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Latest Lander Stories

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2008-05-13 11:00:00

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is preparing to end its long journey and begin a three-month mission to taste and sniff fistfuls of Martian soil and buried ice. The lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet May 25.Phoenix will enter the top of the Martian atmosphere at almost 13,000 mph. In seven minutes, the spacecraft must complete a challenging sequence of events to slow to about 5 mph before its three legs reach the ground. Confirmation of the landing could come as early as 7:53 p.m....

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2008-05-10 08:05:00

When NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander descends to the surface of the Red Planet on May 25, few will be watching as closely as the men and women who have spent years planning, analyzing and conducting tests to prepare for the dramatic and nerve-wracking event known as EDL -- Entry, Descent and Landing. For after all their hard work, they know that landing on Mars is not a walk in the park. Less than 50 percent of all previous lander missions have made it safely to the surface. Like all missions,...

2008-01-15 12:00:12

The U.S. space agency is seeking proposals for a human landing craft to be used in future exploration of the moon. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Constellation Program officials said the Altair spacecraft will deliver four astronauts to the lunar surface late during the next decade. The Constellation Program calls for the establishment of an outpost on the moon through a sustainable and affordable series of lunar missions beginning no later than 2020. By soliciting...

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2008-01-08 11:47:18

NASA has approved the retargeting of the EPOXI mission for a flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Oct. 11, 2010. Hartley 2 was chosen as EPOXI's destination after the initial target, comet Boethin, could not be found. Scientists theorize comet Boethin may have broken up into pieces too small for detection. The EPOXI mission melds two compelling science investigations -- the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization and the Deep Impact Extended Investigation. Both investigations will be...

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2008-01-01 09:20:00

LOS ANGELES -- A comet-busting NASA spacecraft zipped past Earth on Monday on its way to rendezvous with another comet in an extended mission that will also see it hunt for Earth-sized planets around a cluster of stars. The Deep Impact probe made the first of three flybys designed to use the planet's gravity to hurtle the spacecraft toward comet Hartley 2 for a 2010 meeting. At its closest, the spacecraft was 10,000 miles above Australia. "We're taking laps around the sun until the comet...

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2007-12-14 07:53:21

NASA has approved the retargeting of the Epoxi mission for a flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Oct. 11, 2010. Hartley 2 was chosen as Epoxi's destination after the initial target, comet Boethin, could not be found. Scientists theorize comet Boethin may have broken up into pieces too small for detection. The Epoxi mission melds two compelling science investigations -- the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization and the Deep Impact Extended Investigation. Both investigations will be...

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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...

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2007-08-21 07:20:00

By the time you finish reading this sentence, you'll be 25 miles closer to the planet Mars. Earth and Mars are converging, and right now the distance between the two planets is shrinking at a rate of 22,000 mph--or about 25 miles per sentence. Ultimately, this will lead to a close approach in late December 2007 when Mars will outshine every star in the night sky. Of a similar encounter in the 19th century, astronomer Percival Lowell wrote the following: "[Mars] blazes forth against the dark...

2007-08-06 18:12:21

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp company, provided propulsion for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander mission which launched on Aug. 4 at 5:26 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A, Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander is the first launch in NASA's "Scout Program" -- missions that are designed to be lower cost complements to larger missions being planned for NASA's Mars Exploration Program....


Word of the Day
endocarp
  • The hard inner (usually woody) layer of the pericarp of some fruits (as peaches or plums or cherries or olives) that contains the seed.
This word comes from the Greek 'endon,' in, within, plus the Greek 'karpos', fruit.
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