Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 17.01.19

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Credit issue header picture: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ocean Moons, Promising Targets in Search for Life, Could Be Dead Inside

For more than two decades, scientists have wondered whether extraterrestrial life may be flourishing deep below the icy coatings boasted by moons in our outer solar system. Spacecraft like the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Saturn have stumbled on evidence that some of their moons hide global oceans, warmed by the pull of the giant planet they orbit. And oceanic explorers much closer to home have discovered dynamic communities living in darkness around geologic features on the ocean floor. Combine the two and it’s easy to be carried away with dreams of alien seafloors teeming with microbes. But new research is looking deeper, into the rock itself, and suggesting that these worlds may be dead inside — not just biologically, but geologically as well.

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via January 14, 2019 at 01:20PM

Shutdown Grounds NASA’s Airborne Observatory

The ongoing partial government shutdown has grounded a NASA aircraft used for astronomical observations amid reviews about how to operate that program in the future. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a Boeing 747 with a 2.5-meter telescope mounted in its fuselage, has been unable able to perform any science flights since the shutdown started Dec. 22, project officials said during a town hall session about the program Jan. 8 during the 233rd Meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) here.

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via January 12, 2019 at 01:27AM

Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway: NASA’s Proposed Lunar Space Station

The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway is a proposed NASA program that would bring astronauts to the moon to operate a lunar space station. The concept has generated a wealth of research and numerous political discussions since 2017, especially because NASA’s stated goal under the Trump administration is to return to the moon before going to Mars.

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via January 16, 2019 at 02:03AM

Cotton Seed Sprouts on the Moon’s Far Side in Historic First by China’s Chang’e 4

Before China finished packing up its Chang’e 4 lunar lander to be blasted off on a never-before-accomplished journey to the far side of the moon, scientists slipped in a small tank holding plant seeds. And now, the team announced, a cotton seed has sprouted.

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via January 15, 2019 at 05:54PM

There Is Now Life On Two Worlds In Our Solar System

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via NASA Watch January 15, 2019 at 05:36PM

China Details Future Moon Plans, Including Polar Research Station

China’s bold moon-exploration plans don’t stop with the pioneering Chang’e 4 mission, which made the first-ever soft landing on the lunar far side on Jan. 2.

The State Council Information Office of China (SCIO) held a press conference Monday (Jan. 14) to discuss that epic touchdown, and to give an overview of the nation’s future activities on Earth’s nearest neighbor.

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via January 15, 2019 at 01:21PM

Hubble Space Telescope’s Glitchy Eye Should Clear Up Soon

The Hubble Space Telescope’s main eye on the universe should be back up and running soon. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) took itself offline last week as a safety precaution, after onboard software noticed anomalous voltage readings within the instrument. But Hubble team members have now determined that voltage levels actually remained within the normal range, ascribing the glitch to a telemetry issue rather than a power-supply problem.

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via January 16, 2019 at 01:38PM

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Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) 13.12.18

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China‘s spacecraft to the backside if the moon / Chinas schickt Raumsonde zur Rückseite des Monds

Chang’e-4 spacecraft enters lunar orbit ahead of first ever far side landing –

China’s Chang’e-4 lander and rover spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit Wednesday following a four-and-half-day flight to the moon. The spacecraft entered an elliptical lunar polar orbit with a perilune of 100 kilometers at 3:45 a.m. Eastern (08:45 UTC) Dec. 12 following a lunar orbit insertion burn.

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via – December 13, 2018 at 06:46AM

Chang’e-4 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit

China’s Chang’e-4 lunar mission, the first-ever soft-landing endeavor on the lunar farside, launched successfully on 8 December at 02:23 Beijing time (7 December at 18:23 UTC) via a Long March 3B rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The launch carried a lander and a rover toward the Moon. On 12 December at 8:45 Beijing time (16:45 UTC), the spacecraft arrived in lunar orbit, preparing for a landing in early January.

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via | The Planetary Society – December 13, 2018 at 06:48AM

Weltraum: Wie China als erste Nation auf der Rückseite des Mondes landen will – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Wissenschaft

Die letzten Vorbereitungen zur Reise „hinter den Mond“ laufen. Der Start der Sonde „Chang’e 4“ ist für Freitagabend deutscher Zeit vom Weltraumbahnhof im westchinesischen Xichang geplant, wie Quellen im Umfeld des chinesischen Raumfahrtprogramms der Deutschen Presse-Agentur bestätigten.

