Imaging Tiny Comet Dust In 3D

Rosetta has imaged the smallest grains of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dust yet, with its Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System, MIDAS. MIDAS works by collecting and then physically scanning grains with an Atomic Force Microscope. This uses a very fine tip, a bit like an old-fashioned record player needle, that is scanned over a particle. The deflection of …Read More

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NASA To Hold Asteroid Mission Briefings, Launch

NASA is gearing up to launch the United States’ first mission to sample an asteroid, with activities at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning Tuesday, September 6, and culminating with the spacecraft launch Thursday, September 8. Various activities are open to media and will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. …Read More

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Bennu: How A Little Asteroid Became A Rock Star

July 7, 2016 – Carl Hergenrother fingers a stack of white, 8½- by 11-inch paper that sits before him on his desk. As he flips through the inch-thick dossier, lines of type are clearly visible. “This is everything we know about Bennu,” said Hergenrother, glancing down at the pile of paper. Hergenrother is a staff …Read More

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Gamers Tackle Virtual Asteroid Sampling Mission

OSIRIS-REx Project Scientist Jason Dworkin challenged players of the popular online game Kerbal Space Program to replicate NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Gamers will use the virtual tools and supplies provided by the game to construct their own OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (also known as the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer), collect an asteroid sample, and return …Read More

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NASA, Italian Space Agency Explore Partnership Opportunities On Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA and the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, or ASI) have agreed to conduct a joint feasibility study on potential cooperation opportunities during the robotic segment of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). Since the announcement of NASA’s ARM in 2013, NASA has sought ideas from external communities to identify innovative concepts while the mission …Read More

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Resource Prospector Progresses With Thermal Vacuum Testing

This rover could be the first robot to mine for resources on another world! Targeted for launch in the early 2020s, Resource Prospector (RP) will take a short trip from Earth to the moon, where it will use a suite of rover-hosted instruments to search and characterize sub-surface water, hydrogen and other volatiles. Further, RP …Read More

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UCF Physics Professor Lands Grant To Plan For Space Mining

University of Central Florida physics professor Dan Britt has been named to the New Horizons mission team as the spacecraft heads to the Kuiper Belt. He’s also just landed a grant to help create fake asteroid material, which will help NASA and private companies prepare the technology needed to mine asteroids and eventually other planets. …Read More

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Moon Express Seeks Government Approval For First Commercial Lunar Mission

Today, Moon Express made history as the first private space company to request the U.S government to conduct a payload review of its spacecraft and plans leading to regulatory approval of a commercial mission to the Moon in 2017. Moon Express initiated the review process through a submission to the Federal Aviation Administration Office of …Read More

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The Art Of Landing On An Asteroid

Researchers in France have customised a drop tower to simulate landing a CubeSat on an asteroid in the near-absence of gravity – part of the preparations for ESA’s Asteroid Impact Mission. “We’ve taken an existing drop tower, previously designated for aircraft and material drop-tests, to simulate a low-gravity landing,” explains Naomi Murdoch of the Institut …Read More

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NASA Report Details Expert Team Investigation Of Asteroid Redirect Mission

February 18, 2016 – A new report chartered by NASA provides input to important areas of robotic mission requirements development and explores the science benefits and potential knowledge gain from the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). NASA will visit an asteroid boulder during the Proving Ground phase of its journey to Mars in cislunar space …Read More

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