Interplanetary SpacecraftVehicles that travel between planets, including Mars spacecraft
At 2:25 this afternoon, Eastern time, Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter will smash into the moon, its maneuvering fuel nearly spent and its two-year mission ended. I'll miss it. Kaguya has been the most media-friendly of the new lunar missions launched to date, returning beautiful, elegant photos and mo...
June 10, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Not being able to think up my own April Fool’s joke, I’ll pass on somebody else’s: the HiRISE camera team at the University of Arizona. Be sure to click on the Grey at bottom right.For my money (and I guess it partly is my money), HiRISE has returned some of the most beautiful images in the history...
April 01, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
A couple more interesting things about the just-launched Kepler telescope—then we'll let it get on with the business of searching for distant planets. The spacecraft will be controlled, at times, by college kids working alongside professional operators. Kepler continues a NASA trend to turn over da...
March 09, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Fingers crossed for Friday night’s planned launch of the Kepler telescope to search for Earth-size planets around other stars. The odds of getting off the ground safely are good: the Delta II is one of the most reliable rockets ever built. Still, ask the people who spent the better part of a decade...
March 06, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Cue the Lawrence of Arabia theme. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's HiRISE camera took this picture of the hardy Opportunity rover trekking across Martian sand dunes on its way to Endeavour crater, its next target to explore. The 10-mile journey is expected to take about two years at a pace of 100...
March 05, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
Jupiter’s moon Europa is a worthy target for exploration, so don’t get me wrong. It’s good news that NASA and the European Space Agency are going forward with plans for a dual-spacecraft mission to Europa, Ganymede and Jupiter's other moons in 2020. It just means we won’t see balloons flying over S...
February 27, 2009 | By Tony Reichhardt
If you really want to know the planet, flip through Mike Malin’s photo album.
January 2009 | By Andrew Chaikin
A new probe to a Martian moon may win back respect for Russia’s unmanned space program.
September 2008 | By Anatoly Zak
Planetary rovers might some day trade their wheels for something simpler.
April 29, 2008 | By Greg Soltis
Why does every Mars mission have to be better than the last?
November 01, 2007 | By Bob Craddock
When choosing landing gear for Mars spacecraft, engineers have to weigh their options-literally.
August 2007 | By Tony Reichhardt
We've already seen water ice on Mars. NASA's Phoenix lander will reach out and touch it.
August 2007 | By Charles Petit
When it comes to Martian studies, Mike Carr wrote the book.
March 2007 | By Bob Craddock
A round of applause for one of the most productive planetary missions ever.
January 2007 | By Bob Craddock
With the equivalent power of an electric can opener, engineers try to do more than scratch the Martian surface.
November 2006 | By Tom Harpole
Lunar explorers will have to battle an insidious enemy—dust.
September 2006 | By Trudy E. Bell
NASA summer students plot a course for Saturn's mysterious ice world.
September 2006 | By Tony Reichhardt
On an uncharted world, a little spacecraft saw a lot in a very short time.
November 2005 | By Tony Reichhardt
Hey, kids! The NASA Administrator says you're going to Mars! (Do your homework.)
November 2004 | By Sean O'Keefe
Titan, the only major body in the solar system that we haven't gotten a good look at, is about to be outed.
July 2004 | By Craig Mellow