The Japan Space Agency's Kaguya lunar explorer, after a mission that included new geological surveys and lots of gloriously detailed HD footage of the moon's surface, crash landed into a large crater on the moon's near side this week. And JAXA today released its final images, depicting the final moments of its descent. Updated with video.
Japan's Kaguya lunar surveyor craft has sent back fresh HD clips as its orbit slowly degrades, bringing it closer than ever to the surface. In two days it will crash-land, bringing its mission to an end, but until then, it's keeping the ultra-crisp, almost surreal lunar footage coming.
Zoning in on the right landing site is key to a safe touchdown for the space agency's latest Red Planet explorer
By Gregory MonePosted 04.15.2008 at 8:18 am 2 Comments
Setting a spacecraft down on Mars isn't exactly easy—just ask Beagle 2. NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, en route and due for a May 25 rendezvous with the surface, recently received a course adjustment from mission planners as they try to ensure that the craft doesn't drop down in a danger zone.
Japanese scientists team up with origami masters to launch paper airplanes in space
By Gregory MonePosted 03.27.2008 at 10:19 am 7 Comments
Japan's space agency gave it the OK. A famous astronaut says he'd get involved. They even tested a prototype in a wind tunnel. Still, it does sound nearly too off-the-wall to be true: Japanese scientists have teamed up with origami experts to design a paper airplane that could withstand re-entry and make its way from space back to Earth.
DARPA plans to test whether a group of mini-spacecraft can do the work of a larger satellite.
By Dawn StoverPosted 03.05.2008 at 9:29 pm 3 Comments
It's a name only a government agency could love: the Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information eXchange. Could DARPA possibly come up with a more tortured title for System F6?
Scientists are triumphant over extraordinary new images from Saturn and its moons—rivers of methane, ice volcanoes, ferocious storms and more
By Michael MoyerPosted 04.29.2005 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
The penetrometer was the first thing to hit. The stick-like probe on the bottom of the Huygens lander punched aside a hard pebble made of water ice on the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, and sliced down through five inches of soft, muddy material. Scientists watching from Earth were ecstatic—the probe was not expected to survive the landing—but at the same time puzzled: If Titan really was, as they suspected, much like a young Earth, where were the liquid oceans predicted to cover the surface?