Posts in category

Solar System


Twin spacecraft to study “rubble pile” binary asteroids

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NASA prepares robot to traverse beneath oceans of Europa

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Solar Orbiter on way to explore Sun’s polar regions

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Mining the sky

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As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of Huygens’ descent to the surface of Saturn’s giant satellite Titan, humanity’s first landing on an outer solar system moon, and the continuing success of its parent craft Cassini, we look forward to an extraordinary year of robotic solar system exploration in 2015, and one which should bring new …

Charley Kohlhase officially ‘retired’ from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1998. At his retirement party, a recording was played of Carl Sagan, who had died two years previously. ‘…. His voice suddenly, pleasingly rang through the room. From the afterlife, Sagan implored, “Charley Kohlhase’s name should be as well known as Michael Jordan’s!”’ (from ‘Ambassadors …

Robotic missions exploring our solar system have wowed the world with their discoveries and especially the images they return. But even the most sophisticated spacecraft is useless until the science and engineering it gathers makes it back to Earth. NASA’s one of a kind collection of massive dishes around the world makes that possible. The …

1) As the World Turns: The DSN is Earth’s only global spacecraft communication network The Deep Space Network has three facilities – at Goldstone, Calif.; near Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, Australia, all with multiple parabolic dish antennas, including one dish each that is 230 feet (70 meters) across. Located about 120 degrees apart around Earth, the …

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (I’ll call it Comet 67P) has been minding its own business for billions of years as it quietly looped around the Sun every 6.5 years. Discovered in 1969 by astronomers Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko, it spins around on its own axis every 12 hours and is about 2 miles across. …

Rosetta is the first mission designed to orbit and land on a comet. It consists of an orbiter, carrying 11 science experiments, and a lander, called ‘Philae’, carrying 10 additional instruments, for the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. Rosetta gets its name from the famous Rosetta stone that led to the deciphering …