The Rosetta mission’s Philae lander descended toward the two-and-a-half-mile-wide comet at a human’s walking pace. For seven tense hours, scientists in Darmstadt, Germany monitored its radio signal. They would have no idea whether they’d done everything correctly until after the moment of touchdown. If all went well,…
After nearly four years of traveling through space, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft has successfully rendezvoused with the Ryugu asteroid, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed Wednesday. Let the next stage of this historic sampling-and-return mission begin!
The Hayabusa 2 spacecraft‘s latest photo of the Ryugu asteroid, taken from a distance of just 25 miles (40 km), shows for the first time surface features like boulders and craters, in addition to revealing the object’s unique dice-like appearance.
It’s understandable that you want to be as careful as possible when handling explosive material like rocket fuel—but manufacturing the volatile mixture requires even more care. So JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, helped create a safer way to mix explosive ingredients by building a working robotic version…
The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has set a record for the smallest-ever rocket to launch a satellite into orbit, using a SS-520 sounding rocket modified to include a third stage carrying a 13.6-inch TRICOM-1R cubesat as its payload.
Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have a new crew member—an adorable robotic ball capable of recording video while moving in zero gravity. Dubbed “Int-Ball,” the device will free astronauts to do more important work, while providing ground controllers with their own set of eyes.
Following an unexpected energy surge, Japan’s space agency has hit the pause button on two of the five cameras aboard its Venus-orbiting Akatsuki spacecraft. It’s a bad sign for the troubled orbiter, which has been exposed to more radiation than anticipated.
An experimental Japanese mission to remove dangerous debris from orbit has ended in failure. It’s a frustrating setback given the mounting risks posed by the nearly two million bits of junk currently swirling around our planet.
These aren’t renderings, special effects, or a scene from No Man’s Sky. This is actual footage of the Earth and the Moon, as seen by Japan’s Kaguya spacecraft in October 2008. Shot with a pair of 2.2 megapixel HDTV sensors, it’s some of the first HD footage of our nearest neighbor that humans ever captured.
After a full month spinning out of control in space, Japan’s Space Agency has finally figured out how it lost control of Hitomi, a very expensive satellite that was hunting for black holes. This also means the agency will never get it back.
Earlier this week something happened to make Japan’s brand new black hole satellite suddenly, mysteriously lose all contact with Earth. Now, we have video of it spinning wildly in space—and JAXA has also received a few odd, new messages.
Last month, Japan launched a satellite it described as “essential” to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. This weekend, that $273 million satellite mysteriously disappeared, leaving behind only an ominous trail of debris and some cryptic messages.
After a year-long hiatus, we have a robotic explorer around our angry, overheated twin of a planet again! Early this morning the Japanese Space Agency confirmed their audacious plan to use manoeuvring thrusters worked, and now the spacecraft is already sending home new photos.
Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft is desperately trying to claw its way into Venus orbit tonight. After blowing its orbital insertion five years ago, this is an incredible second chance for the spacecraft brought about by impressive ingenuity from the engineering team.
Just about everything that could go wrong happened to the Hayabusa mission, yet it still made it back to Earth while carefully protecting 1,500 precious samples from asteroid Itokawa’s surface.
The target for the asteroid retrieval mission Hayabusa2 now has a name! Ryugu is leaving the undersea world of myth to take up residence in the main asteroid belt just in time to welcome a swarm of robotic visitors in 2018.
‘Tis the season for dwarf planets with an impending flood of Pluto flyby data and Dawn just about to point its spectrometer at the weird white spots on Ceres. Add in ocean floor explorations, a pair of weights in perpetual free-fall, and a rash of rocket launches and we just know this year is going out in a bang of…
Astronauts on the International Space Station are resupplied with the safe arrival of JAXA’s HTV-5 “White Stork” cargo tug. The spacecraft delivered a metal-levitating furnace, a high-energy radiation observatory, whiskey, extra food, and experimental materials to the space station on Monday morning.
At around 8 a.m. EST this morning, Japan successfully launched an unmanned cargo vehicle, bound for the ISS. And man, watching spacecraft take off never gets old.
Deep at the bottom of the Atlantic, NASA has built an underwater lab—and there are astronauts living there. I joined them (sadly, in a digital format) to see what they’re up to down there and just what kinds of things they might be bringing back from the depths.