Tag Archives: Missions

Everything you need to know about NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission!

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OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security – Regolith Explorer) is NASA’s latest sample return mission, which launches just after midnight tonight. The probe will launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida, beginning its journey towards the asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx will … Continue reading

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New paper: A robotic mission concept to return samples from the Schrödinger basin.

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It has been over 40 years since man last stood on the Moon and returned lunar samples to Earth.  The 12 brave astronauts returned 382 kg of samples (with an extra 0.326 kg from Russian Luna missions), analysis of which … Continue reading

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The past, present, and future of China’s deep-space exploration

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Today’s blog has been written by PhD student Xiaojia Zeng who is visiting our research group on a scholarship from the the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Xiaojia is researching the geological evolution of several lunar meteorites. Below he outlines Chinese planetary … Continue reading

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NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion Capsule – A new era of space travel?

As many of you know, a large area of our group’s research is based around extra-terrestrial materials; interplanetary dust particles, meteorites and lunar rocks to name just a few. As such, we are highly interested in the future of manned … Continue reading

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Testing! Testing!

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After yesterdays successful landing in Gale crater, NASA scientists have started preparing the Curiosity rover for its mission to study the past and present climate on Mars. In the last 24 hours they have been busy testing the rover’s cameras, … Continue reading

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Touchdown!

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At around 6.30am (GMT) this morning, after a journey lasting just over 8 months, NASA’s Curiosity rover arrived on the surface of Mars. Planetary scientists across the world had to endure the “seven minutes of terror“ as the spacecraft made a … Continue reading

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Hayabusa: A Peregrine Falcon from Japan landing in Manchester

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Just a few weeks ago it was announced that scientists in our research group at the University of Manchester are among only 11 selected international groups to be allocated a number of sought after particles returned by the Hayabusa mission! This … Continue reading

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Dawn at Vesta

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As dawn is breaking on the UK tomorrow the Dawn spacecraft will have begun its year-long orbit of the asteroid Vesta. Data will start being gathered in August. Dawn is a ground-breaking mission, the first to orbit a main-belt asteroid … Continue reading

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Hold up on Mars exploration delays sample return mission

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In February our bloggers were at LPSC reporting on the Decadal Survey that sets out NASA’s planetary exploration priorities for the next decade. Top of the list was a Mars rover and a Mars sample return mission. Achieving this depends on a partnership between … Continue reading

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