space probes

16 Stories

Europe Fears Its Mars Lander Has Crashed

The ESA lost contact with its robot less than a minute before it landed

(Newser) - It appears Europe's latest attempt to put a lander on the surface has Mars has once again resulted in failure. The BBC reports the European Space Agency lost communication with the Schiaparelli robot less than a minute before it was supposed to reach the Martian surface Wednesday. The lander'... More »

A Comet Crash Landing for the Ages

Space probe Rosetta makes final journey onto comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Newser) - It took the Rosetta a decade to catch up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and on Friday, the space probe was sent to crash-land on the comet, ending its 12-year mission and giving European Space Agency scientists "emotional closure," the Guardian reports. "Rosetta has been comparable to the moon... More »

'Juno, Welcome to Jupiter'

Probe slips into orbit after 5-year journey

(Newser) - After spending five years traveling to Jupiter , NASA's Juno probe entered the gas giant's orbit Monday night by executing a make-or-break maneuver that was accurate within a second. Team members at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory cheered as they received confirmation that the spacecraft... More »

Planned 'Dark Side of Moon' Landing Intensifies

Now China's shooting for 2018 for historic lunar event

(Newser) - In what AFP says will be "a first for humanity," China will be landing a probe on the so-called "dark side of the moon" two years earlier than planned, per state media. Named after the mythological Chinese moon goddess, Chang'e 4 will touch down in 2018... More »

Lost Mars Probe Found Intact After 11 Years

Scientists: Beagle 2 mission was 'a great success' after all

(Newser) - The British-built Beagle 2 began its fall to Mars on Dec. 19, 2003. It was expected to land on the Red Planet on Christmas Day and begin its search for alien life (its name is a nod to Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle). But it was never heard from again.... More »

Scientists Brace for Comet Landing's '7 Hours of Terror'

Philae to depart tomorrow morning

(Newser) - Tomorrow's a big day at the European Space Agency: Officials are getting ready to land a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko , reports. The Philae robot will have to navigate a "very, very rough" surface, and officials won't know whether things have worked out until after what... More »

For Comet Landing, 'J' Marks the Spot

Robot will get one shot to touch down on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

(Newser) - Europe's space agency has finally decided exactly where on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko it's going to attempt to land a robot—and in this case, "J" marks the spot. The robot, called Philae, is currently being carried by the space probe Rosetta, which is orbiting 67P after a decade-long... More »

After 10-Year Chase, Space Probe Catches Comet

Spacecraft to be 1st to hook up with a comet in yearlong trip around sun

(Newser) - The thrill is often in the chase itself—though for European Space Agency scientists, there's definitely a thrill in actually catching the object they've been chasing. The Rosetta space probe, which was sent hurtling through space a decade ago to hunt down comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko—aka the "rubber... More »

Space Buffs' Hopes Crushed by Lack of Nitrogen

Looks like they won't be able to move ISEE-3 after all

(Newser) - It looks like space buffs' plan to push an aged NASA space probe into a new orbit has come up against a deal-breaker. Weeks after making contact with the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3, or ISEE-3, the group of citizen scientists has learned the tanks on the spacecraft are apparently empty of... More »

NASA to Send 2 Probes Crashing Into Moon

Probes are out of fuel, and not expected to explode

(Newser) - NASA is set to crash a pair of washing machine-sized probes into the moon on Monday, after months spent examining and gathering data about the moon's surface, reports AFP . Though Ebb and Flow will hit the surface at a speedy 3,760mph, they'll be out of fuel when... More »

Russia: US May Have Killed Probe

Expert calls suggestion that US radar station interfered 'contrived'

(Newser) - Russia's failed Mars moon probe may be sleeping with the fishes , but the questions about what went wrong with the Phobos-Grunt have yet to be put to rest. The newest theory: the US did it, inadvertently, of course. Russia is reviewing whether emissions from a US radar station may... More »

Russian Space Probe to Hit Earth in Hours

Failed Phobos-Grunt spacecraft will likely miss Russia, US

(Newser) - A failed Russian probe designed to travel to a moon of Mars but stuck in Earth's orbit will come crashing down within hours, the Russian space agency said today. Roscosmos said the unmanned Phobos-Grunt will crash between 11:41am and 4:05pm EST. It could crash anywhere along the... More »

NASA Probe Sweeps Past 'Space Peanut'

Hartley 2 comet is spewing out cyanide gas

(Newser) - NASA's Deep Impact probe is sending back amazing images from the comet Hartley 2, say team scientists. The probe, after a journey of 2.9 billion miles, came to within 435 miles for a fly-by of the intriguing peanut-shaped comet, the BBC reports. The comet is roughly 1.4 miles... More »

NASA Hopes for Wednesday Launch

Moon probes would be delayed to Friday

(Newser) - NASA is planning to delay the launch of two unmanned moon probes to give the space shuttle Endeavour another shot at takeoff, reports. The shuttle was grounded last week because of a hydrogen gas leak. Mission managers will make the final decision later today, but expect Endeavour to... More »

NASA to Boost Brits to the Moon

British moon probe plans to get the agency's backing

(Newser) - NASA is likely to help Britain send a probe to the moon by 2012, reports the BBC. A study found that the British "Moonlite" proposal fit a gap in NASA's plans. The project will fire darts from an unmanned probe into the moon's surface to discover what lies beneath.... More »

Lightning Flashes on Venus

Probe's findings have scientists wondering about life on Earth's closest neighbor

(Newser) - Earth-like lightning occurs on Venus, scientists said today in reporting on findings of a European space probe. Cloud-to-cloud lightning takes place about 35 miles above the surface—a phenomenon long suspected but unclear to earthbound observers due to signal interference. Lightning affects atmospheric chemistry, so the findings will allow scientists... More »

16 Stories