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Latest Lander Stories

Robotic Lander Prototype Reaches New Heights
2011-11-22 11:43:18

[ Watch the Video ] NASA successfully completed the final flight in a series of tests of a new robotic lander prototype at the Redstone Test Center´s propulsion test facility on the U.S. Army Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. Data from this test series will aid in the design and development of a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers capable of performing science and exploration research on the surface of the moon or other airless bodies in the solar system, such...

2011-10-06 07:30:00

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink presents Mars and Beyond: The search for life on other planets will light up downtown Tucson beginning October 22, 2011. It is the first offering of Science Downtown, a nonprofit organization that has taken up residence in The Rialto Block exhibition hall. Science Downtown is dedicated to offering rotating science-based programs to Tucson and all of Arizona. Where once Tucsonans marveled at "Bodies," "Titanic" and "King Tut" exhibits,...

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2011-08-15 11:35:00

NASA said on Friday that its $2.4 billion Mars Science Laboratory has completed a series of functional tests to verify the car-sized rover's readiness for launch in November. Engineers will now fold up opportunity's robotic arm, camera mast, wheels and suspension so it can be packed inside a protective aeroshell. The spacecraft will then be attached to its interplanetary cruise stage and hauled out to launch complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in October. The space agency is...

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2011-06-10 10:41:56

ESA and NASA have announced the scientific investigations selected for their 2016 ExoMars lander demonstrator. They will probe the atmosphere during the descent, and return the first ever data on electrical fields at the surface of Mars. The EDM Entry, descent, and landing Demonstrator Module is part of the joint ESA/NASA ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter mission to be launched in 2016 for arrival at Mars nine months later. Although its main goal is to demonstrate European entry, descent and landing...

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2011-05-31 08:24:55

Do you use Twitter? Are you as intrigued by comets as we are? Then tell us 'Why comets are cool' and you might win a trip to ESA's operations center in Germany on 15 June to celebrate 25 years of cometary science at ESA. If you're fascinated by comets, you're not alone. For millennia, philosophers, poets, astronomers and kings have gazed up "” sometimes in terror, always in awe "” as comets streak across the heavens, appearing, it seemed, out of nowhere. They've been called...

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2011-03-07 10:25:54

Ultra-light carbon-fiber rods used to stiffen a comet probe's legs are now being harnessed by a German manufacturer to boost the precision and efficiency of their laser cutters. Right now, the rods in question are on a collision course with a comet "“ literally. In 2014 ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will end a decade-long chase through space by catching up with Comet Churyumov"“Gerasimenko. It will orbit the comet and release its Philae lander to anchor itself to the icy surface. ...

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2011-01-27 13:10:00

NASA engineers successfully integrated and completed system testing on a new robotic lander recently at Teledyne Brown Engineering's facility in Huntsville in support of the Robotic Lunar Lander Project at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The lander prototype was placed on modified skateboards and a customized track system as a low-cost solution to control movement during final testing of the prototype's sensors, onboard computer, and thrusters. The functional test...

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2011-01-19 14:35:00

NASA announced on Wednesday that its Stardust-NExT spacecraft will rendezvous with comet Tempel 1 on Valentine's Day. The space agency said that the mission will allow scientists to look for changes on the comet's surface that took place after an orbit around the sun. The spacecraft will take high-resolution images during the encounter, and will attempt to measure the composition, distribution, and flux of dust emitted into the coma. According to NASA, the mission will expand the...

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2011-01-06 10:05:00

NASA's Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has completed a series of hot fire tests and taken delivery of a new propulsion system for integration into a more sophisticated free-flying autonomous robotic lander prototype. The project is partnered with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., to develop a new generation of small, smart, versatile robotic landers to achieve scientific and exploration goals...

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2010-11-18 10:55:00

Researchers say that nuclear decay-driven machines could gather gases from the atmosphere of Mars for propulsion. A new design concept outlines an approach to compress CO2 and liquefy it. The liquid would be heated similar to a standard rocket by expanding violently into gas to propel the machines to great distances. The authors suggest this is a better strategy to see more of Mars. Vehicles that are powered by the sun and get around on wheels are limited in their overall range of...