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Space Missions

Space Missions includes the various human exploratory missions that study any aspect of the universe beyond the surface and atmosphere of Earth.

 

  • Herschel and Planck Share Ride to Space Featured News Article Herschel and Planck Share Ride to Space Herschel and Planck Share Ride to Space

    PASADENA, Calif. (May 5, 2009) – Two missions to study the cosmos, Herschel and Planck, are scheduled to blast into space May 14 aboard the same Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana... More »

  • Let the Planet Hunt Begin Featured News Article Let the Planet Hunt Begin Let the Planet Hunt Begin

    NASA-JPL (May 13, 2009) – NASA's Kepler spacecraft has begun its search for other Earth-like worlds. The mission, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 6, will... More »

  • Cassini Huygens Saturn Mission Featured Article Cassini Huygens Saturn Mission Cassini Huygens Saturn Mission

    On June 30, 2004, the Cassini spacecraft entered orbit around Saturn to begin the first in-depth, up-close study of the ringed planet and its domain. Mission planners expected to... More »

  • Deep Space 1 Featured Article Deep Space 1 Deep Space 1

    Deep Space 1 Nation: U.S. (73) Objective(s): asteroid flyby Spacecraft: DS 1 Spacecraft Mass: 489 kg Mission Design and Management: NASA JPL Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5 (no.... More »

  • International Space Station Featured Article International Space Station International Space Station

    The goals of the International Space Station (ISS) are to establish a permanent habitable residence and laboratory for science and research, and to maintain and support a human... More »

  • NASA Approves X-ray Space Mission Featured News Article NASA Approves X-ray Space Mission NASA Approves X-ray Space Mission

    NASA JPL,  Pasadena (Sep. 8, 2009) – NASA recently confirmed that the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission will launch in August 2011. NuSTAR will... More »

Recently Updated
NASA Approves X-ray Space Mission Last Updated on 2009-09-08 00:00:00 NASA JPL,  Pasadena (Sep. 8, 2009) – NASA recently confirmed that the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, mission will launch in August 2011. NuSTAR will carry the first high-energy X-ray focusing telescopes into orbit, providing a much deeper, clearer view of energetic phenomena such as black holes and supernova explosions than any previous instrument has provided in this region of the electromagnetic spectrum. FIGURE CAPTION – The Centaurus A galaxy. A supermassive black hole lurks at the center. Credit: NASA/CXC/CfA//MPIfR/ESO/WFI/APEX NuSTAR is a NASA Small Explorer mission led by Caltech, managed by JPL, and implemented by an international team of scientists and engineers. Fiona Harrison, a professor of physics and astronomy at Caltech, is the team's principal investigator. The official confirmation follows two years of detailed design and reviews that have... More »
Stardust-NExT Mission Last Updated on 2009-08-31 17:55:40 Stardust Nation: U.S. (76) Objective(s): comet sample return Spacecraft: Stardust Spacecraft Mass: 385 kg Mission Design and Management: NASA JPL Launch Vehicle: Delta 7426-9.5 (no. D266) Launch Date and Time: 7 February 1999 / 21:04:15 UT Launch Site: ESMC / launch complex 17A Scientific Instruments: 1) aerogel dust collectors 2) CIDA cometary and interstellar dust analyzer 3) NavCam navigation camera 4) DFM Whipple shield flux monitors Results: Stardust is an ambitious mission, the fourth of NASA's Discovery program of low cost exploration missions (after NEAR, Mars Pathfinder, and Lunar Prospector). Its primary goal was to fly by the Comet Wild-2, collect samples of dust from the coma of the comet, and then return the samples to Earth. During flight, Stardust also collected samples of interstellar dust grains. Scientists on Earth expect to perform detailed analyses of these... More »
International Space Station Last Updated on 2009-08-31 17:52:06 The goals of the International Space Station (ISS) are to establish a permanent habitable residence and laboratory for science and research, and to maintain and support a human crew at this facility. Purposes of the ISS are to expand our experience in living and working in space, encourage and enable commercial development of space, and provide the capability for humans to perform unique long duration space-based research in cell and developmental biology, plant biology, human physiology, fluid physics, combustion science, materials science and fundamental physics. The ISS, part way in its construction, is already providing a unique platform for making observations of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, the sun, and other astronomical objects. The experience and results obtained from using the ISS will guide the future direction of human exploration of space, back to the Moon and on to... More »
Deep Space 1 Last Updated on 2009-08-31 17:23:02 Deep Space 1 Nation: U.S. (73) Objective(s): asteroid flyby Spacecraft: DS 1 Spacecraft Mass: 489 kg Mission Design and Management: NASA JPL Launch Vehicle: Delta 7326-9.5 (no. D261) Launch Date and Time: 24 October 1998 / 12:08:00 UT Launch Site: ESMC / launch complex 17A Scientific Instruments: 1) MICAS miniature integrated camera-spectrometer 2) PEPE plasma experiment for planetary exploration technology Results: Deep Space 1 (DS 1) was designed to test innovative technologies appropriate for future deep space and interplanetary missions. It was the first in a new series of technology demonstration missions under NASA's New Millennium program. The spacecraft's main goals are to test such technologies as ion propulsion, autonomous optical navigation, a solar power concentration array, a miniature camera, and an imaging spectrometer during a flyby of the asteroid 1992 KD (renamed... More »
Nozomi Last Updated on 2009-08-31 17:18:48 Nozomi Nation: Japan (4) Objective(s): Mars orbit, lunar flybys Spacecraft: Planet-B Spacecraft Mass: 536 kg Mission Design and Management: ISAS Launch Vehicle: M-5 (no. 3) Launch Date and Time: 3 July 1998 / 18:12 UT Launch Site: Kagoshima / launch complex M-5 Scientific Instruments: 1) MIC visible camera 2) MGF magnetometer 3) ESA energetic electrons experiment 4) ISA energetic ions experiment 5) IMI energetic ion mass experiment 6) EIS high-energy particles experiment 7) TPA thermal ion drift experiment 8) PET electro, UVS ultraviolet spectrometer 9) PWS sounder/HF waves experiment 10) LFA plasma waves experiment 11) NMS neutral gas mass spectrometer 12) MDC dust counter 13) XUV EUV spectrometer 14) USO ultra-stable oscillator/radio science experiment Results: Nozomi, Japan's fourth "deep space" probe, was also its first planetary spacecraft. The spacecraft was originally slated to... More »