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via SPIEGEL ONLINE – December 6, 2018 at 01:35PM

Auf zur 1. Landung auf der Rückseite des Mondes

In der Fußgängerzone in Essen konnte man letztens schon einen detaillierten Blick auf die Mond-Rückseite werfen (dank eines kurzen Gastspiels des ‚Museum of the Moon‘, oben) – aber heute gegen 19:20 MEZ soll mit Chinas Chang’e-4 zum ersten Mal ein Lander nebst Rover und schon im Mai gestartetem Kommunikations-Satellit (Grafik darunter) zum Aitken-Becken (Karte in der Mitte) geschickt werden

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via Skyweek Zwei Punkt Null – December 8, 2018 at 08:43AM

Chang’e 4 in Pictures: China’s Mission to the Moon’s Far Side

China launched its Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon on Dec. 8, 2018 Beijing Time (Dec. 7 EST/GMT). China is the first country ever to send a rover to soft-land on the lunar farside.

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via December 8, 2018 at 01:40PM

China Launches 1st Mission to Land on the Far Side of the Moon

The first-ever surface mission to the far side of the moon is underway. China’s robotic Chang’e 4 spacecraft streaked away from Earth today (Dec. 7), launching atop a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at about 1:23 p.m. EST (1823 GMT; 2:23 a.m. on Dec. 8 local China time). If all goes according to plan, Chang’e 4 will make history’s first landing on the lunar far side sometime in early January. The mission, which consists of a stationary lander and a rover, will perform a variety of science work and plant a flag for humanity in a region that remains largely unexplored to date.

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via December 7, 2018 at 07:56PM

China bricht zur Rückseite des Mondes auf

China ist als erste Weltraumnation zu einer Reise auf die Rückseite des Mondes aufgebrochen. Eine Rakete vom Typ „Langer Marsch 3B“ hob am Samstag vom Raumfahrtbahnhof Xichang in der südwestchinesischen Provinz Sichuan ab, um die Mondsonde „Chang’e 4“ mit einem Roboterfahrzeug an Bord in Richtung des Erdtrabanten zu schicken.

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via heise online – December 10, 2018 at 07:56AM

Chang’e-4: Erdabgewandte Seite des Mondes im Visier

China macht Ernst in Sachen Monderforschung: Aktuell ist schon der zweite Rover auf dem Weg zum Erdtrabanten – und diesmal mit einem besonderer Ziel. Das Gefährt soll nämlich die erdabgewandte Seite des Mondes erforschen, die bislang nur aus dem Orbit erkundet wurde. An Bord des Landers von Chang’e-4 ist auch ein Instrument, das Kieler Physiker beigesteuert haben.

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via – der deutschsprachige Onlinedienst für Astronomie, Astrophysik und Raumfahrt – December 11, 2018 at 06:48AM

Astronaut Nick Hague describes „violent shaking“ during failed Soyuz rocket launch

For the first time, both astronaut Nick Hague and his wife are sharing dramatic details about a failed rocket launch in October. Hague was in a Soyuz rocket headed for the International Space Station when a violent booster failure forced them to abort the mission mid-flight, 31 miles above earth. „It was going perfect for the first two minutes,“ Hague told CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann. „And then all of a sudden there was this violent shaking side to side. … And the alarm’s going off. And I see a red light that’s lit up and it says that you’ve had an emergency with the booster.“

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via CBS News – December 9, 2018 at 09:25AM

Voyager 2 leaves solar system / Voyager 2 verlässt das Sonnensystem

„Voyager 2“: Hinterm Sonnenwind geht’s weiter – SPIEGEL ONLINE – Wissenschaft

Auf ganz einfache Fragen gibt es oft keine einfachen Antworten. Wo, zum Beispiel, ist eigentlich unser Sonnensystem zu Ende? Irgendwo weit hinter dem letzten Planeten Neptun muss es sein, irgendwo weit hinter dem zum Kleinplanten degradierten Pluto – und all den anderen Objekten des sogenannten Kuipergürtels, der Rumpelkammer unserer kosmischen Nachbarschaft, durch die gerade die Nasa-Sonde „New Horizons“ fliegt.

