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Latest Orbiter Stories

2014-03-18 16:21:03

WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC of Centennial, Colo., to launch the Solar Orbiter Collaboration mission to study the sun in July 2017. The Solar Orbiter will launch on an Atlas V 411 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20081007/38461LOGO The total cost for NASA to launch the Solar Orbiter is approximately $172.7 million, which includes...

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
2014-03-12 08:39:21

Guy Webster, Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA's long-lived Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a precautionary safe standby mode March 9 after an unscheduled swap from one main computer to another. The mission's ground team has begun restoring the spacecraft to full operations. "The spacecraft is healthy, in communication and fully powered," said Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project Manager Dan Johnston of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.  "We have stepped up the...

Switching Motion-Sensing Units On The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
2013-08-12 11:20:00

NASA NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is switching from one motion-sensing device to a duplicate unit onboard. The veteran orbiter relies on this inertial measurement unit (IMU) for information about changes in orientation. This information is important for maintaining spacecraft attitude and for pointing the orbiter's large antenna and science-observation instruments. The spacecraft has two identical copies of this motion-sensing device, called IMU-1 and IMU-2.  Either of them...

BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter Proto-Flight Mechanical And Propulsion Bus Baked-out
2013-02-05 15:07:51

ESA The BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) Mechanical and Propulsion Bus (MPB) Proto-Flight Model (PFM) has been baked out in the Phenix thermal vacuum facility at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. This process involved heating the MPB to 60 °C in a vacuum for 20 days to remove any contaminants that would outgas in space. Given the extremes of temperature to which BepiColombo will be exposed — in excess of 350...

New ESA Mercury Spacecraft Undergoes Tests
2012-08-28 14:33:57

[WATCH VIDEO: Simulating BepiColombo's Separation Shock] Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online The European Space Association (ESA) has put its BepiColombo mission through a series of shock tests to prepare it for its future journey towards Mercury. BepiColombo will be lifted off from this planet via an Ariane 5 rocket in 2015, during which it will be connected to the upper stage of the rocket. Once the upper stage and its cargo have reached orbit, the two will...

BepiColombo Gets Good Vibrations
2012-08-17 12:12:16

[ Watch The Video ( BepiColombo Vertical Vibration Test ) ] [ Watch The Video ( BepiColombo Vibrating Horizontally ) ] Mimicking the intense vibrations experienced by a satellite during launch, the engineering model of the BepiColombo mission to Mercury has been subjected to similar forces at ESA´s spacecraft test facilities. A major design issue for spacecraft arises from the intense environment experienced during launch, ranging from vigorous vibrations to deafening noise. It...

Mars Express Supporting NASA During 'Seven Minutes Of Terror' Mars Landing
2012-07-25 14:02:21

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online One of the most complicated landings ever performed on Mars will be taking place 354-million-miles away on August 5 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and it will be supported by the European Space Agency's Mars Express. NASA's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will be delivering the newest rover late-night on August 5, after encountering what has been tagged as "seven minutes of terror." The spacecraft will enter the Mars atmosphere...

NASA Engineers Fix Orbiter Millions Of Miles Away
2012-06-28 15:36:33

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter is back in business after the spacecraft found itself placed into "safe" mode earlier this month. The spacecraft's flight team returned the orbiter back to full service this week after a two-week sequence of activities to recover Odyssey from safe mode. The orbiter switched itself to safe mode when one of the three primary reaction wheels used for altitude control stuck for a few minutes on June 8....

Mars Odyssey Orbiter Goes Into Standby Safe Mode
2012-06-10 04:45:32

NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter put itself into a precautionary standby status early Friday, June 8, Universal Time (Thursday evening, Pacific Time), when the spacecraft detected unexpected characteristics in movement of one of its reaction wheels. The spacecraft uses three of these wheels as the primary method for adjusting and maintaining its orientation.  It carries a spare reaction wheel. Odyssey's flight team is in communication with the spacecraft while planning actions in response...

ESA Contracts Astrium UK To Build Solar Orbiter
2012-04-27 03:18:20

ESA has awarded the contract to build its next-generation Sun explorer to Astrium UK. Solar Orbiter will investigate how the Sun creates and controls the heliosphere, the extended atmosphere of the Sun. Prof. Alvaro Giménez Cañete, ESA Director of Science and Robotic Exploration and Miranda Mills, National Director — Earth Observation, Navigation and Science of Astrium signed the contract on 26 April on the occasion of a ceremony celebrating 50 years of...


Latest Orbiter Reference Libraries

sts-63
2012-05-12 09:24:19

Discovery launched from Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1995 at 12:22 AM EST and landed at Kennedy on February 11 at 6:50 AM EST. The shuttle orbited 129 times at an altitude of 213 nautical miles at an inclination of 51.6 degrees and travelled 3 million miles. The mission lasted 8 days, 6 hours, 28 minutes, and 15 seconds. The first shuttle flight of 1995 included several historical achievements: The second flight of Russian cosmonaut on shuttle, the first approach and fly-around by...

sts-66
2012-05-12 09:22:57

Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center on November 3, 1994 at 11:59 AM EST and landed at Edwards AFB on November 14 at 7:33 AM PST. The shuttle orbited 174 times at an altitude of 164 nautical miles at an inclination of 57 degrees and travelled 4.5 million miles. The mission lasted 10 days, 22 hours, 34 minutes, and 2 seconds. This mission further advanced efforts to collect data about sun's energy output, chemical makeup of the Earth's middle atmosphere, and how these factors affect...

sts-44
2012-03-24 10:07:28

Atlantis launched from Kennedy Space Center on November 24, 1991 at 6:44 PM EST and landed at Edwards AFB on December 1 at 2:34 PM PST. The shuttle orbited 110 times at an altitude of 197 nautical miles at an inclination of 28.5 degrees and travelled 2.9 million miles. The mission lasted 6 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes, and 44 seconds. This was an unclassified Department of Defense mission. The payload included a Defense Support Program (DSP) satellite and attached Inertial Upper Stage...

0_409c9a1cb0404de2686241051cff4a3a
2009-07-06 12:24:05

The Pioneer Program is a series of American unmanned space missions designed for planetary exploration. The program included a number of missions, but the most well-known missions were Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. Both Pioneer 10 and 11 explored the outer planets and left our solar system. Both probes carry a gold plaque, depicting a man and a woman and information about the origin of the probes and their creators. The Pioneer probe was named by Stephen A. Saliga, who was chief designer of Air...

9_5c04e476a527b2fbd3e32c57addd63822
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Galileo Probe -- The Galileo probe was an unmanned probe sent by NASA to study the planet Jupiter and its moons. Named after the astronomer Galileo Galilei, it was launched on October 18 1989 by the Space Shuttle Atlantis and arrived at Jupiter on December 7 1995. Galileo's launch had been significantly delayed by the hiatus in Space Shuttle launches that occurred after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, and new safety protocols that were implemented as a result forced Galileo to use...

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