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Latest Lander Stories

2008-12-17 12:30:12

U.S. space agency officials have released a draft request for design support for the Altair lunar lander vehicle, part of NASA's Constellation Program. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it's Altair lunar lander will deliver four astronauts to the moon's surface late in the next decade, fulfilling U.S. space exploration goals. The Altair Conceptual Design Contract will define operational concepts, support requirements reviews and refine design concepts for the Altair...

2008-12-04 10:12:00

HAMPTON, Va., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten years in the making, NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander successfully completed its mission last month. The mission uncovered significant discoveries about never-before explored areas of the Red Planet. Scientists were able to verify the presence of water-ice in the Martian subsurface, find small concentrations of salts that could be nutrients for life, and observe snow descending from the clouds. (Logo:...

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2008-12-02 10:20:00

The U.S. space agency says it has, most likely -- after a month of fruitless attempts -- reached the end of communications with its Phoenix Mars Lander. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said it has ceased its daily attempts to communicate with the spacecraft and has stopped using its Mars orbiters to hail the lander and listen for its signals. The final communication from Phoenix remains a brief signal received via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter on Nov. 2, the space agency said....

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2008-11-14 13:25:00

India's first unmanned moon mission touched down on the moon on Friday, according to Indian Space Research Organization officials. The Moon Impactor probe detached itself from the Chandrayaan-1 (moon vehicle) about 100 km from the moon's surface and crash-landed on the south pole of the moon at 10:01 a.m. EST, making India the fourth nation to have a presence on the Moon. Miniature Indian flags painted on four sides of the MIP signaled the country's symbolic entry into moon to coincide with...

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2008-11-10 16:05:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has ceased communications after operating for more than five months. As anticipated, seasonal decline in sunshine at the robot's arctic landing site is not providing enough sunlight for the solar arrays to collect the power necessary to charge batteries that operate the lander's instruments. Mission engineers last received a signal from the lander on Nov. 2. Phoenix, in addition to shorter daylight, has encountered a dustier sky, more clouds and colder temperatures...

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2008-10-30 09:55:00

NASA'S Phoenix Mars Lander entered safe mode late yesterday in response to a low-power fault brought on by deteriorating weather conditions. While engineers anticipated that a fault could occur due to the diminishing power supply, the lander also unexpectedly switched to the "B" side of its redundant electronics and shut down one of its two batteries. During safe mode, the lander stops non-critical activities and awaits further instructions from the mission team. Within hours of receiving...

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2008-10-28 18:05:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- In a race against time and the elements, engineers with NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission hope to extend the lander's survival by gradually shutting down some of its instruments and heaters, starting today. Originally scheduled to last 90 days, Phoenix has completed a fifth month of exploration in the Martian arctic. As expected, with the Martian northern hemisphere shifting from summer to fall, the lander is generating less power due to shorter days and fewer hours of...

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2008-10-15 13:00:00

The Phoenix Lander over the weekend successfully weathered a regional dust storm that temporarily lowered its solar power, and the team is back investigating the Red Planet's northern plains. The increasing opacity in the atmosphere from the storm decreased the power reaching the Phoenix's solar arrays. So on Martian days, or sols, 135-136 of the mission (Oct. 11-12), Phoenix scientists and engineers curtailed many of the lander's science activities, such as collecting some data from its...

2008-10-09 15:00:19

The U.S. space agency's Phoenix Lander is investigating soil on Mars' northern plains for signs that water was once present. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the lander, during the past two weeks, used its 8-foot-long robotic arm to move a rock nicknamed "Headless" about 16 inches and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. The robotic arm scraped the soil under the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and atomic-force...

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2008-10-09 07:35:00

As fall approaches Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix Lander is busy digging into the Red Planet's soil and scooping it into its onboard science laboratories for analysis. Over the past two weeks, Phoenix's nearly 2.4-meter-long (8 feet) arm moved a rock, nicknamed "Headless," about 0.4 meters (16 inches), and snapped an image of the rock with its camera. Then, the robotic arm scraped the soil underneath the rock and delivered a few teaspoonfuls of soil onto the lander's optical and...


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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