Days before Phobos-Grunt reenters the atmosphere, a new video captures the failed Mars probe traveling backward above the Earth. Its solar panels face away from the sun and there’s no sign of it tumbling, which most spacecraft are designed to do to maintain stability.
Most of the sentiment surrounding Russia's failed Mars-bound Phobos-Grunt has been a mix of guarded hopefulness that Roscosmos will recover the mission--currently stalled in Earth orbit--and sympathy for a space program that's been dogged by these kinds of failures. Not so for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is reportedly looking to mete out some serious punishment for the high-profile debacle.
A day after the successful launch of the Phobos-Grunt probe from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Russian mission handlers are already scrambling to save their spacecraft from the fate that has befallen so many Russian Mars missions. Phobos-Grunt found orbit yesterday but then failed to fire the engines that would put it on a path for the Martian moon Phobos.
Following the crash of a Russian cargo spacecraft a few days ago, the country has postponed its next mission to the International Space Station, originally scheduled for September 22nd. Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, hopes to complete that mission by late October or early November--but if it gets delayed again, the ISS may be left unmanned for the first time in over a decade.
A new Russian space telescope that will work in concert with radio telescopes on the ground launched earlier today, capping an effort that germinated during the Cold War. It will be the biggest telescope ever, with an effective antenna size spanning 30 times the diameter of the Earth.
Fifty years ago this April, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, orbiting the planet once in a 108-minute flight. A new film set to premiere on the anniversary of Vostok 1’s voyage aims to recreate what he saw.
ESA astronaut Pablo Nespoli and British filmmaker Christopher Riley made a new film, “First Orbit,” splicing together archival footage and audio from Gagarin’s flight with HD video shot from the cupola window on the International Space Station.
NASA has been tracking a piece of space junk on course for a near collision with the International Space Station this week, but while the agency continues to monitor the debris -- a leftover from China's brilliant shooting down of the Fengyun 1C weather satellite during a missile test in 2007 -- Russian Flight Control authorities have issued an all-clear, saying an avoidance maneuver will not be necessary.
This month, NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office released data naming the top ten incidents contributing to the space junk problem. The Fengyun fiasco is hands down the largest single contributor to the growing space junk crisis. NASA has identified some 19,000 objects larger than four inches that are running loose in orbit at extremely high rates of speed just waiting for a functioning satellite, a spacecraft, or the ISS to get in their paths. Of those, 2,841 are thought to have come from the destruction of Fengyun 1C.
As conflicting visions for NASA's future continue to generate gridlock in Washington D.C., the Russians are investing $800 million in a new spaceport in the country's far eastern region. The spaceport, which will relieve the traffic at the Soviet-built Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, is aimed at fostering the growth of Russia's commercial space industry, and should be launching unmanned flights by 2015.
With NASAâ€™s New Orleans fuel-tank factory out of commission, shuttle repairs could suffer serious delays
By Michael BelfiorePosted 09.12.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
When Hurricane Katrina roared through the U.S. Gulf Coast on August 29, devastating New Orleans, it shut down a major NASA facility, bringing the space agency's seemingly endless struggle to resume shuttle flights to a swift halt. The Michoud Assembly Facility, located about 15 miles east of the French Quarter, manufactures and repairs the space shuttle's giant external fuel tank-the same tank whose shedding insulation led to the destruction of Columbia in February 2003 and grounded the shuttle fleet last July.
Cosmos 1, the first mission to test if spacecraft can sail to distant stars on beams of sunlight, was lost shortly after launch on Tuesday
By Patrick di JustoPosted 02.01.2005 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
The Cosmos 1 solar sail experiment was lost on Tuesday when the Russian Volna rocket carrying it to orbit failed, according to the Russian Space Agency. Had the launch been successful, the experiment would have tested whether sunlight could have pushed the spacecraft into a higher orbit. Explore the mission that was to be with our exclusive slideshow, pulled from the pages of Popular Science.
On June 21, the California-based nonprofit Planetary Society will attempt for the fourth time to launch its privately funded Cosmos 1 solar sail.