spacecraft

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The Arab World Has a New First

It's called Amal, or Hope, and it's going to Mars

(Newser) - A United Arab Emirates spacecraft began its journey to Mars with a blastoff in Japan on Monday in what is the Arab world's first interplanetary mission, the AP reports. The launch of the spacecraft named Amal, or Hope, marks the start of the seven-month journey to the red planet.... More »

Solar Orbiter Begins Historic Mission

Spacecraft will provide first glimpses of sun's pole

(Newser) - Europe and NASA's Solar Orbiter rocketed into space Sunday night on an unprecedented mission to capture the first pictures of the sun's elusive poles. The $1.5 billion spacecraft will join NASA's Parker Solar Probe, launched 1.5 years ago, in coming perilously close to the sun... More »

SpaceX's Latest 60 Satellites Have Dark Coating

Astronomers complained about Starlink fleet

(Newser) - SpaceX launched 60 more mini Internet satellites late Monday, this time testing a dark coating to appease stargazers. It's a "first step" compromise between SpaceX and astronomers fearful of having dark skies spoiled by hundreds and, eventually, thousands of bright satellites circling overhead. The Falcon 9 rocket blasted... More »

Sexual Tweet Is Elon Musk's Reply to Bezos' Lunar Lander

'Oh stop teasing, Jeff'

(Newser) - Jeff Bezos gave a "rambling" intro Thursday to the new moon lander created by his Blue Origin spacecraft company, and one person in particular was paying attention—and poking fun. CNBC reports competitor Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, took to Twitter Thursday night and tweeted out a photo of... More »

Japanese Spacecraft Bombs Asteroid

Risky mission to make crater was a success

(Newser) - Japan's space agency says its Hayabusa2 spacecraft successfully dropped an explosive designed to make a crater on an asteroid and collect its underground samples to find possible clues to the origin of the solar system. Friday's crater mission was the riskiest for Hayabusa2, as it had to immediately... More »

Moon Lander Snaps Amazing Selfie

Earth was the backdrop

(Newser) - An Israeli spacecraft has taken the ultimate selfie on its roundabout journey to the moon, the AP reports. Organizers for the privately funded mission released the photo on Tuesday, 12 days after its launch. It shows the spacecraft Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis, orbiting some 23,300 miles away, with the... More »

This Awesome Shot of Earth Was Taken From 70M Miles Away

NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture before going into orbit around asteroid

(Newser) - An asteroid-circling spacecraft has captured a cool snapshot of home. NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft took the picture days before going into orbit around asteroid Bennu on New Year's Eve, the AP reports. The tiny asteroid—barely one-third of a mile across—appears as a big bright blob in the... More »

China Releases Incredible Panorama of Moon's Far Side

China hails success of mission

(Newser) - China on Friday broadcast pictures taken by its rover and lander on the moon's far side, in what its space program hailed as another triumph for the groundbreaking missio n to the less-understood sector of the lunar surface. The pictures on state broadcaster CCTV showed the Jade Rabbit 2... More »

Japan's Asteroid Explorer Reaches Its Destination

Its mission involves making a new crater

(Newser) - A Japanese spacecraft arrived at an asteroid Wednesday after a 3.5-year journey to undertake a first-ever experiment: blow a crater in the rocky surface to collect samples and bring them back to Earth. The unmanned Hayabusa2 spacecraft reached its base of operations about 12 miles from the asteroid and... More »

Cassini Gets Kiss Goodbye, Careens Toward Its Death

Spacecraft will forever become one with the planet on Friday

(Newser) - After a 20-year voyage, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is poised to dive into Saturn this week to become forever one with the exquisite planet. There's no turning back: Friday it careens through the atmosphere and burns up like a meteor in the sky over Saturn. The only spacecraft ever... More »

Spacecraft Lost During Test Found—22 Months Later

Welcome back, STEREO-B

(Newser) - In a tale of perseverance rivaling that of Westley looking for Buttercup in The Princess Bride, NASA never gave up on STEREO-B, a spacecraft that went missing 22 months ago while studying the sun. But CNN is now sharing the good news that the space agency has regained contact with... More »

Spacecraft Blasts Off to Seek Alien Life on Mars

Russian and Euro space agencies send ExoMars craft to measure gases

(Newser) - Anyone who glanced at the skies above Kazakhstan Monday morning may have seen the trails of a spacecraft headed out on a search for alien life on Mars. Per the Guardian , the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, a joint effort by the European Space Agency and Russia's Roscosmos agency, launched... More »

Russian Spaceship Plummets to Earth

Progress had entered the wrong orbit and went into a spin after April 28 launch

(Newser) - Russia's space agency says the unmanned cargo ship that went out of control en route to the International Space Station has fallen to Earth over the Pacific Ocean. A brief statement from Roscosmos says the Progress craft entered the planet's atmosphere about 10pm EDT yesterday. Progress was expected... More »

NASA Launches Robotic Mission to Mars

Maven will investigate red planet's loss of wet atmosphere

(Newser) - NASA's newest robotic explorer, Maven, rocketed toward Mars today on a quest to unravel the ancient mystery of the red planet's radical climate change. The Maven spacecraft is due at Mars next fall following a journey of more than 440 million miles. Scientists want to know why Mars... More »

China's Shenzhou-9 Returns to Earth

13-day mission a major success for Chinese space program

(Newser) - China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft has landed safely in Inner Mongolia, ending a 13-day mission hailed as a major leap forward for the country's space program. On China's fourth manned space mission since 2003, the Shenzhou-9 completed a docking test vital to the country's goal of building a... More »

Air Force Spacecraft Ends 15-Month Secret Mission

X37-B space plane lands itself at military base

(Newser) - An American spacecraft landed itself at a military base in California on the weekend, ending a 15-month mission—but don't expect to hear much about what the unmanned plane was doing up there. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle is an Air Force plane and while the military says the... More »

Astronauts Enter the Dragon

World's first commercial supply ship has 'new car' smell

(Newser) - Space station astronauts floated into the Dragon today, a day after its heralded arrival as the world's first commercial supply ship. NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, the first one inside the docked capsule, said the Dragon looks like it carries about as much cargo as his pickup truck back home... More »

SpaceX Counts Down to Maiden ISS Mission

Private space firm hopes to dock Dragon next week

(Newser) - Commercial space firm SpaceX may be just days away from going where no private company has gone before: the International Space Station. The company is preparing to send its unmanned Dragon capsule on a mission to supply the ISS with 1,100 pounds of food, water, and other cargo. The... More »

Swiss 'Janitor Satellite' to Clean Space Junk

It will push defunct satellites into the atmosphere to burn up

(Newser) - Switzerland is on a mean cleaning bender: The fastidious folks at the Swiss Space Center are building a "janitor satellite" that will grab space junk orbiting the Earth and push it into the atmosphere to burn up, the AP reports. The first of these spacecraft, the $11 million "... More »

Failed Russia Spacecraft Crashes in Pacific

Would-be Mars probe showers southern Pacific

(Newser) - Russia's Defense Ministry says a failed probe designed to travel to a moon of Mars has crashed, showering debris over the southern Pacific, according to news reports. The ministry said the fragments fell today 775 miles west of Wellington Island. The Phobos Grunt was one of the heaviest and... More »

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