NASA’s Deep Space Comet Hunter Mission Comes to an End

Deep Impact

After almost 9 years in space that included an unprecedented July 4th impact and subsequent flyby of a comet, an additional comet flyby, and the return of approximately 500,000 images of celestial objects, NASA’s Deep Impact mission has ended.

The project team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., has reluctantly pronounced the mission at an end after being unable to communicate with the spacecraft for over a month. The last communication with the probe was Aug. 8. Deep Impact was history’s most traveled comet research mission, going about 4.7 billion miles (7.58 billion kilometers).

“Deep Impact has been a fantastic, long-lasting spacecraft that has produced far more data than we had planned,” said Mike A’Hearn, the Deep Impact principal investigator at the Univer...

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Cygnus En Route for Sunday Rendezvous With Station

Cygnus

While the newest commercial cargo vehicle to join the International Space Station’s resupply fleet launched Wednesday morning on its demonstration flight, the Expedition 37 crew aboard the orbiting complex was hard at work with medical research, emergency simulation training and preparations for Sunday’s arrival of the new space freighter.

NASA commercial space partner Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., launched its Cygnus cargo spacecraft aboard its Antares rocket at 10:58 a.m. EDT Wednesday from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At the time of launch, the space station was flying about 261 miles above the southern Indian Ocean...

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Underground Action

cavenaut_descent
17 September 2013ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin, Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and NASA astronauts Mike Barratt and Jack Fischer started their underground training yesterday with a first trip into the depths of the island of Sardinia, Italy.The first job was getting used to moving around a cave. Like spacewalking, caving involves thinking in three dimensions, tethering and having a buddy for safety.

The unique course offers practical experience for the astronauts on leadership, teamwork, making the right decisions and solving problems in a multicultural team.

In many ways, the ‘cavenauts’ will be working in a more remote and hostile environment than on the International Space Station...

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LIVE: NASA TV Airs September Space Station Crew Launch

NASA Television will provide extensive coverage live from Kazakhstan of the Sept. 25 launch of three crew members of Expedition 37-38, as they begin their journey to the International Space Station.

Michael Hopkins of NASA and Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will depart from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:58 p.m. EDT (2:58 a.m. Kazakh time Sept. 26) aboard a Soyuz spacecraft headed for the space station. NASA Television coverage will begin at 4 p.m. and will include video of pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.

Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are flight engineers, and Kotov commands the Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock after four orbits of Earth...

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SPRINT-A Solar Array Paddles Deployment and Nickname Decided

SPRINT-A

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere (SPRINT-A) has deployed its solar array paddles (SAPs) normally at 15:49 p.m. today through data received at the Uchinoura Ground Station. The SPRINT-A was launched by the Epsilon-1 from the Uchinoura Space Center at 14:00 p.m. on September 14, 2013.
The satellite is currently in good health.
The SPRINT-A’s nickname was also decided. It is “HISAKI” The name was chosen for the following reasons.

(1)    “Hisaki” is the name of a cape in the Uchinoura area. (The cape at the tip of the Tsushiro Peninsula.)
–    It is the first brightened point by the rising sun in the Uchinoura area, thus the place is a symbol of a new day in Uchinoura.
–    It is...

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