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Tag: spacecraft

Next stop Mars: 3 spacecraft arriving in quick succession

Technology
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- After hurtling hundreds of millions of miles through space since last summer, three robotic explorers are ready to hit the brakes at Mars.The stakes — and anxiety — are sky high.The United Arab Emirates’ orbiter reaches Mars on Tuesday, followed less than 24 hours later by China’s orbiter-rover combo. NASA’s rover, the cosmic caboose, will arrive on the scene a week later, on Feb. 18, to collect rocks for return to Earth — a key step in determining whether life ever existed at Mars.Both the UAE and China are newcomers at Mars, where more than half of Earth’s emissaries have failed. China’s first Mars mission, a joint effort with Russia in 2011, never made it past Earth’s orbit.“We are quite excited as engineers and scientists, at the same time quite stressed and hap...
China spacecraft collects moon samples to take back to Earth

China spacecraft collects moon samples to take back to Earth

Technology
China says its spacecraft sent to bring lunar rocks back to Earth has collected its first samples, adding to a string of successes for Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space programBy JOE McDONALD Associated PressDecember 2, 2020, 9:30 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBEIJING -- A Chinese spacecraft took samples of the moon's surface Wednesday as part of a mission to bring lunar rocks back to Earth for the first time since the 1970s, the government said, adding to a string of successes for Beijing's increasingly ambitious space program.The Chang’e 5 probe touched down Tuesday on the Sea of Storms on the moon's near side after descending from an orbiter, the China National Space Administration said. It released images of the barren landing site showing the la...
Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home

Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears home

Technology
A Japanese spacecraft is nearing Earth after a yearlong journey home from a distant asteroid with soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar systemBy MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated PressNovember 27, 2020, 9:40 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleTOKYO -- A Japanese spacecraft is nearing Earth after a yearlong journey home from a distant asteroid with soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, a space agency official said Friday.The Hayabusa2 spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth, a year ago and is expected to reach Earth and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in southern Australia on Dec. 6.Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Ex...
Chinese spacecraft sets off on Moon sample quest

Chinese spacecraft sets off on Moon sample quest

Science
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NASA spacecraft collects asteroid sample 200 million miles from Earth

NASA spacecraft collects asteroid sample 200 million miles from Earth

Technology
A NASA spacecraft has successfully descended on an asteroid to collect a sample to return to Earth, the space centre has confirmed.On Tuesday, the Osiris-Rex made a four-and-a-half hour journey from its orbit of the Bennu asteroid 200 million miles from Earth to hover just above its surface. It had to dodge boulders the size of buildings and reach for a spot as small as a parking space with an 11ft robotic arm to grab a miniscule amount of rubble from the asteroid.The mission lasted between five and 10 seconds, but the team in Denver had to wait for the radio communication delay to find out exactly what had happened.Finally after 18 minutes, the Osiris-Rex sent confirmation the mission had been successful, drawing cheers from the NASA base. ...