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Robotic Spacecraft: Far-Ranging Robots
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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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Last Updated: 16 Apr 2014