November 24, 2013 |
Pennsylvania State University is racing to be the first college on the moon. Since 2011, a team of faculty, researchers, and students has been hatching "Lunar Lion," a robotic spacecraft that is four feet in diameter and weighs 500 pounds. The team hopes that by landing in December 2015 and completing a precise series of tasks, it will win an international competition known as the Google Lunar Xprize. "What we are doing was once the business of national governments, and now we, a university, are doing this," said Michael Paul, director of space systems initiatives at the university's Applied Research Lab. The project costs $60 million, and donors have provided more than one-third of that amount.
April 3, 2013
Yvonne Brill, a pioneer in spacecraft propulsion who suspended a promising career to raise three children and then returned to work full time to achieve her greatest engineering successes, died Wednesday at a hospital in Princeton. She had complications from breast cancer, said her son Matthew Brill of Swedesboro, N.J. Ms. Brill was internationally respected in her field and spoke openly about the struggles she faced in being devoted to family and work. As a specialist in the chemistry of propulsion, she made vital contributions to the operation of the orbiting space satellites that have become essential to modern life, placing the most remote areas of the globe in virtually instantaneous communication.
July 18, 2012 |
Los Angeles Times PASADENA, Calif. - Three weeks from Sunday night, an amiable, whip-smart engineer named Ray Baker will be staring into his computer screen at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hopeful and helpless - or, as he puts it, "sweating blood. " The night will have been 10 years and $2.5 billion in the making, incorporating the work of 5,000 people in 37 states. And then, 154 million miles from home, the fate of the most ambitious machine humans have sent to another planet will rest on a seven-minute landing sequence so far-fetched it looks like something Wile E. Coyote devised to catch the Road Runner.
January 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - There's no firm date yet, but sometime in early 2014, NASA intends to take its first major step toward rebuilding its human spaceflight program. The milestone is the maiden test flight of its Orion spacecraft, a launch that has come into sharper relief in the three months since NASA and manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced it. As planned, an unmanned Orion capsule will begin its journey at Cape Canaveral and take two loops around Earth before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.
December 22, 2011 |
MOSCOW - A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a Russian, an American, and a Dutchman to the International Space Station blasted off flawlessly from Russia's launch facility in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Mission commander Oleg Kononenko and his colleagues, American Don Pettit and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, are to dock with the space station on Friday. The blastoff from the snowy launchpad in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, took place without a hitch and the spacecraft reached Earth orbit about nine minutes later.
December 11, 2011 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A private California company will attempt the first commercial cargo run to the International Space Station in February. NASA announced the news Friday, a year and a day after Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, became the first private business to launch a capsule into orbit and return it safely to Earth. On Feb. 7, SpaceX will attempt another orbital flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The unmanned Dragon capsule will fly to the space station and dock with a load of supplies.
November 10, 2011 |
MOSCOW - A Russian spacecraft on its way to Mars with 12 tons of toxic fuel is stuck circling the wrong planet: ours. And it could come crashing back to Earth in a couple of weeks if engineers can't coax it back on track. Space experts were hopeful yesterday that the space probe's silent engines can be fired to send it off to Mars. If not, it will plummet to Earth. But most U.S. space debris experts think that the fuel on board would explode harmlessly in the upper atmosphere and never reach the ground.
August 6, 2011 |
LOS ANGELES - The NASA spacecraft Juno, en route to an unprecedented exploration of Jupiter and the origins of the solar system, lifted off Friday from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Juno launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket at 12:25 p.m. into clear skies. The craft soared over the Atlantic then conducted two "burns" to set it on the right trajectory for a five-year, 1.7 billion-mile trip to Jupiter. "Today, with the launch of the Juno spacecraft, NASA began a journey to yet another new frontier," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.
March 18, 2011 |
BALTIMORE - With a 30-minute blast from its main rocket engine, NASA's Messenger spacecraft slipped into orbit around the planet Mercury on Thursday evening, becoming the first craft from Earth ever to circle the closest planet to the sun. About 9:15 p.m., when early telemetry indicated the rocket burn had finished and the probe had been captured by Mercury's gravity, a round of applause went up from the mission control room at the Johns Hopkins University's...