Unmanned

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YIR III: From dwarfs to giants – the missions of Dawn, Juno, and Cassini


Moving out into the asteroid belt and farther still to the gas giants, NASA’s Dawn, Juno, and Cassini missions churned away in orbit of their respective hosts –…

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YIR II: Curiosity & Opportunity – Revelations, pushing the limits of longevity


From the orbits of the inner solar system to the surface of Mars.  For Curiosity and Opportunity, 2016 continued the rovers’ revelations of the mysteries of the Martian surface…

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Year In Review (I): Planetary orbit successes mark inner solar system returns


Throughout the inner solar system in 2016, NASA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos, and ISRO built upon their prior year successes and demonstrated a coordinated and cooperative approach toward advancing…

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Epsilon rocket launches Japanese ERG mission


Japan’s Epsilon rocket conducted its second flight Tuesday, orbiting JAXA’s ERG satellite to study Earth’s radiation belts. Liftoff from the Uchinoura Space Centre was on schedule at 20:00…

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Atlas V completes ULA’s 2016 with EchoStar XIX launch


United Launch Alliance launched its last Atlas V rocket of 2016 Sunday, deploying the EchoStar XIX commercial communications satellite for Hughes Network Systems. The launch, from the Cape Canaveral…

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Pegasus launches CYGNSS constellation following Stargazer release


Orbital ATK’s Pegasus rocket finally launched on Thursday, carrying NASA’s CYGNSS environmental research satellite constellation into orbit. The air-launched rocket departed Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard its…

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ULA Delta IV launches WGS-8 satellite


United Launch Alliance (ULA) has launched a Delta IV rocket on Wednesday evening, carrying the eighth satellite in the US Air Force’s Wideband Global Satcom system. The rocket…

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PSLV launches Resourcesat-2A imaging satellite


India has launched its Resourcesat-2A imaging satellite on Wednesday morning via its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. The ISRO launch, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, occurred…

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Busy December to mark end of year global launch salvo


Up to 15 orbital launches are set to take place during a very busy December, not counting the opening mission of the month that resulted in the loss…

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RocketBuilder: ULA revamp launch services selection process


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced an innovative site called “RocketBuilder” which allows customers – and indeed the public – to build a tailormade rocket for their…

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Atlas V successfully launches with GOES-R advanced weather satellite


An Atlas V rocket has successfully deployed a next-generation weather satellite for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Saturday. The United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket launched…

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As OA-7 Cygnus moves to Atlas V, high praise noted for Antares RTF


Citing exceptional and beyond performance expectations on the Return To Flight mission of their Antares rocket during the OA-5 launch of the Cygnus resupply craft to the International…

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Atlas V launches WorldView-4 out of Vandenberg


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket – interrupted by a wildfire – finally conducted a rare commercial launch on Friday, tasked with orbiting the WorldView-4 Earth-imaging…

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Japanese H-IIA rocket launches Himawari 9 satellite


Japan has launched the Himawari 9 weather satellite on Wednesday afternoon local time, with the aid of its H-IIA rocket. Liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Centre, in Japan’s…

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NASA green lights key phase for Landsat-9’s development


NASA has contracted Orbital ATK via a “delivery order under the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition III (Rapid III)” contract for construction of the Landsat 9 spacecraft. The latest spacecraft…

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Schiaparelli landing data to aid ExoMars 2020 rover


While the final result was not as intended, data from the European Space Agency’s Schiaparelli lander, which failed to make a successful soft landing on the surface of…

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Atlas V and Starliner reveal new configuration to mitigate aerodynamic issues


After months of speculation into changes relating to the OML (Outer Mold Line) for the Atlas V and Starliner design, United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Boeing finally revealed…

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Mars 2020 rover receives upgraded eyesight for tricky skycrane landing


When NASA’s next Mars rover – Mars 2020 – arrives at the red planet in four years, it will sport a new and upgraded vision to aide its…

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Delays for Antares as she prepares for comeback mission


The next Cygnus spacecraft is currently undergoing final processing with her Antares launch vehicle, a key milestone ahead of the upcoming launch to the International Space Station (ISS),…

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KSC/Cape braves HURCON I conditions as Matthew passes


Numerous launch facilities at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Cape Canaveral avoided serious impact from Category 3 hurricane Matthew.  The facilities were evacuated of personnel apart from…