This is going to be a regular pattern for the next three weeks when Earth blocks the craft's … Read more
Work to carry out what amounts to an electronic brain transplant aboard the Curiosity Mars rover -- a complex sequence of steps to switch operations to a backup flight computer -- is continuing this week amid ongoing analysis to figure out how to resolve memory corruption discovered last week in the rover's active computer.
The memory glitch interrupted science operations, forcing flight controllers to put the craft in a low-activity "safe mode" while the computer switch was implemented.
Richard Cook, the Mars Science Laboratory project manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told CBS News … Read more
After recovering from thruster problems and flying a near-perfect rendezvous, a SpaceX cargo ship pulled up to the International Space Station early today and stood by while commander Kevin Ford, wielding the lab's robot arm, locked onto a grapple fixture to secure the spacecraft for berthing.
Operating the Canadian-built arm from a robotics work station in the multi-window Cupola compartment, Ford grappled the Dragon cargo ship at 5:31 a.m. EST, an hour earlier than expected, as the two spacecraft passed 253 miles above northern Ukraine.
Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston congratulated the crew … Read more
With its propulsion system working flawlessly, a SpaceX cargo ship loaded with supplies and equipment bound for the International Space Station was cleared by NASA on Saturday to press ahead for a day-late capture by the lab complex early Sunday.
NASA space station managers and their SpaceX counterparts met Saturday to assess the Dragon capsule's performance following launch Friday and concluded all systems were "go" for a replanned rendezvous and capture by the station's robot arm Sunday at 3:31 a.m. PT.
"The station's Mission Management Team unanimously agreed that Dragon's propulsion … Read more
A SpaceX cargo ship loaded with more than a ton of spare parts, science equipment, and crew supplies bound for the International Space Station thundered safely into orbit today. But vexing trouble with the capsule's rocket thrusters quickly turned the $133 million flight into a high-tech cliff hanger.
Six-and-a-half hours after launch, follwoing extensive troubleshooting and analysis, it appeared company engineers had resolved the problem, bringing all four sets of thrusters on line and setting the stage for a delayed rendezvous with the space station.
But it was touch and go in the early stages of a high-stakes drama … Read more
A SpaceX cargo ship loaded with more than a ton of spare parts, science equipment and crew supplies bound for the International Space Station thundered into orbit Friday, but trouble with the capsule's thrusters forced flight controllers to delay solar array deployment and replan an already complex rendezvous.
"It appears that although it achieved Earth orbit, Dragon is experiencing some kind of problem right now," John Insprucker, SpaceX's Falcon 9 product manager, said during a company webcast. "We'll have to learn about the nature of what happened. According to procedure, we expect a press … Read more
Space radiation may be to blame for corrupted memory used by the Curiosity Mars rover's flight computer, resulting in software glitches that interrupted the flow of science data Wednesday and prompting ground controllers to switch over to a back-up computer Thursday, NASA officials said.
Engineers are reviewing telemetry and diagnostic tests using ground systems to figure out what went wrong and how to restore the original computer system to normal operation.
"We were in a state where the software was partially working and partially not, and we wanted to switch from that state to a pristine version of … Read more
SpaceX engineers readied a Falcon 9 rocket for a launch tomorrow on the company's second operational space station resupply mission, a commercial flight to deliver more than 2,300 pounds of science gear, station equipment, spare parts, and crew supplies to the international lab complex.
If all goes well, the unmanned Dragon cargo ship will return to Earth on March 25 loaded with some 3,000 pounds of no-longer-needed hardware, broken components, and experiment samples bound for laboratory analysis.
"Quite a bit of work has been done to get to this point, by the SpaceX team, by the … Read more
An innovative X-ray telescope operated by NASA, working in concert with a European Space Agency satellite, has directly measured the rotation of a supermassive black hole lurking at the heart of a distant galaxy, researchers said Wednesday.
The observation confirms predictions made by Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity regarding gravity's ability to twist and distort the fabric of the cosmos and gives astronomers a powerful new tool to probe the evolution of galaxies and the black holes that now appear to be a common, if not required, feature.
"The result we're announcing today is that … Read more
Mars has established a pretty pervasive image for itself. It's the big Red Planet. It's the Clifford the Dog of space. You don't confuse it with all those other, less glamorous, planets. Still, Mars isn't all that it seems. Scratch the surface and it appears to have more in common with the skin tone of an elephant than the ruddy glow of a tomato.
The Curiosity Rover recently broke new ground by drilling into a rock sample, the first time such an activity has been accomplished on a planet other than Earth. What lay beneath wasn't the familiar rust color of the surface, but a decidedly dull gray.… Read more