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via SPIEGEL ONLINE – December 10, 2018 at 08:09PM

It’s Official! NASA’s Famed Voyager 2 Spacecraft Reaches Interstellar Space

It’s time to say goodbye to one of the most storied explorers of our age: Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space, NASA announced today (Dec. 10).Voyager 2, which launched in 1977, has spent more four decades exploring our solar system, most famously becoming the only probe ever to study Neptune and Uranus during planetary flybys. Now, it has joined its predecessor Voyager 1 beyond the bounds of our sun’s influence, a milestone scientists weren’t able to precisely predict when would occur. And intriguingly, humanity’s second crossing doesn’t look precisely like data from the first journey out.

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via December 10, 2018 at 03:53PM

What’s Next for NASA’s Voyager 2 in Interstellar Space?

Voyager 2 has passed an incredible milestone in its journey to explore the solar system by entering interstellar space, but neither its travels nor its science are ending any time soon.

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via December 11, 2018 at 01:32PM

New Horizons – Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule in Sight! New Horizons Probe Snaps New Photo of Its Target

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has beamed home another glimpse of the distant, icy body it will zoom past just three weeks from now. The small object Ultima Thule swims amid a sea of distant stars in the new composite photo, which New Horizons snapped with its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera at around midnight EST (0500 GMT) on Dec. 1.

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via December 10, 2018 at 09:12PM

New Horizons: Kurskorrektur im Kuipergürtel

Das Jahr 2019 beginnt mit einem Highlight: Am 1. Januar 2019 soll die Sonde New Horizons in einem Abstand von nur 3500 Kilometern am Kuipergürtel-Objekt 2014 MU69 vorüberfliegen. Vor einigen Tagen wurde dazu ein erstes Manöver zur Kurskorrektur durchgeführt. Nie zuvor hatte man den Kurs einer Sonde in so großer Entfernung angepasst.

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via – der deutschsprachige Onlinedienst für Astronomie, Astrophysik und Raumfahrt – December 9, 2018 at 02:47PM

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Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 29.11.18

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NASA Insight Mars Lander

NASA’s InSight Sends First Pictures

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via Mars InSight November 26, 2018 at 09:49PM

Touchdown on Mars! NASA’s InSight Lands to Peer Inside the Red Planet

NASA’s InSight lander touched down safely on the Martian surface today (Nov. 26), pulling off the first successful Red Planet landing since the Curiosity rover’s arrival in August 2012 — on the seventh anniversary of Curiosity’s launch, no less. Signals confirming InSight’s touchdown came down to Earth at 2:53 p.m. EST (1953 GMT), eliciting whoops of joy and relief from mission team members and NASA officials here at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which manages the InSight mission. A few minutes later, the team received confirmation from the lander that it’s functioning after the landing. [NASA’s InSight Mars Lander: Full Coverage]

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via November 26, 2018 at 09:03PM

NASA-Sonde gelandet: InSight schickt erstes Foto vom Mars

Der NASA-Roboter InSight ist am Montag erfolgreich auf dem Mars gelandet und hat erste Daten zurück zur Erde gesendet. Zuerst erreichte die Verantwortlichen im Kontrollzentrum das vorgegebene Signal, kurze Zeit später folgte bereits das erste Foto von der Oberfläche des Roten Planeten. Durch den noch vorhandenen und verdreckten Linsenschutz zeigt es die charakteristische rote Oberfläche des Planeten, eine äußerst glatte Umgebung und einen Stein direkt neben der Sonde. Sie und die Signale wurden über zwei experimentelle Satelliten zur Erde übertragen, die InSight mitgebracht hatte. Die beiden Mars Cube One sind die erste Kleinsatelliten des Typs CubeSat, die so weit entfernt eingesetzt werden.

