News That Matters

Tag: landing

NASA rover sends first image after landing on Mars

NASA rover sends first image after landing on Mars

Technology
Despite enormous risks and a near 60% global record of failure, NASA has landed its InSight rover safely on the surface of Mars. After seven months and more than 300 million miles, the billion-dollar mission overcame its most challenging hurdle.InSight had a six-minute window in which to decelerate from just under 13,000mph to 5mph - landing entirely based on autonomous and pre-programmed systems.It withstood temperatures up to 2,700F (1,500C) - hot enough to melt steel - before deploying its parachute and 12 retro-rockets to gently touch down in an area known as Elysium Planitia. Image: The spacecraft - before it began its 300-million-mile trip InSight will need to wait for the dust from landing to settle before it ca...
InSight: The jeopardy of landing on Mars

InSight: The jeopardy of landing on Mars

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device The American space agency has released a video describing the perilous journey its InSight probe will make to the surface of Mars later this month.Fronted by Rob Manning, the chief engineer at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the film describes the various stages of what is termed "entry, descent and landing", or EDL.It is a sequence of high jeopardy.The agency produced a similar video for its Curiosity Mars lander in 2012 called The 7 Minutes of Terror.That became a viral hit. This one isn't quite so showy but is nonetheless very successful in communicating the drama of a landing on Mars. Launched from Earth back in May, Insight is still (Friday) a couple of milli...
Japan delays spacecraft landing on very rocky asteroid

Japan delays spacecraft landing on very rocky asteroid

Technology
Japan's space agency is delaying a spacecraft touchdown on an asteroid because scientists need more time to find a safe landing site on the extremely rocky surface. The spacecraft Hayabusa2 left Earth in 2014 and traveled 280 million kilometers (170 million miles) to the area of asteroid Ryugu, which it reached in June. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency plans to attempt three brief touch-and-go landings on Ryugu to collect samples in hopes of gaining clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth. JAXA Hayabusa2 project manager Yuichi Tsuda said Friday that the rockier-than-expected asteroid hardly has any flat spaces for landing. "Those rocks are our biggest headache," Tsuda said. "Ryugu is extremely rocky and it's almost cruel." He said his team needs at least a month t...
Emergency landing astronauts to launch again in spring

Emergency landing astronauts to launch again in spring

Technology
The US and Russian astronaut who were forced to make an emergency landing after a rocket failure will attempt to launch again next spring. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency landing shortly after their mission launched yesterday.It was an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space programme and a criminal investigation is now under way to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction.According to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian part of the International Space Station (ISS), the flight is being planned for the spring of next year. The malfunction affected the booster rocket, which appeared to fail to separate properly. The pair are alive after they landed safely in Kazakhs...
Gala opens countdown to 50th anniversary of 1st moon landing

Gala opens countdown to 50th anniversary of 1st moon landing

Technology
Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin was noticeably absent from a gala kicking off a yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, even though his nonprofit space education foundation is a sponsor and he typically is the star attraction. No explanation was given for Aldrin's absence from the Apollo Celebration Gala on Saturday evening. But the former astronaut is locked in a legal battle with family members who say he is suffering from mental decline. The black-tie event, held under a Saturn V rocket at the Kennedy Space Center, featured a panel discussion by astronauts, an awards ceremony, and an auction of space memorabilia. Hundreds of people attended the sold-out event, including British physicist Brian Cox, who presented Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson...