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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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Colorado School Of Mines Plans Launch Of Space Resources Graduate Program

Colorado School of Mines could soon be preparing the next generation of scientists and engineers to responsibly explore, extract and use resources not only on Earth but also on the Moon, Mars, asteroids and beyond. Mines is planning to launch a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary graduate program in space resources in 2018. The first course, Space Resources …Read More

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