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NASA puts final pieces together for Psyche metal asteroid mission

NASA puts final pieces together for Psyche metal asteroid mission

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., April 6 (UPI) -- NASA's Psyche asteroid spacecraft is coming together on schedule in California for an August 2022 launch from Florida to explore the giant hunk of metal that circles the sun between Mars and Jupiter. The space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena took delivery of the main body of the spacecraft, or chassis, in March and started assembly work, Robert Mase, deputy project manager for the nearly $ 1 billion mission, told UPI via email. Advertisement "The next big milestone comes when it ships to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in spring 2022," Mase said. Technicians and engineers now will begin final assembly, he said. That includes outfitting the craft with the sensors needed to analyze the metal space object, including a variety of imaging equipment t...
SpaceX successfully launches 20th Starlink mission

SpaceX successfully launches 20th Starlink mission

Science
March 4 (UPI) -- SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with dozens of additional Starlink communications satellites into space early Thursday after previous launch attempts were delayed. The rocket lifted off at 3:24 EST from the historic pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the mission to put 60 more Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit as part of the plan to offer low-latency Internet worldwide. Advertisement Falcon 9's first-stage booster also successfully landed on the drone ship Of Course I still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean on its return to Earth while stage two continued on its mission before deploying its batch of Starlink satellites into orbit. The satellites will deploy solar rays and move into their operational positions over the next days ...
UAE’s Hope probe: First photo from Mars mission released

UAE’s Hope probe: First photo from Mars mission released

Technology
The United Arab Emirates has published the first image of Mars sent by its space probe.The picture, taken on Wednesday, shows sunlight coming across the surface of Mars, as well as the planet's north pole and largest volcano, Olympus Mons. The image comes from the spacecraft named Hope, or Amal in Arabic, which swung into orbit around Mars on Tuesday following a seven-month flight. Image: The probe is called Hope, or Amal in Arabic It is a triumph for the Arab world's first interplanetary mission and makes the UAE the fifth nation to ever reach the red planet.The £160m satellite aims to provide a picture of the Martian atmosphere by studying daily and seasonal changes on the planet and is the first of three space missions due to reach...
CaSSIS mission: The camera capturing Mars’ craters and canyons

CaSSIS mission: The camera capturing Mars’ craters and canyons

Science
ESA/Roscosmos/CaSSISIt is a busy time for Mars at the moment. This month the Red Planet entered its new year, what is known as Year 36, and it has not long been overtaken by Earth in its orbit of the Sun. The distance between Earth and Mars constantly changes because of their different speeds around the Sun, therefore the optimum launch window for missions is just once every 26 months when the planets come closest together.Many are anticipating the touchdown of Nasa's Perseverance rover - the most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to land on a planet - on 18 February.However, the Red Planet is already being closely observed.Since its launch in 2016 and its subsequent orbit insertion around Mars, an instrument named the Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) has been used to enhanc...
Biden brings moon rock from last lunar mission into Oval Office

Biden brings moon rock from last lunar mission into Oval Office

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 26 (UPI) -- A moon rock that President Joe Biden has placed in the Oval Office came from the last Apollo mission in 1972, raising hopes that he will support a new lunar landing program already underway. The White House said the moon rock was part of Biden's goal to have the office reflect the best of American accomplishments. Advertisement Astronauts chipped the rock from a large boulder at the base of the North Massif mountain in the Imbrium Impact Basin. The stone's official name is Lunar Sample 76015,143, which refers to NASA's generic numbering system for more than 840 pounds of rock retrieved during Apollo missions. Scientists were pleased with the testament to science and space exploration. Ellen Stofan, director of the National Air and Space Museum, posted a mes...