space mission

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Indian Moon Mission That Much Closer to Touchdown

The landing module has separated from the orbiter

(Newser) - The landing module of India's unmanned moon mission separated from the orbiter on Monday ahead of its planned touchdown on the moon's south polar region this weekend, the space agency said. All the systems of orbiter and the lander are "healthy," the Indian Space Research Organization... More »

Moon Mission Called Off With Only Minutes to Go

A 'technical snag' snarls the Chandrayaan-2

(Newser) - India aborted the launch on Monday of a spacecraft intended to land on the far side of the moon less than an hour before liftoff, the AP reports. The Chandrayaan-2 mission was called off when a "technical snag" was observed in the 640-ton, 14-story rocket launcher, Indian Space Research... More »

Big Ask From NASA for Its 2024 Moon Expedition

Agency says it will need between $20B and $30B over the next 5 years

(Newser) - Back in March, Vice President Mike Pence vowed we'd get to the moon by 2024 by "any means necessary." Now, there's a number that NASA is pinning to "necessary": The agency says it will need between $20 billion and $30 billion over the next five... More »

China Launches Its Longest Manned Space Trip

2 astronauts will touch down for 30 days on experimental space station

(Newser) - Two Chinese astronauts began the country's longest crewed space mission yet on Monday, blasting off on a spacecraft for a 30-day stay on an experimental space station as China steadfastly moves toward becoming a space superpower, the AP reports. Ahead of the launch, one astronaut shouted, "We are... 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 »

6 Humans Step Into One-Year Isolation Dome

It's part of NASA's preparation to send humans to Mars

(Newser) - As NASA prepares to send a crew to Mars sometime in the 2030s, they've just shut six people inside an isolation dome in Hawaii for a year—the longest such experiment in the US, reports AFP . It's part of a larger look at travel logistics in a program... More »

100 Finalists to Vie for One-Way Trip to Mars

If admittedly unrealistic mission takes off, Earthlings could be there by 2024

(Newser) - From 202,586 to about 1,000 and now winnowed down to 100. That's how many finalists are left competing for a one-way ticket to Mars in the highly publicized Mars One project. The finalists will now compete for one of 24 crew member spots, with the goal of... More »

Japan Launches Explorer to Blast Crater in Asteroid

Hayabusa 2 will shoot asteroid, collect rock samples for clues to Earth's origins

(Newser) - A Japanese space explorer took off today on a six-year journey to blow a crater in a remote asteroid and bring back rock samples in hopes of gathering clues to the origin of Earth. Hayabusa 2 is expected to reach the asteroid in mid-2018, spend about 18 months studying it,... More »

'Space Sex' Geckos Come Back Frozen to Death

Reproductive systems didn't necessarily fail—shuttle's heating system did

(Newser) - Oops. A Russian space mission meant to test the effect of weightlessness on the gecko's reproductive system didn't quite go as planned. It's not (necessarily) that the geckos weren't mating, it's that all five of them came back dead. And they weren't killed by... More »

NASA Probes to Reach Moon Over New Year's

Twin 'grails' will study moon's gravity field

(Newser) - Two NASA probes are poised to reach the moon over the New Year's holiday. After a journey of more than three months, the $496 million Grail probes—short for Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory—will soon be in place, reports AP . Grail A is set to arrive on New... More »

Crew Emerges From 520-Day Mars 'Flight'

Mission 'lands' without ever leaving planet

(Newser) - They’re free—and they don’t appear to have gone crazy. The crew of Russia’s simulated Mars mission has landed, by which we mean, been released from the narrow confines of the “spaceship” they’ve been trapped in for 520 days . The six men, ages 27 to... More »

Astronauts Break Record for Longest 'Space' Mission

...without actually leaving the planet

(Newser) - A crew of cosmonauts has broken the record for longest space mission, having spent 438 days in a 12-foot-wide capsule. But they'll also break another record when their mission is up—the record for shortest distance traveled on a space mission—because they've never actually left Moscow in... More »

Next for NASA: Visiting the Sun

Solar Probe Plus to launch before 2018

(Newser) - NASA's plans for this decade are pretty hot. Literally. The agency plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft before 2018 that will enter the Sun's atmosphere. Though the nearest it will get is about four million miles from the Sun's surface, that's still closer than the US has ever gotten, and... More »

Discovery Blasts Off Carrying 7 Astronauts

Mission heads to International Space Station

(Newser) - Discovery and seven astronauts rocketed into orbit today on one of NASA's final stockpiling missions to the International Space Station, its liftoff flames bringing an early dawn to the coast with this last scheduled shuttle launch in darkness. The pre-dawn launch helped clinch a record for the most women in... More »

Discovery Launch Postponed

Fuel valve concerns cause further delays to mission

(Newser) - The Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission to deliver the final piece of a solar power array to the International Space Station was delayed again today, only hours before scheduled launch, CNN reports. The mission had already been postponed a month so technicians could determine whether three valves that control fuel... More »

China Astronauts Get Ready for First Spacewalk

(Newser) - China's 3-man spacecraft is now safely in orbit and all systems are go for the nation's first spacewalk tomorrow, reports Reuters. One of the astronauts is set to spend 40 minutes outside the shuttle in a $4.4 million Chinese space suit. Beijing plans to build a permanent space station... More »

Lawmaker Sees Off Spaceman Hubby

Arizona rep. married Discovery commander 6 months ago

(Newser) - Arizona lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords waved goodbye as her husband went to work yesterday, in command of the Discovery shuttle. Giffords, who married astronaut Mark Kelly 6 months ago, admits she's nervous about the trip. "You don't really relax" until the shuttle comes home, she told "At... More »

Cargo Ship Docks With ISS

Unmanned European vessel hooks up to International Space Station

(Newser) - European cargo vessel Jules Verne docked flawlessly today at the International Space Station, reports. The double-decker-sized space hauler has about 8 tons of supplies on board for astronauts at the station, including food and water, rocket propellant—even handwritten documents from the real Jules Verne, a 19th-century science... More »

Shuttle Returns to Earth

Endeavour makes a rare night landing

(Newser) - The space shuttle Endeavour returned to Earth with a rare night landing to wrap up an ambitious mission to the International Space Station, the AP reports. The shuttle had to land in darkness after NASA called off an earlier attempt because of cloud cover. Astronauts blasted off 16 days ago,... More »

Saturn Moon Rings Detected

Rhea could be be the first known moon with rings

(Newser) - Saturn’s second-largest moon, Rhea, could be the first known moon with rings. The spacecraft Cassini detected apparent evidence of rings when it spotted debris around Rhea as it flew by in 2005, reports The set of rings has not been directly seen, but scientists inferred that the... More »

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