Tag Archives | eco

Astrium gets order for Grace Follow-On spacecraft

While the joint NASA/DLR mission, GRACE (Gravity-Recovery And Climate Experiment)  has been a resounding success since its 2002 launch, a follow on mission called, rather unimaginatively, GRACE Follow-On, is now being planned.  To that end Astrium of Germany (part of EADS) …

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Mars Odyssey Orbiter now on back-up Inertial Measurement Unit

It has been announced by NASA that the Mars Odyssey Orbiter spacecraft, currently in orbit around the planet Mars, has been moved to its back up Inertial Measurment Unit.  The decision was taken by engineers was after they found found that the primary inertial …

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Obama wins US Presidential election but will Bolden and NASA be losers now?

President Barack Obama has, by a small margin, been re-elected as US President.  Despite only just beating his Republican Party challenger, Mitt Romney, in the overall popular vole, the Democrat President held sway in the key swing states of Florida, Ohio etc. to …

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President Obama gets support from first US man in orbit John Glenn

While former Apollo astronauts including the first man to set foot on the Moon, the late Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, and the last lunar walker Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan,  were, for a time, at loggerheads with President Obama over his then apparent reluctance to …

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On a lighter note: International Astronautical Congress faux pas with a pen

While the finer points of language and culture can get “lost in translation” at such an international conference such as International Astronautical Congress, the European Space Agency (ESA) might just have ruined its chances of ever successfully marketing Ariane 6 …

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Juno makes delayed trajectory correcting burn

After delays to make checks on its propellant system, the NASA Juno spacecraft finally executed a delayed deep space manoeuvre at 1930 GMT on 14 September. The burn lasted approximately 30 minutes. The manoeuvre had been originally planned to take place on 4 …

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Juno mission has manoeuvre delay

A second trajectory correction manoeuvre for NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter was delayed after a higher than expected readings in the spacecraft’s propellant system during the previous burn on 30 August.  The follow up burn on 4 September 2011 has now …

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Analysis: Both US Presidential Election candidates have space policy strengths and weaknesses (Updated)

While gambling bookmakers, opinion pollsters, and election forecasters are currently split as to the likely outcome of the US Presidential Election, most are agreed that it will be the key “swing states” that will decide the election via the electoral …

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Opinion: NASA is concentrating too hard on the red planet and risks losing exploration excitement

NASA’s decision to choose yet another Mars lander for its 12th Discovery-class mission is unimaginative. While the chosen mission dubbed Mars Insight lander will, no doubt, produce interesting science with respect to the internal structure of Mars, the planet has, in a …

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Neil Armstrong has heart operation

The first man to set foot on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, 82, has had an emergency heart operation to clear out his arteries.  The former Apollo 11 astronaut is now recovering after the successful operation.  Armstrong’s former employer, NASA, has given …

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Mars Odyssey Orbiter gets into position for data relay of Mars Curiosity Rover landing

Concerns are receding that the  Mars Curiosity Rover (Mars Science Laboratory) will be out of communication with Earth during its risky “seven minutes of terror” skycrane landing sequence on 6 August.  This was after the orbiting spacecraft Mars Odyssey Orbiter managed to relocate …

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Profile of Paolo Nespoli, astronaut for the European Space Agency

Paolo Nespoli, an Italian astronaut for the European Space Agency, has been in orbit twice. Firstly, he was part of the Space Shuttle Discovery crew during NASA’s STS-120 mission to deliver the Harmony module to the International Space Station in …

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On a sadder note: First US Female astronaut Dr Sally Ride passes away

We are sad to report that Dr Sally Ride, the first US woman to fly in space has passed away at the age of 61 after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  Having joined NASA in1978, the 32-year-old astronaut gained fame on her space shuttle flight aboard …

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On a lighter note: Does James Bond show the way for NASA to remain a manned LEO launch provider?

NASA will shortly have to choose which two or three (or even two and a half) commercial crew systems it wishes to carry on funding in the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) development programme.  While lawmakers and even …

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“Seven minutes of terror” faces Mars Curiosity rover during landing

As it awaits its 6th August landing of the Mars Curiosity Rover (aka Mars Science Laboratory) which was launched on 26 November last year, NASA has been showing a video detailing the engineering challenges and technology of re-entry and landing.  The landing technique …

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Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise gets a prang

The Space Shuttle atmospheric glide test prototype Enterpise had a prang on its last leg of its journey from the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy exhibition near Dulles Airport in Washington DC to its new home at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City.  On …

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The real Venus Transit: NASA releases high definition video from SDO

NASA has released a short series of high definition video clips taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory showing the Venus Transit (aka the Transit of Venus) of 2012 showing it in all its glory.

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Veteran US Astronaut John Glenn is awarded Medal of Freedom

On 29 May, during a ceremony at the White House, President Barack Obama presented the former United States Marine Corps pilot, astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn with the Medal of Freedom,  Glenn flew twice into orbit – the first time becoming the

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Updated: Which Commercial Crew spacecraft should NASA choose? Answer: One with a toilet

While under financial pressure from the US Senate and US House of Representatives to pick only one winner for commercial crew program’s next Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) phase in August (the US Senate and the House plans to cap commercial crew spending

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Progress M-015M docks with International Space Station

At 1420 GMT on 22 April 2012 the Russian cargo Progress M-015M spacecraft docked automatically to the International Space Station’s Docking Compartment-1 (DC-1) Pirs nadir port, recently vacated by Progress M-014M.…

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