Latest Orbit insertion Stories

LADEE Initial Systems Checkout Phase Successfully Completed
2013-09-11 10:03:06

[ Watch The Video - LADEE Launches! ] NASA After a spectacular launch, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft was placed by the Minotaur V launch vehicle into an elliptic orbit around Earth, as the start of our journey to the moon. After adjusting some fault protection settings to enable the reaction wheels, mission controllers at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., successfully completed the initial systems checkout phase, and...

2012-03-05 04:59:24

MESSENGER successfully completed an orbit-correction maneuver on March 2 to lower its periapsis altitude - the lowest point of MESSENGER's orbit about Mercury relative to the planet's surface - from 405 to 200 kilometers (251 to 124 miles). This is the first of three planned maneuvers designed to modify the spacecraft's orbit around Mercury as science operations transition from MESSENGER's primary orbital mission to its extended mission. MESSENGER's orbit around Mercury is highly...

2011-05-09 08:21:14

On May 6th, MESSENGER began its 100th orbit around Mercury. Since its insertion into orbit about the innermost planet on March 17, the spacecraft has executed nearly 2 million commands. The data gathered so far include more than 70 million magnetic field measurements, 300,000 visible and infrared spectra of the surface, 16,000 images, and 12,000 X-ray and 9,000 gamma-ray spectra probing the elemental composition of Mercury's uppermost crust. "As the primary orbital phase of the MESSENGER...

2011-03-23 11:45:00

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- AMPAC-ISP CORP., American Pacific Corporation's (Nasdaq: APFC) wholly-owned in-space propulsion subsidiary (AMPAC-ISP), reported that their LEROS 1b bipropellant engine (LEROS 1b) fired for nearly fifteen minutes in the early hours on March 18, 2011 to slow the MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft and place it into orbit around Mercury. The orbit insertion firing slowed the spacecraft by more...

2011-03-08 10:06:33

Nine days from now "“ on March 17 "“ the MESSENGER spacecraft will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place it into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. Starting Monday, antennas from each of the three Deep Space Network (DSN) ground stations began a round-the-clock vigil, allowing flight control engineers at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in...

2011-02-18 08:15:00

After more than a dozen laps through the inner solar system, NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft will move into orbit around Mercury on March 17, 2011. The durable spacecraft "” carrying seven science instruments and fortified against the blistering environs near the Sun "” will be the first to orbit the innermost planet. At 8:45 p.m. EDT, MESSENGER "” having pointed its largest thruster very close to the direction of travel "” will fire that thruster for nearly 14 minutes,...

2010-12-08 09:51:33

One hundred days from now, MESSENGER will execute a 15-minute maneuver that will place the spacecraft into orbit about Mercury, making it the first craft ever to do so, and initiating a one-year science campaign to understand the innermost planet. It has already been 14 years since this mission was first proposed to NASA, more than 10 years since the project officially began, and over six years since the spacecraft was launched. A multitude of milestones have been passed on the way toward the...

2010-03-18 11:00:00

One year from today "” starting at 12:45 a.m. UTC "” MESSENGER will transition from orbiting the Sun to being the first spacecraft ever to orbit the planet Mercury. "We are finally closing in on the most intense phase of the mission," says MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon, of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. "MESSENGER's six and a half years of interplanetary flight are a long warm-up for the main event, when we are in orbit about Mercury. The final year of...

2009-06-05 09:45:00

Beginning today, ESA's Planck satellite will carry out a critical mid-course maneuver that will place the satellite on its final trajectory for arrival at L2, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth system, early in July. The maneuver is scheduled to begin at 19:28 CEST on June 5 2009, and will last for up to 30 hours. Planck's main thrusters will conduct repeated 'pulse burns' during this time, switching on then off for 6 seconds every minute. This pulse-burn technique is necessary...

2008-12-09 09:05:00

MESSENGER completed the second part of a two-part deep-space maneuver today, providing the remaining 10% velocity change needed to place the probe on course to fly by Mercury for the third time in September 2009. Unlike most maneuvers, this one was conducted in a so-called "open loop," explained MESSENGER Project Manager Peter Bedini. "In closed-loop maneuvers, the accelerometers are used to trim the burn, and thrusters are employed as needed to adjust the direction as perceived by the...

Word of the Day
  • In music, a work for a keyboard-instrument, like the pianoforte or organ, originally intended to utilize and display varieties of touch: but the term has been extended so as to include many irregular works, similar to the prelude, the fantasia, and the improvisation.
This word is Italian in origin, coming from the feminine past participle of 'toccare,' to touch.