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Latest Discovery program Stories

MESSENGER Marks 8th Anniversary Since Launch
2012-08-06 09:33:40

John Neumann for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Eight years ago this month, in 2004, the MESSENGER space probe was launched on a six-and-a-half year, 4.9-billion mile journey to be the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury. The leisurely cruise included 15 trips around the Sun, a flyby of Earth, two flybys of Venus, and three flybys of Mercury. During its gravity assist swing-by of Earth, on August 2, 2005, Messenger´s cameras captured several hundred images of our...

2012-06-22 12:00:39

MESSENGER will complete its 1,000th orbit of the planet closest to the Sun at 11:22 p.m. EDT tonight. "Reaching this milestone is yet another testimony to the hard work and dedication of the full MESSENGER team that has designed, launched, and operated this highly successful spacecraft," says the mission trajectory lead Jim McAdams of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. The spacecraft was inserted into orbit around Mercury in mid-March 2011, after...

Mickey Mouse Seen On Mercury
2012-06-19 06:49:23

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com NASA's MESSENGER probe has sent back an image from Mercury that is either an alien's sense of humor, or a few asteroid's depiction of Mickey Mouse on the sun-baked planet. A Mickey Mouse face can now be seen on Mercury's surface thanks to NASA's MESSENGER probe, which became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet back in March 2011. The shape is made up of three overlapping craters on Mercury's southern hemisphere, northwest of the crater known as...

Dawn Spacecraft The Begin Final Science Orbit Today
2012-06-15 04:41:30

After successfully completing nearly five months scrutinizing the giant asteroid Vesta at its lowest orbit altitude, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will begin its final major science data-gathering phase at Vesta on June 15, at an average altitude of 420 miles (680 kilometers) above the surface. Over the past six weeks, Dawn has been gently spiraling up from its lowest orbit - 130 miles, or 210 kilometers, above the surface - to the final planned science orbit, known as high-altitude mapping orbit...

Vesta's Coat Of Many Colors
2012-06-07 09:05:24

[ Watch the Video ] A new video from NASA's Dawn mission reveals the dappled, variegated surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The animation drapes high-resolution false color images over a 3-D model of the Vesta terrain constructed from Dawn's observations. This visualization enables a detailed view of the variation in the material properties of Vesta in the context of its topography. The colors were chosen to highlight differences in surface composition that are too subtle for the...

GRAIL Mission Complete, Powers Down Kicking Off New Mission In August
2012-05-30 13:24:46

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com NASA reports that its GRAIL mission has already completed its prime mission, ensuring the twin probes are able to extend their scientific endeavors. The GRAIL mission has gathered details about the internal structure and evolution of the Moon since it arrived at the lunar body back at the end of last year. The spacecraft have been operating around the clock for 89 days since March 8, collecting data covering the entire surface three times. GRAIL used...


Latest Discovery program Reference Libraries

9_492577401769e5bd3fcb20c80fa3c9a32
2004-10-19 04:45:44

NEAR-Shoemaker Mission -- The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous - Shoemaker (NEAR Shoemaker), renamed after its launch in honor of Gene Shoemaker, is an unmanned spacecraft designed to study the near-Earth asteroid Eros from close orbit over a period of a year. The primary scientific objectives of NEAR were to return data on the bulk properties, composition, mineralogy, morphology, internal mass distribution and magnetic field of Eros. Secondary objectives include studies of regolith...

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Word of the Day
glogg
  • Scandinavian punch made of claret and aquavit with spices and raisins and orange peel and sugar.
This word comes from the Swedish 'glogg,' which is an alteration of 'glodgat,' mulled (wine).
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