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Latest Sample return mission Stories

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2010-10-06 14:45:00

Japan's space agency has found particles in the capsule of the Hayabusa space probe that may be extraterrestrial. The Yomiuri newspaper and Kyodo News agency reported that scientists discovered minute particles that may be from outside Earth. The newspaper said that their components have characteristics that differ from dust or aluminum powder samples that had been collected earlier. The Hayabusa space probe was sent off to an asteroid seven years ago, and returned on June 24 with samples...

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2010-06-13 15:00:00

The Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft returned to Earth on Sunday, landing in the remote Australian outback. The spacecraft, which spent the last 7 years on a mission to explore an asteroid, reached the potato-shaped Itokawa asteroid two years after leaving Earth in 2003.  Its mission was to collect samples of the asteroid, which may hold clues to the origins of the solar system. The spacecraft burned up during re-entry of Earth's atmosphere, but it released a heatproof sample canister...

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2010-05-31 09:20:00

The Hayabusa Japanese spacecraft, which is designed to return samples from an asteroid back to Earth, has completed an important step on its journey back. The unmanned craft achieved the second and largest of four engine firings designed to guide the probe back home. The probe visited the asteroid Itokawa in 2005 in order to capture soil during its journey. However, the mission has been filled with technical glitches affecting the engines and communications with Earth. It is still unclear...

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2010-03-12 08:28:52

Meet asteroid 1999 RQ36, a chunk of rock and dust about 1,900 feet in diameter that could tell us how the solar system was born, and perhaps, shed light on how life began. It also might hit us someday. "This asteroid is a time capsule from before the birth of our solar system," said Bill Cutlip of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., one of the leaders of Goddard's effort to propose a mission called OSIRIS-REx that will return a sample from RQ36. If selected, Goddard will...

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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...

2009-12-29 15:00:00

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The proposed missions would probe the atmosphere and crust of Venus; return a piece of a near-Earth asteroid for...

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2008-09-22 11:05:00

European scientists hope a proposed mission to capture pieces of an asteroid will shed light on how our Solar System evolved. In the so-called Marco Polo mission, scientists and engineers intend to send a spacecraft to a small nearby asteroid to collect dust and rubble that will be studied to determine how the Solar System came into being. Some speculate the mission could launch sometime in the next decade, in about 2017. Ultimately it is up to the European Space Agency (ESA) to approve the...

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2008-07-21 11:30:00

The first robotic mission to return samples to Earth from Mars took a further step toward realization with the recent publication of a mission design report by the iMARS Working Group. The report, defines key elements of the future internationally-funded mission involving the cooperation of ESA, NASA and other national agencies. iMARS, which stands for the International Mars Architecture for the Return of Samples is a committee of the International Mars Exploration Working Group made up of...

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2008-07-02 10:44:01

ESA and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) will be co-hosting, in cooperation with NASA and the International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG), an International Conference on 9 and 10 July in the Auditorium of the Bibliothque Nationale de France in Paris to discuss the next step in the exploration of Mars. We are still collecting data under NASA's Phoenix, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rover and Mars Odyssey missions, as well as under ESA's Mars Express...

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2006-12-14 14:25:00

Just as kits of little plastic bricks can be used to make everything from models of the space shuttle to the statue of liberty, comets are looking more and more like one of nature's toolkits for creating life. These chunks of ice and dust wandering our solar system appear to be filled with organic molecules that are the building blocks of life. The discovery of two kinds of nitrogen-rich organic molecules in comet Wild 2 is the latest addition to the set of bits and pieces useful to the...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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