First Images Of Asteroid Bennu Obtained By The NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft

After two years traveling through space, the NASA OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has started to obtain images of the mission target, primitive asteroid Bennu. As part of the Scientific Team of this mission, researchers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), Javier Licandro and Julia de León have already started to work in the calibration of …Read More

Share Button

Hayabusa2 Team Prepares For Asteroid Sample Collection

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA’s) Hayabusa-2 mission is on track to return samples from its target asteroid, 162173 Ryugu, a C-type Near Earth Asteroid (NEA). The past month has seen the successful deployment of two rovers and a lander. The mission focus is now on the successful retrieval and return of a surface sample. Two …Read More

Share Button

OSIRIS-REx Executes Second Asteroid Approach Maneuver

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second Asteroid Approach Maneuver (AAM-2) yesterday. The spacecraft’s main engine thrusters fired in a braking maneuver designed to slow the spacecraft’s speed relative to Bennu from 315 mph (141 m/sec) to 11.8 mph (5.2 m/sec). Likewise, the spacecraft’s approach speed dropped from nearly 7,580 miles (12,200 km) to 280 miles …Read More

Share Button

MASCOT Successfully Completes The Exploration Of The Surface Of Asteroid Ryugu

It was a day full of exciting moments and a happy team of scientists and engineers — late in the afternoon of October 3, 2018, the German-French lander MASCOT completed its historic exploration of the surface of the asteroid Ryugu at 21:04 CEST, as its battery ran out. On-asteroid operations were originally scheduled to last …Read More

Share Button

MASCOT Lands Safely On Asteroid Ryugu

The near-Earth asteroid Ryugu, located approximately 300 million kilometers from Earth, has a new inhabitant. On October 3, 2018, the Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout (MASCOT) landed on the asteroid and began to work. The lander successfully separated from the Japanese Hayabusa2 space probe at 03:58 CEST. The day before, the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 began …Read More

Share Button

Four Extremely Young Asteroid Families Identified

Four families of extremely young asteroids have been identified by researchers affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Guaratinguetá, Brazil. An article on the discovery has been published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The group is led by Italian-born physicist Valerio Carruba, currently a professor in UNESP’s Mathematics Department. “We identified …Read More

Share Button

Asteroid ‘Time Capsules’ May Help Explain How Life Started On Earth

In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs – and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining. But for researcher Nicholas Hud, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists …Read More

Share Button

What Do We Need To Know To Mine An Asteroid?

The mining of resources contained in asteroids, for use as propellant, building materials or in life-support systems, has the potential to revolutionize exploration of our Solar System. To make this concept a reality, we need to increase our knowledge of the very diverse population of accessible Near Earth Asteroids (NEA). Last year, dozens of the …Read More

Share Button

Nanosat Fleet Proposed For Voyage To 300 Asteroids

A fleet of tiny spacecraft could visit over 300 asteroids in just over three years, according to a mission study led by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The concept was presented by Dr. Pekka Janhunen at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2017 in Riga on Tuesday 19th September. The Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet concept comprises …Read More

Share Button

NASA-Funded Research At USC Provides Evidence Of Ground-Ice On Vesta

Research at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has revealed new evidence for the occurrence of ground ice on the protoplanet Vesta. The work, under the sponsorship of NASA’s Planetary Geology and Geophysics program, is part of ongoing efforts at USC Viterbi to improve water detectability techniques in terrestrial and planetary subsurfaces using radar and …Read More

Share Button