Mission Cup 2021: Psyche

For Mission Cup 2020, I nominated the planned NASA orbiter mission, Psyche. This exciting mission will visit the M-type (meaning that they are predominantly made of iron-nickel metal rather than silicate rock) asteroid, 16 Psyche, and is due to launch … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Stardust

NASA’s Stardust mission collected dust from comet Wild 2 and returned it to Earth successfully in January 2006. Its secondary mission was to collect samples of cosmic dust on the journey, on the back side of the cometary dust collector. It also … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: New Horizons

This blog post was written by Stephen Edwards who nominated New Horizons for Mission Cup 2021. New Horizons is a NASA interplanetary space probe mission to explore the dwarf planet Pluto and its large moon Charon. Launch was in 2006, … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is a NASA mission that is currently orbiting the Moon. LRO launched on June 18th 2009 so has been operating for over 11 years and 5 months. As of 2019, NASA calculated that LRO would have … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Prospect

Prospect (or the Package for Resource Observation and in-Situ Prospecting for Exploration, Commercial exploitation, and Transportation) is the first European lander to go to the Moon this decade.  The world is collectively making plans and taking steps that will lead to our first permanent lunar habitation, but … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Luna 24 – A Lander in the Sea of Crises

Luna 24 was the third Soviet attempt to return samples from Mare Crisium, on the Eastern lunar nearside. It landed on the 18th August 1976 just 2.5 km away from the Luna 23 spacecraft, which got there in November 1974 … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Venera 9- The First Mission to Land on Another Planet

This post was written by Jamie Gilmour who nominated Venera 9 for Mission Cup 2021. I grew up reading science fiction stories that were written before the beginning of the space age.  Authors like Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov imagined that … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Curiosity- A Big and Bold Explorer

For Mission Cup 2021 I’ve nominated NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity. Curiosity was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base on November 26th, 2011 on an Atlas V rocket. As far as rovers go, Curiosity is heavy and large … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Genesis – The Search for Origins

Our Solar System is thought to have formed from a cloud of dust and gas called the Solar Nebula that collapsed under its own gravity about 4 and a half billion years ago. In order to understand exactly how the … Continue reading

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Mission Cup 2021: Apollo 15 – Another giant leap for mankind

On the 26th July 1971, the Apollo 15 mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with David Scott (commander), Alfred Worden (command module pilot) and James Irwin (lunar module pilot) on board. A few days later, the Apollo 15 lunar lander … Continue reading

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