Latest Deep Space 1 Stories
NEWTON, N.C., Jan.
Deep in the heart of the asteroid belt, on its way to the first of the belt's two most massive inhabitants, NASA's ion-propelled Dawn spacecraft has eclipsed the record for velocity change produced by a spacecraft's engines.
Researchers at Hampshire defense and security firm Qinetiq are currently testing ion thrusters, which they hope will one day bring spacecraft to the planets through solar energy.
A former comet-slamming spacecraft will swing by Earth on New Year's Eve before starting a two-and-a-half-year journey to Comet Hartley 2. Deep Impact will first spend six months using the larger of its two telescopes to search for Earth-sized planets around five candidate stars.
A modern probe on the way to the edge of the solar system is using Sputnik-like tones to send messages back to Earth.
Europe's first mission to the moon got a scare, but ground controllers made a last-minute course correction early Saturday that kept the craft from hitting the surface earlier than planned.
The Vision for Space Exploration calls for human and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. To realize these ambitious goals, we will need more powerful and efficient propulsion and power-generation systems -- systems that can thrust a spacecraft out of Earth's orbit to the far reaches of the Universe.
Whether they're set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" or somewhere in our solar system centuries from now, Hollywood blockbusters often take us to new worlds in extraordinary spacecraft.
It's called Dawn, and in a little more than a year, this spacecraft will blast off from Florida, bound for two separate asteroids: Vesta and Ceres. Visiting the two most massive asteroids in our Solar System will be an ambitious undertaking; maybe one of the most difficult and dangerous orbital missions attempted.
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