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via heise online – November 27, 2018 at 03:52AM

==> More news on focus chapter below / Weitere Artikel siehe Schwerpunktkapitel unten <==

Planlos ins All

Das Geschenk, das die Europäer mitgebracht und in silbrig schimmernde Folie gewickelt haben, steht an historischer Stelle. Hier, in einem unscheinbaren Zweckbau auf dem Gelände des Kennedy Space Centers in Florida, wurden einst die Apollo-Raumkapseln startklar gemacht, mit denen US-Astronauten zum Mond flogen. Hier nächtigten Neil Armstrong und seine Kollegen, bevor sie vor knapp 50 Jahren durch eine der Türen marschierten, in einen Kleinbus stiegen und sich aufmachten zur ersten Mondlandung. Und hier soll nun erneut Geschichte geschrieben werden. Europas Geschenk, das vergangenen Freitag feierlich übergeben worden ist, könnte dabei eine entscheidende Rolle spielen.

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via Sü – November 22, 2018 at 04:32PM

Japan angeblich bereit zur Teilnahme an US-Gateway-Projekt

Japan ist angeblich bereit,  an dem US-Gateway-Projekt zum Bau einer Raumstation auf der Mondumlaufbahn teilzunehmen. Zugleich sei man bereit,  ein Raumschiff für den Transport von Nutzlasten und Menschen auf den Erdtrabanten zu entwickeln, meldet die Zeitung Sankei Shimbun am Mittwoch.

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via Gerhard Kowalski November 28, 2018 at 08:40AM

NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Sign Joint Statement on Space Exploration

NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have a long history of cooperation in all agency mission areas, including human exploration and operations on the International Space Station, Earth and space science, and fundamental aeronautics research. This week, the agencies signed a joint statement affirming their strong mutual interest in continued future cooperation in space exploration.
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via NASA.GOC November 28, 2018 at 04:10PM

China’s Latest Beidou Satellite Launch Clears Way for Chang’e-4 Trip to Moon’s Far Side

An enhanced Long March 3B with a Yuanzheng-1 upper stage lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 2:07 p.m. Eastern Nov. 18 sending two Beidou satellites directly into medium Earth orbits at around 21,500 kilometers altitude. The launch was consistent with airspace closure notices issued Nov. 15, with amateur images and footage (link in Chinese) providing the first evidence of the activity.

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via November 22, 2018 at 08:53PM

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Spacecraft Mission News (English, German) – 15.03.16


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On 6 March 2018, the BepiColombo engineering model was delivered to ESA’s mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany.BepiColombo – ESA’s first mission to Mercury – is based on two spacecraft: the ESA-led Mercury Planetary Orbiter, with 11 experiments and instruments, and the Japanese sp…
The BepiColombo mission to Mercury passed a review milestone last week, confirming that it can leave Europe and begin preparations for launch at the Kourou spaceport.The spacecraft and ground equipment, along with personnel, will start transferring to Kourou towards the end of next month.…
Die Merkur-Mission der ESA geht in eine weitere entscheidende Phase. In dieser Woche traf am Kontrollzentrum ESOC in Darmstadt das Konstruktionsmodell des Satelliten der BepiColombo Mission ein. An der originalgetreuen Kopie testet das Missionsteam nochmals alle Systeme des Orbiters vor …
Die Merkur-Mission der ESA geht in eine weitere entscheidende Phase. In dieser Woche traf am Kontrollzentrum ESOC in Darmstadt das Konstruktionsmodell des Satelliten der BepiColombo Mission ein. An der originalgetreuen Kopie testet das Missionsteam nochmals alle Systeme des Orbiters vor …
BepiColombo approaching Mercury. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; Mercury: NASA/JPL
„The only problem is, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had dismissed Swarm’s application for its experimental satellites a month earlier, on safety grounds. The FCC is responsible for regulating commercial satellites, including minimizing the chance of accidents in space. It feared that…
Engineers removed the combined optics and science instruments of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope from their shipping container in a high bay at Northrop Grumman on March 8, signaling the next step in the observatory’s integration and testing.
China’s Mars 2020 probe is undergoing testing for atmospheric entry, descent and landing on the red planet, a researcher involved in the mission has stated.
China’s space station, set to be completed in 2022, will contain a core and two laboratory modules, the prototypes of which are currently being built.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) declared Friday that it would start to make preparations for a new flagship X-ray space observatory for the research of black holes, neutron stars and quark stars.
​China’s latest lunar probe, the Chang’e-4, is expected to land on the far side of the Moon on the second half this year in what is to be the first soft landing on the dark side of the moon in the history of space flight.
China’s Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the Moon will include two microsatellites to be used to test low frequency radio astronomy in lunar orbit.

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