Latest Spacecraft technology News

Flames and exhaust trail behind a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission after it lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

China says probe sent to retrieve lunar rocks lands on moon

Dec. 1, 2020 11:13 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese robot probe sent to return lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s landed on the moon Tuesday, the government announced, adding to a string of increasingly bold space missions by Beijing. The Chang’e 5 probe “successfully landed” at its planned...

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket with the Crew Dragon capsule is seen during a time exposure as it lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Four astronauts are beginning a mission to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

SpaceX launches 2nd crew, regular station crew flights begin

Nov. 16, 2020 2:03 AM EST

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company. The Falcon rocket thundered into the night from Kennedy Space Center with three Americans and one Japanese, the second crew to be...

In this undated image provided by NASA, a sample container hovers over a capsule on the Osiris-Rex spacecraft near the asteroid Bennu. The capsule will eventually return to Earth with rubble collected in the container on Oct. 20, 2020, from the asteroid’s surface. (NASA via AP)

Asteroid samples tucked into capsule for return to Earth

Oct. 29, 2020 6:46 PM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft tucked more than 2 pounds of asteroid samples into a capsule for return to Earth after losing some of its precious loot because of a jammed lid, scientists said Thursday. They won't know the precise amount of the cosmic haul from asteroid Bennu, more than 200...

In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)

Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft

Oct. 23, 2020 8:05 PM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday. Scientists announced the news three days after the spacecraft named Osiris-Rex briefly...

In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)

NASA spacecraft sent asteroid rubble flying in sample grab

Oct. 21, 2020 10:09 PM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft crushed rocks and sent rubble flying as it briefly touched an asteroid, a strong indication that samples were collected for return to Earth, officials said Wednesday. Scientists won't know until next week how much was gathered at asteroid Bennu...

This undated image made available by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu from the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. After almost two years circling the ancient asteroid, OSIRIS-REx will attempt to descend to the treacherous, boulder-packed surface and snatch a handful of rubble on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/CSA/York/MDA via AP)

Touch-and-go: US spacecraft sampling asteroid for return

Oct. 18, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After almost two years circling an ancient asteroid hundreds of millions of miles away, a NASA spacecraft this week will attempt to descend to the treacherous, boulder-packed surface and snatch a handful of rubble. The drama unfolds Tuesday as the U.S. takes its first crack at...

This image provided on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 by the European Space Agency (ESA) taken by the Mercury Transfer Module’s Monitoring Camera 2, shows the closest approach to Venus. The medium-gain antenna of the Mercury Planetary Orbiter is visible at the top of the image, along with the magnetometer boom, which extends from the top right of the frame. A spacecraft bound for Mercury swung by Venus on Thursday, using Earth’s neighbor to adjust its course on the way to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet. (European Space Agency ESA via AP)

Space probe makes 1st Venus fly-by on way to Mercury

Oct. 15, 2020 8:03 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — A spacecraft bound for Mercury swung by Venus on Thursday, using Earth's neighbor to adjust its course on the way to the solar system’s smallest and innermost planet. Launched almost two years ago, the European-Japanese probe BepiColombo took a black-and-white snapshot of Venus from a...