Latest Gravity assist Stories

2008-09-12 15:35:00

It is now only slightly more than three weeks before the MESSENGER spacecraft flies by Mercury for the second time. At 4:40 a.m. ET on October 6, the craft will speed by the planet, passing within 125 miles (200 kilometers) and gaining a gravity assist that will tighten its orbit and keep it on its course to pass the planet one last time next year before becoming the first spacecraft ever to orbit Mercury, beginning in 2011. A comprehensive set of observations of Mercury and its environment...

2008-09-08 09:30:00

On September 4, the MESSENGER team announced that it would not need to implement a scheduled maneuver to adjust the probe's trajectory. This is the fourth time this year that such a maneuver has been called off. The reason? A recently implemented navigational technique that makes use of solar-radiation pressure (SRP) to guide the probe has been extremely successful at maintaining MESSENGER on a trajectory that will carry it over the cratered surface of Mercury for a second time on October 6....

2008-03-19 17:50:00

The MESSENGER spacecraft delivered a critical deep-space maneuver today "“ 64 million miles (103 million kilometers) from Earth "“ successfully firing its large bi-propellant engine to change the probe's trajectory and target it for its second flyby of Mercury on October 6, 2008. This was the first trajectory-correction maneuver (TCM) to test the continuous slow rotation of the spacecraft throughout the burn, essential for the March 18, 2011, Mercury orbit-insertion (MOI)...

2008-02-07 11:13:34

Little more than three weeks after MESSENGER's first historic flyby of Mercury, the team this week began mapping out its trajectory and observation plans for the probe's second pass of the planet this fall. On October 6, 2008, at 4:39 a.m. EST, the spacecraft will once again fly 200 kilometers (124 miles) above the surface of the planet. This is the second of three scheduled passes of Mercury, each designed to provide a critical gravity assist needed to keep MESSENGER on track for its March...

2008-01-11 15:20:00

NASA will return to Mercury for the first time in almost 33 years on January 14, 2008, when the MESSENGER spacecraft makes its first flyby of the Sun's closest neighbor, capturing images of large portions of the planet never before seen. The probe will make its closest approach to Mercury at 2:04 p.m. EST that day, skimming 200 kilometers (124 miles) above its surface. This encounter will provide a critical gravity assist needed to keep the spacecraft on track for its 2011 orbit insertion...

2008-01-10 12:50:00

LAUREL, Md. - On Monday, Jan. 14, a pioneering NASA spacecraft will be the first to visit Mercury in almost 33 years when it soars over the planet to explore and snap close-up images of never-before-seen terrain. These findings could open new theories and answer old questions in the study of the solar system. The MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging spacecraft, called MESSENGER, is the first mission sent to orbit the planet closest to our sun. Before that orbit...

2007-12-03 17:20:57

COLUMBIA, Mo. "“ Sending an unmanned spacecraft to the outer fringes of the solar system requires extensive planning. At the University of Missouri, engineers have developed an efficient and highly sophisticated mathematical algorithm (implemented as software) that determines the most efficient path for a spacecraft's journey from point A to point B "“ no matter how many worlds or years away. In testing and validating the algorithm, Craig Kluever, professor of mechanical and...

2007-11-08 15:44:33

ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, is on its way to its second close encounter with Earth on 13 November. The spacecraft's operators are leaving no stones unturned to make sure Earth's gravity gives it the exact boost it needs en route to its destination. This month's Earth swing-by is Rosetta's third major step on its 10-year journey to 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The trajectory correction manoeuvre successfully performed last month prepared ESA's Comet Chaser for the upcoming encounter. The...

2007-10-19 11:51:00

Yesterday, 18 October at 18:06 CEST, the thrusters of ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, were fired in a planned, 42-second trajectory correction manoeuvre designed to 'fine tune' the spacecraft's approach to Earth. Rosetta is now approaching Earth for its second planetary swing-by of 2007. After passing Mars in April 2007, Rosetta is now approaching Earth for the second time - the third of four planetary swing-bys that provide fuel-saving gravitational assists enabling the spacecraft to ultimately...

2007-02-27 06:35:00

When New Horizons, NASA's Pluto-bound spacecraft, swings by Jupiter on Feb. 28th, it will pick up a few souvenirs along the way "“ photos, data, and an extra 9000 miles per hour courtesy of the largest planet in our solar system. New Horizons is already the fastest spacecraft ever to leave Earth, but it needs even more speed to catch Pluto, which is receding from the sun. Winter is coming to Pluto, and researchers want New Horizons to arrive before Pluto's thin atmosphere freezes and...

Latest Gravity assist Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Galileo Probe -- The Galileo probe was an unmanned probe sent by NASA to study the planet Jupiter and its moons. Named after the astronomer Galileo Galilei, it was launched on October 18 1989 by the Space Shuttle Atlantis and arrived at Jupiter on December 7 1995. Galileo's launch had been significantly delayed by the hiatus in Space Shuttle launches that occurred after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and new safety protocols that were implemented as a result forced Galileo to use...

2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cassini-Huygens Mission -- The Cassini unmanned space probe is intended to study Saturn and its moons. It was launched on October 15, 1997 and is estimated to enter Saturn's orbit on July 1, 2004. The mission is a joined NASA/ESA project. Cassini's principal objectives are to: -- determine the three-dimensional structure and dynamical behavior of the rings -- determine the composition of the satellite surfaces and the geological history of each object -- determine the nature and...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Escape Velocity -- An escape velocity is the minimum speed at which an object without propulsion can move away from a source of a gravitational field indefinitely if there is no friction. This definition may need modification for the practical problem of two or more sources in some cases. In any case, the object is assumed to be a point with a mass that is negligible compared with that of the source of the field, usually an excellent approximation. It is commonly described as the speed...

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Word of the Day
  • To talk saucily.
  • Insolent, opprobrious language; impertinent abuse.
This word is Scots in origin and probably imitative.