Prospecting From Orbit

The combination of morphological and topographic information from stereo images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as compositional data from near-infrared spectroscopy has been proven to be a powerful tool for understanding the geology of Mars. Beginning with the OMEGA instrument on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter in 2003, the surface of …Read More

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NASA’s Asteroid Sample Return Mission Successfully Adjusts Course

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft fired its thrusters to position itself on the correct course for its upcoming Earth flyby. The spacecraft, which is on a two-year outbound journey to asteroid Bennu, successfully performed a precision course adjustment on Wednesday to prepare for the gravity slingshot on September 22. This trajectory correction maneuver was the first to …Read More

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Juling Crater

This high-resolution image of Juling Crater on Ceres reveals, in exquisite detail, features on the rims and crater floor. The crater is about 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) deep and the small mountain, seen left of the center of the crater, is about 0.6 miles (1 kilometers) high. The many features indicative of the flow of …Read More

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Magnetic Memories Of A Metal World

4.5 billion years ago in the violent, high-speed environment of the early solar system, a protoplanet roughly the size of Mars was involved in a series of fierce collisions with other large planetary bodies. A number of powerful impacts stripped the planet of its rocky mantle, leaving an exposed nickel-iron core. After further blows, break-away …Read More

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B612 Creates Asteroid Institute

The B612 Foundation today announced the formation of a new science and technology institute dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid impacts. Dr. Ed Lu, three time US astronaut and Co-founder of B612, will serve as Executive Director of the new B612 Asteroid Institute, collaborating with a team of planetary scientists and engineers from around the …Read More

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Honeybee Robotics Secures Six Phase I SBIR/STTR Awards From NASA For Spacecraft, Drilling, And Sampling System Development

Honeybee Robotics today announced it has received four NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards and two NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award to develop new spacecraft systems and enabling technologies. The awards will allow Honeybee to analyze concepts for advanced future planetary exploration, sampling, in-situ resource utilization, and on-orbit …Read More

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NASA Moves Up Launch Of Psyche Mission To A Metal Asteroid

Psyche, NASA’s Discovery Mission to a unique metal asteroid, has been moved up one year with launch in the summer of 2022, and with a planned arrival at the main belt asteroid in 2026 — four years earlier than the original timeline. “We challenged the mission design team to explore if an earlier launch date …Read More

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Deep Space Industries Secures NASA Aerobrake Funding

Deep Space Industries and the University of Tennessee have been awarded NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program funding for developing technology to slow spacecraft carrying asteroid resources as they return to Earth’s orbit. The purpose of asteroid mining is to collect fuel and building materials harvested from near Earth asteroids and provide them to commercial …Read More

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NASA Seeks Additional Information For Lunar Missions

NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas from industry for the agency to possibly participate in existing or future uncrewed commercial missions to the moon. NASA is interested in assessing the availability of a commercial launch from Earth to the lunar surface to provide landing services as early as Fiscal Year 2018, …Read More

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ExoTerra To Become First Privately Owned Space Company To Fly To An Asteroid

NASA has awarded ExoTerra Corporation a $2.5M contract to demonstrate a novel solar electric propulsion system for CubeSats that will enable the shoebox-sized spacecraft to triple their available power and produce over 2.5 km/s of propulsion. Under the “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies” award, ExoTerra will use the mission-enabling capability to fly …Read More

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