Asteroids

Uh oh, one of Lucy’s Solar Arrays Hasn’t Latched Properly

As we’re fond of saying here at UT, space exploration is hard. Many things can go wrong when launching thousands of kgs of highly engineered equipment that took years to develop into space.  Now, something seems to have gone wrong with NASA’s latest Discovery mission.  Lucy, launched successfully by a ULA rocket on October 16th, …

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Lucy is off to Visit Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft is on its way. The spacecraft was launched into space on Saturday, October 16th on an Atlas 5 rocket. Its primary target is Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. Spacecraft have visited asteroids before, and even brought samples back to Earth. But Lucy is unique: it’ll visit a total of eight asteroids, including seven Jupiter …

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What Are Your Options When you’ve Only Got Hours or Days to Prevent an Asteroid Impact?

Imagine a scenario where we detect an asteroid heading straight for Earth. Imagine that it will arrive in a couple of days, or worse, only a few hours. What could be done to stop it? It might be possible to protect ourselves and the planet on such short notice. But we’d have to test and …

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Launch of asteroid deflection demonstrator slips to November

NASA’s DART spacecraft is prepared for thermal testing in February. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman The launch of a NASA spacecraft designed to smash into an asteroid to try out a technique that could protect Earth from threatening space rocks has slipped from July until November, at the earliest, after development delays partially caused by …

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