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Category: spaceflight

NASA’s ‘Other’ Mars Rover Sends Back a Selfie to Remind Us It Still Exists

NASA’s ‘Other’ Mars Rover Sends Back a Selfie to Remind Us It Still Exists

Curiosity took this selfie, with Mont Mercou in the background, on March 26, 2021. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS The newly landed Perseverance rover is understandably stealing much of the limelight these days, which means Curiosity—after 10 years of faithful service—is suddenly having to play second fiddle. Curiosity’s latest selfie reminds us that the six-wheeled probe is very …

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Listen to Lasers Zapping Rocks on Mars in Perseverance’s Latest Dispatch

Listen to Lasers Zapping Rocks on Mars in Perseverance’s Latest Dispatch

Mosaic view of a Martian rock dubbed “Yeehgo,” captured by the SuperCam instrument on the Perseverance rover. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL/CNES/CNRS/ASU/MSSS Unprecedented audio recordings taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover are transporting us to the surface of the Red Planet, allowing us to hear the sound of a gentle alien breeze, and the click-clicking of lasers zapping a …

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NASA Scoops a Seat Aboard Russian Rocket Without Having to Pay For It

NASA Scoops a Seat Aboard Russian Rocket Without Having to Pay For It

A Soyuz capsule docked to the ISS. Image: NASA An unusual arrangement involving NASA, the Russian space agency, and a commercial intermediary will see an American astronaut fly to the ISS in a cashless exchange meant to preserve a tradition that dates back over 20 years. Advertisement NASA normally pays around $90.25 million for a …

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Mars Rover Landing Site Named After Sci-Fi Legend Octavia Butler

Mars Rover Landing Site Named After Sci-Fi Legend Octavia Butler

The Perseverance landing site on Mars is now named Octavia E. Butler Landing. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona That magical spot in Jezero crater where NASA’s Perseverance rover made its historic landing last month has been named “Octavia E. Butler Landing” in honor of the late sci-fi author. “I can think of no better person to …

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Satellite Spots NASA’s New Rover—and Its Garbage—From Mars Orbit

Satellite Spots NASA’s New Rover—and Its Garbage—From Mars Orbit

ExoMars image showing the Perseverance landing site on Mars. Image: ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSIS; acknowledgement P. Grindrod The Perseverance rover, along with several components used during the recent landing, have been imaged from space. The image, captured by the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, reveals the location of the parachute and back shell, the descent stage, the heat shield, …

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NASA Is Dropping a New Rover on Mars. Here’s What Could Go Wrong

NASA Is Dropping a New Rover on Mars. Here’s What Could Go Wrong

Depiction of the Perseverance landing, with the rover still attached to backshell and retro-rockets engaged for powered descent. Illustration: NASA/JPL-Caltech Failure could take on many forms next week when NASA’s next-gen rover, Perseverance, reaches the surface of the Red Planet. Here’s what needs to go right—and how things could quickly go sideways—when Perseverance tries to …

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China probe delivers its first photo of Mars

China probe delivers its first photo of Mars

China’s plans for interplanetary exploration just took a big stride forward. The Guardian reports that the country’s Tianwen-1 probe has returned its first photo of Mars, capturing a black-and-white snapshot from about 1.4 million miles away. It doesn’t compare to the more detailed pictures from other explorers (certainly not those on the ground), but that’s …

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Virgin’s LauncherOne Rocket Reaches Orbit for the First Time and Drops Off NASA Satellites

Virgin’s LauncherOne Rocket Reaches Orbit for the First Time and Drops Off NASA Satellites

Cosmic Girl releases LauncherOne mid-air for the first time during a July 2019 drop test. Photo: Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson The commercial race to space just got a little more crowded. Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, Virgin Galactic’s sister company, has successfully launched a rocket into orbit for the first time. It also managed to successfully deliver …

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