Continue reading NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target
Four years after his selection as a European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut candidate, Britain’s Tim Peake has been formally named as a crewmember aboard Expedition 46/47 to the International Space Station. He will launch with Russian and U.S. crewmates aboard Soyuz TMA-19M in November 2015 and is expected to spend almost six months in orbit. Born in Chichester, England, Peake will not be the first Briton to enter space, but will be the first to officially represent the British government. News of Peake’s assignment was made public by the BBC and several U.K. publications Sunday, although the announcement from ESA was made Monday afternoon.
Continue reading Britain’s Tim Peake Assigned to Six-Month ISS Mission in 2015-16
While the fourth European ATV has been sitting on top of an Ariane 5 launcher set for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on June 5, engineers are still analyzing a potential problem with a Laser Radar Reflector (LRR) which allows ATV’s autonomous approach to the station. On April 26, Progress M-19M cargo docked at the ISS with one of its KURS rendezvous antennas folded, due to a failure in the deployment mechanism. One out of three LRR mounted around the Zvezda’s aft docking port happened to be in the way of the undeployed antenna. No strange noises or problems were reported, but concerns were expressed on possible damage to the delicate optical sensor.
Continue reading As ATV Launch Approaches, Damage to Docking Sensor Still to be Assessed
Three weeks after its asteroid target received a new name, NASA’s Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) has officially passed a key confirmation review and has been authorized to proceed into the spacecraft development phase. If all goes well, the seven-year, $800 million mission to retrieve a small soil sample from the asteroid Bennu and return it to Earth for analysis will rise from the launch pad in September 2016.
Continue reading OSIRIS-REx Mission Passes Key Confirmation Review
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — For those used to archival footage of the early days of space flight, watching modern-day launches must seem a tad dull. These days, launches are, by and large, happening on time and as planned. Such was the case with this past week’s launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with its GPS IIF-4 payload. Conducted for the U.S. Air Force, this launch took place under blue skies, with only a few contrails making their mark across the blue.
Continue reading Photo Feature: Launch of GPS IIF-4
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — NASA is moving ahead with the space agency’s efforts to cede control of key structures and facilities as Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Through a synopsis released May 17, 2013, the agency plans to seek proposals for use of the historic location. NASA has said that it will be issued sometime next week.
Continue reading Launch Complex 39A for Lease?
DOVER, Fla — While it has been said, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” and “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” 233 Florida students opted to not take that advice as they had their eyes on the prize—a single unbroken egg—Saturday, May 18, as they competed in the fourth annual Planetary Lander Egg Drop Competition at Strawberry Crest High School located in Dover, Fla.
Continue reading A Most ‘Egg-cellent’ Competition: Space Florida and Kennedy Space Center Host ‘Egg Drop’
NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been kept busy counting the amount of impacts the Red Planet has to endure on a yearly basis. The number? More than 200 small asteroids or cometary debris collide with the planet’s surface annually. The craters formed measure at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across.
Continue reading NASA Spacecraft Counts Impacts on Red Planet