MESSENGER Completes Second Burn to Maintain Mercury Orbit

by Jason Major on September 22, 2014

Illustration of MESSENGER in orbit around Mercury (NASA/JPL/APL)

A little over a week before NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft fired its rockets to successfully enter orbit around Mars, MESSENGER performed a little burn of its own – the second of four orbit correction maneuvers (OCMs) that will allow it to remain in orbit around Mercury until next March. Although it is closing in on the end of its operational life it’s nice to know we still have a few more months of images and discoveries from MESSENGER to look forward to!

[click to continue…]

Carnival of Space #372

by Susie Murph on September 22, 2014

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major.

Carnival of Space. Image by Jason Major.

The tent is up! This week’s Carnival of Space is hosted by Pamela Hoffman at the Everyday Spacer blog.

Click here to read Carnival of Space #372.
[click to continue…]

MAVEN Arrives at Mars! Parks Safely in Orbit

by Bob King on September 21, 2014

The control room at Lockheed Martin shortly before MAVEN successfully entered Mars orbit tonight September 21, 2014. Credit: NASA-TV

Tension and concentration in the control room at Lockheed Martin shortly before MAVEN successfully entered Mars orbit tonight September 21, 2014. Credit: NASA-TV

138 million miles and 10 months journey from planet Earth, MAVEN moved into its new home around the planet Mars this evening. Flight controllers at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado anxiously monitored the spacecraft’s progress as onboard computers successfully eased the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft into Mars orbit at 10:24 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  [click to continue…]

Watch Live as MAVEN Meets Mars!

by Nancy Atkinson on September 21, 2014

MAVEN Meets Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: NASA.

MAVEN Meets Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: NASA.

Watch here live, below, for the Mars orbital insertion of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, on Sunday, September 21 (or early Sept. 22 depending on your time zone) from 9:30 to 10:45 p.m. EDT, 01:30 to 02:45 UTC). The NASA TV broadcast feed will originate from the Lockheed Martin Facility in Littleton, Colorado, and will feature live camera views of mission control, interviews with senior NASA officials and mission team members, and mission video footage. The spacecraft’s mission timeline will place the spacecraft in orbit at approximately 9:50 p.m. EDT (01:50 UTC).
[click to continue…]

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule packed with science experiments and station supplies blasts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 1:52 a.m. EDT on Sept. 21, 2014 bound for the ISS.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule packed with science experiments and station supplies blasts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 1:52 a.m. EDT on Sept. 21, 2014 bound for the ISS. Photo taken from the VAB roof.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blazed aloft on a spectacular middle of the night blastoff that turned night into day along the Florida Space coast today, Sept. 21, 2014, boosting a commercial cargo ship for NASA and loaded with 2.5 tons of ground breaking science experiments, 20 ‘mousetronauts’ and critical supplies for the human crew residing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The SpaceX Dragon cargo vessel on the CRS-4 mission thundered to space on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21, just hours after a deluge of widespread rain showers inundated central Florida. [click to continue…]