The European Space Agency’s BepiColombo mission to Mercury is scheduled to launch aboard an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on October 20. BepiColombo is a joint endeavor between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA. It’s an ambitious seven-year flight as the mission will make one flyby of Earth, two […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now in Sol 2193. The last images from the Mars machinery reached Earth back on Sol 2172, September 15th. Engineers continue to wrestle with a glitch that prevents Curiosity from sending science and engineering data stored in its memory. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the robot remains in its […]

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SAOCOM 1A satellite from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Space Launch Complex-4 is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 7, at 7:21 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. SpaceX is attempting the secondary mission of landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket at Landing Zone 4, which was previously called […]

Japan’s Hayabusa2 successfully deployed the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT), a lander developed in Germany and France. The small asteroid lander separated from the Hayabusa2 spacecraft on October 3 and safely touched down on the surface of asteroid Ryugu. MASCOT operated for about 17 hours. Caught on camera After landing, MASCOT acquired scientific data on […]

A novel trial-run to help design a space elevator is now at the International Space Station, tucked away within Japan’s HTV-7 resupply ship that berthed to the ISS on September 27. The Japanese STARS-Me (Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite-Mini Elevator) was produced by researchers at Shizuoka University in Japan. Obayashi, a Japanese construction firm, is […]

  The Smithsonian History of Space Exploration – From the Ancient World to the Extraterrestrial Future by Roger Launius, Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C., October 2018; $40.00, 400 pages. Space historian Roger D. Launius has written a marvelous volume, an inclusive illustrated guide to the history of U.S. and international space exploration, both crewed missions and […]

That crater-pocked Moon has two new geological features: Anders’ Earthrise and 8 Homeward. The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union has today officially approved the naming of two craters on the Moon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission. Since the Moon is tidally locked to the […]

An international team of lunar researchers has blueprinted an exploration scenario for humans and robots to investigate five sites on the Moon. The detailed plan for human lunar surface missions is shaped by science, strategies for surface campaigns, and a Mars-forward perspective. The proposed missions focus on the Moon’s south polar region and target five […]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa2 space probe is slated to deploy on October 3 the asteroid lander, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT). Upon landing on asteroid Ryugu, MASCOT will only be reachable during a few time windows. Sending a command to the lander and receiving a response back on Earth will take more […]

Due to a massive dust storm on the Red Planet, NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has remained silent for well over three months. No signal from the robot has been heard since Sol 5111 on June 10, 2018. It is expected that solar powered Opportunity experienced a low-power fault. Perhaps, a mission clock fault and an […]

Griffith Observatory Event