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Latest Sample return mission Stories

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2011-05-26 06:00:00

NASA announced on Wednesday that it would launch a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016 and use a robotic arm to obtain samples to bring back to Earth. The mission, known as Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth. "This is a critical step in meeting the objectives outlined by President Obama to extend our reach beyond low-Earth orbit and explore into deep...

2011-05-25 15:00:00

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will launch a spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016 and use a robotic arm to pluck samples that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began. The mission, called Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, will be the first U.S. mission to carry samples from an asteroid back to Earth. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "This is a...

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2011-04-06 06:30:00

By Daniel Stolte, University of Arizona The discovery of minerals requiring liquid water for their formation challenges the paradigm of comets as "dirty snowballs" frozen in time. For the first time, scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material. "Current thinking suggests that it is impossible to form liquid water inside of a...

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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...


Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'