Unmanned

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YIR (Part III) – Mars exploration continues; India joins an elite club


2013 was another year dominated by the increase in robotic exploration of humanity’s most sought-after and elusive terrestrial neighbor. With two active rovers, a fleet of orbiting vehicles,…

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YIR (Part II) – Lunar and Saturnian exploration captures public’s attention


Capturing and holding the attention of the general public for space exploration purposes is often a difficult thing to achieve. But 2013 saw not only NASA but also…

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Year in Review (Part I): Unmanned probes reach new milestones in 2013


The 2013 year was another busy and productive year for NASA and the world’s space agencies. As with 2012, robotic exploration of the solar system and, for the…

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ILS Proton-M successfully launches Inmarsat-5 F1


International Launch Services (ILS) have successfully launched another Russian Proton-M launch vehicle, tasked with lofting the Inmarsat-5 F1 satellite on a flight to its transfer orbit that took over…

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Atlas V launches NROL-39 from Vandenberg


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) have launched their Atlas V rocket on the NROL-39 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California…

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Orbital’s Minotaur I successfully lofts multitude of payloads


Orbital Sciences Corporation have launched the ORS-3 mission for the US military, using a Minotaur I rocket to demonstrate technology aimed at reducing costs for future missions. The…

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Atlas V launches MAVEN en route to Martian adventure


NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft has begun its journey to Mars following its launch atop the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket Monday. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch…

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SLS upper stage proposals reveal increasing payload-to-destination options


With less than a year to go before the inaugural flight of NASA’s Orion crew capsule and just over four years until the debut of the SLS rocket…

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India PSLV successfully launches MOM en route to Mars


India launched its first interplanetary spacecraft Tuesday, with a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle sending the Mars Orbiter Mission on its journey to the red planet. Liftoff of the…

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Morpheus set for KSC return ahead of December tests


Morpheus – an experimental lander project – is set to make its return to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), ahead of the resumption of testing in December. Morpheus – which…

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Assessing the Martian atmosphere: MAVEN prepares for launch


With less than 18 days to go before the beginning of NASA’s next scheduled mission to Mars, engineers and vehicle processing personnel at the Cape Canaveral Air Force…

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Juno slingshot – Spacecraft zips past Earth en route to Jupiter


NASA’s Juno spacecraft performed a close gravity assist flyby of the Earth on Wednesday, aiding its five-year journey to Jupiter. Earth’s gravity accelerating assist for the solar-powered spacecraft…

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SES-8 heads to Florida for next Falcon 9 v1.1 launch


The Orbital-built SES-8 telecommunications satellite has begun its road journey to Florida ahead of its November 1 (NET) launch atop of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle. The…

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Falcon 9 v1.1 successfully conducts second Hot Fire


SpaceX’s newly upgraded Falcon 9 v.1.1 has successfully completed a second Hot Fire test – also known as a Static Fire – ahead of its debut mission to…

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United Launch Alliance celebrate 75 launch milestone


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) celebrated its 75 launch milestone when their Atlas V launch vehicle successfully lofted the AEHF-3 satellite out of Cape Canaveral Wednesday morning. While…

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ULA Atlas V launches with AEHF-3 satellite


United Launch Alliance are conducting its seventy-fifth launch Wednesday morning, with the Atlas V tasked with deploying the AEHF-3 satellite for the US Air Force. Liftoff from Cape…

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Into the unknown: Voyager 1 begins interstellar space adventure


The hotly contested question has been answered: Voyager 1 is humanity’s first object to enter interstellar space. The historic announcement came from NASA after a year of review…

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Japan’s Epsilon launches with SPRINT-A


Japan’s Epsilon rocket has made its maiden launch carrying JAXA’s SPRINT-A ultraviolet astronomy satellite early on Saturday morning. Liftoff from the Uchinoura Space Centre was delayed from last…

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Antares rolled out ahead of ORB-D mission – 24 hour delay


Orbital’s Antares launch vehicle is deep into preparations for its second trip into space – delayed 24 hours to Wednesday – this time hosting the debut mission for…

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Orbital’s Minotaur V launches LADEE mission to the Moon


NASA’s latest mission to the Moon launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur rocket Friday night. Liftoff of the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer from the Wallops launch…