft's trajectory, setting the stage for a gravity assist from a flyby of Earth on Oct 9, 2013. Juno will arrive at Jupiter on July 4, 2016.
22 Aug 2012 Curiosity Begins Driving at Bradbury Landing
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has begun driving from its landing site, which scientists announced today they have named for the late author Ray Bradbury.

Making its first movement on the Martian surface, Curiosity's drive combined forward, turn and reverse segments. This placed the rover roughly 20 feet (6 meters) from the spot where it landed on August 5.
6 Aug 2012 NASA Lands Car-Size Rover Beside Martian Mountain
NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation.
6 Aug 2012 NASA's Curiosity Rover Caught in the Act of Landing
An image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance orbiter captured the Curiosity rover still connected to its 51-foot-wide (almost 16 meter) parachute as it descended towards its landing site.
3 Aug 2012 MESSENGER Marks 8th Anniversary of Launch
The MESSENGER spacecraft launched eight years ago, on August 3, 2004, embarking on a six-and-a-half year journey to become the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury.
27 Jul 2012 LRO Finds the Flags Are Still There!
The most common questions to the LROC team before launch concerned what will we see at the Apollo sites? Will we see the Lunar Module descent stage and rovers? What about rover tracks, or the American flags?
27 Jun 2012 MESSENGER's Cameras Capture 100,000th Image from Mercury Orbit
MESSENGER's Mercury Dual Imaging System delivered the 100,000th image of Mercury since the spacecraft entered into orbit around the planet on March 18, 2011.
27 Jun 2012 Mars Odyssey, Longest-Lived Mars Orbiter, Is Back in Service
NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has resumed its science observations and its role as a Mars rover's relay, thanks to a spare part that had been waiting 11 years to be put to use.
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