Latest Lander Stories

2009-12-30 06:30:00

NASA has selected three proposals as candidates for the agency's next space venture to another celestial body in our solar system. The final project selected in mid-2011 may provide a better understanding of Earth's formation or perhaps the origin of life on our planet. The proposed missions would probe the atmosphere and crust of Venus; return a piece of a near-Earth asteroid for analysis; or drop a robotic lander into a basin at the moon's south pole to return lunar rocks back to Earth for...

2009-11-04 09:40:00

ESA's comet chaser Rosetta will swing by Earth for the last time on November 13 to pick up energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA's European Space Operations Centre will host a media briefing on that day. This will be the third Earth swingby, the last of Rosetta's four planetary gravity assists. Closest approach to Earth is expected at 08:45 CET (07:45 UT). The swingby will provide exactly the boost Rosetta needs to continue into the...

2009-10-23 15:35:00

RIVERSIDE, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Vertigo, Inc., a subsidiary of HDT Engineered Technologies (HDT), was recognized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its contributions as members of the Mars Phoenix Lander Entry, Descent and Landing Team. The first in NASA's Scout Program, Phoenix was launched to Mars in 2007 to study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian arctic's ice-rich soil. Dara Sabahi, Director at NASA's Jet...

2009-10-16 07:25:00

How do you fly on a world with no atmosphere? Wings won't work and neither do propellers. And don't even try that parachute! NASA engineer Brian Mulac has the answer. "All it takes is practice, practice, practice," he says. "And of course, thrusters." The space agency is perfecting the art using a prototype lunar lander at the Marshall Space Flight Center. "What we've got here is a 'flying testbed' to help us to learn how to hover1 and land on the Moon," says Mulac. He's conducting the tests...

2009-09-23 06:40:00

Scientists adapt a weather research and forecasting tool to model global weather on the Earth, Mars and beyond Maybe even more than average citizens, the world's space agencies rely on daily and seasonal reports to better understand weather on Earth and other planets. Space-mission success ties directly to effective anticipation and navigation of inclement surface and atmospheric conditions. Mission-design engineers at NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and similar organizations need to...

2009-07-31 09:41:08

NASA should skip future moon and Mars landings and concentrate on manned missions in deep space, a federal advisory panel said. NASA should adopt a flexible path and avoid the deep gravity wells of the Moon and Mars, which would save time and money in developing landers to get astronauts to the surface and back, the 10-member panel said after meeting in Cocoa Beach, Fla. The flexible path essentially goes across stepping stones of progressively longer, more challenging missions by which NASA...

2009-07-06 10:07:33

U.S. space agency scientists said the area where the Phoenix Mars Lander touched down last year might be a favorable environment for microbes. The NASA experts said their hypothesis was based on favorable chemistry and episodes with thin films of liquid water during ongoing, long-term climate cycles. Phoenix ended communications in November as the approach of the Martian winter depleted energy from its solar panels. Not only did we find water ice, as expected, but the soil chemistry and...

2009-07-02 13:30:00

Four papers in the journal Science this week offer new details about the history of water on Mars, gleaned from the 2008 NASA Phoenix Mars Mission that was operated from The University of Arizona.Peter H. Smith, a scientist with the UA Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and the mission's principal investigator, is the first author of "H2O at the Phoenix Landing Site" in Science. There are 35 co-authors from six countries on the paper. Smith and his group of scientists and students used the lander...

2009-03-11 10:15:00

Some scientists believe NASA's Phoenix lander may have discovered evidence of water on Mars, but others contend that it's far from conclusive. The theory is based on evidence that Phoenix's leg came in contact with droplets of water. In a new paper, set to be presented in Houston at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference this month, 22 mission members say those tiny droplets give credence to the existence of water on the Red Planet. According to some images, scientists say they see the...

2009-01-29 10:17:45

The U.S. space agency says it has issued a request for proposals for concept definition and requirements analysis for the Altair lunar lander. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Constellation Program will use Altair to land four astronauts on the moon. The lunar lander will provide the astronauts with life support and a base for week-long initial surface explorations of the moon, NASA said. Altair also will also take the crew back to the orbiting spacecraft that will return...

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