All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘space exploration’

Mars Rover Curiosity Has Fired its Laser a Lot

NASA today officially announced that Mars rover Curiosity has fired its infrared laser more than 102,000 times. The 100,000th blast came back near the end of October, when the rover shot over 300 blasts at a rock named “Ithaca” from a distance of over four meters. Curiosity has now blasted over 420 different Martian targets using its laser. “Passing 100,000 …

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New Saturn North Pole Storm Images Released

NASA today released new images of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft. The images are the highest-ever resolution photos of the planet’s north pole. The images depict the so-called “hexagon” jet stream located near the north pole of Saturn. The formation is so-named because of its six sides. The hexagon is a gigantic storm covering the pole that can reach …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Resumes Roving

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity resumed its exploration of Mars this weekend. The rover’s exploration had been suspended last week following an unexpected electrical issue. This is the second time in November that Curiosity has been reactivated following an unexpected technical glitch. The first occurred when the rover unexpectedly booted into safe mode after a software conflict. This …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Halted Over Electrical Issue

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity‘s planned research has been suspended temporarily. The rover is still functional, but has been put on hold while researchers examine an electricity issue that has been detected. This news comes just a week after Curiosity resumed operations following an unexpected software glitch in early November. This new suspension came after NASA researchers detected …

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NASA Successfully Launches its MAVEN Mission to Mars

On Monday afternoon NASA successfully launched its Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The probe’s solar arrays were deployed soon after it’s final rocket stage, sending it on its months-long journey to the planet mars. The MAVEN spacecraft will take 10 months to journey from Earth to Mars. In the coming weeks researchers will …

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Mars Rover Curiosity is Back in Action

NASA today announced that Mars rover Curiosity is now out of safe mode and operating normally. The rover had rebooted into safe mode unexpectedly last week while transferring data between the rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Curiosity is expected to resume its exploration functions starting tomorrow, and the rover team has already begun planning for the upcoming days. From …

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ESA Names ExoMars Lander ‘Schiaparelli’

The European Space Agency (ESA) today announced that the landing module for its 2016 ExoMars mission has been officially named “Schiaparelli.” The name refers to 19th century astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli is best known for describing the surface features of the planet Mars. He was also the first astronomer to determine the relationship between comet debris and yearly meteor showers. …

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Mars Rover Curiosity Drove Itself For Two Days This Weekend

NASA this week announced that Mars rover Curiosity this weekend drove itself over the surface of Mars for two days. The rover used its autonomous driving mode to scope out driving routes on its own, traveling 262 feet closer to its destination. The feat represents the first time the rover has completed a two-day journey on its own. Curiosity is …

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Rosetta Spacecraft to Wake Up In January

The European Space Agency (ESA) today marked a milestone in the Rosetta mission to study comets. After being launched nearly one decade ago the spacecraft is now nearing its main objective, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In 100 days time, the Rosetta probe will awake and begin the final leg of its journey to the comet. According to the ESA, the spacecraft has …

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Juno Flyby to Help Scientists Reconcile Anomaly

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to fly close to the Earth today, coming within 350 miles of Earth and swinging around it. The probe will be accelerated on to Jupiter, where it will begin research in 2016. The event is a common one for spacecraft, which commonly use the gravity of celestial bodies to accelerate. This particular event, however, is …

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ESA Rover Makes Tracks in the Desert

Last week, the European Space Agency (ESA) detailed a project to test its mission capabilities for the 2018 ExoMars project. ExoMars will be putting yet another rover on the surface of Mars, and the agency this week is testing prototypes of both the rover and some instruments to be used in the mission. Today the ESA announced that the Sample …

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ESA Mars Rover Being Tested in Chilean Desert

While NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has gotten most of the headlines this past year, but a European-led rover mission will be placing another rover on the red planet within the decade. The ExoMars project (which NASA dropped out of due to budget constraints) will launch a rover bound for Mars in 2018 to search for signs of past life on …

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