China’s Mars orbiter snaps amazing selfies above Red Planet

China’s Tianwen 1 spacecraft at Mars pulled a big New Year’s surprise with stunning new images captured by a small camera that flew free of the orbiter to snap epic selfies above the Red Planet. The new images published by the China National Space Administration show Tianwen 1 above Mars’ north pole, with its solar … Read more

Europe’s Mars orbiter relays data from Chinese rover back to Earth

The European Space Agency’s Mars Express collected data from China’s Zhurong Mars rover and successfully sent it to Earth following a series of experimental communications tests. The Zhurong rover was designed only to communicate with its companion orbiter, Tianwen 1; however, the rover has long outlived its planned mission and the orbiter is no longer … Read more

Tweaking the Trajectory – NASA’s Europa Clipper

Every part of Europa Clipper’s flight path, or trajectory, is important – from launch in 2024 until end-of-mission in the mid-2030s. But the mission’s scientific target is Europa, so the most complex and demanding segment of the spacecraft’s trajectory is the three years when it performs repeated flybys of the moon. This part of the … Read more

ASU team celebrates 20th anniversary of NASA’s Mars Odyssey Orbiter arrival at the Red Planet

November 19, 2021 This year, NASA is observing the 20th anniversary of the 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter, the longest-lived spacecraft at the Red Planet; and a mission that has helped locate water ice, find landing sites and study Mars’ mysterious moons. The spacecraft launched on April 7, 2001, and arrived at the Red Planet on … Read more

At Mars, China’s Tianwen 1 orbiter and Zhurong rover are back in action after a radio blackout

A panoramic image taken by Zhurong released on announcement of the end of the solar conjunction period. (Image credit: CNSA/PEC) China’s Tianwen 1 orbiter and Zhurong rover are once again active at Mars following a communications blackout caused by the sun interfering with radio signals sent from Earth. Tianwen 1 and Zhurong had been in … Read more

China’s Tianwen-1 mission is now orbiting Mars ahead of landing

By Leah Crane An artist’s impression of the Tianwen-1 spacecraft Shutterstock/Axel Monse Mars has another new visitor. The Chinese Tianwen-1 mission has entered orbit around the Red Planet, following the United Arab Emirates’ Hope orbiter by just one day and preceding the landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover by a week. This is China’s second interplanetary … Read more

All About The Passage Through Venus Of The BepiColombo And Solar Orbiter Probes

ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft passed Venus on August 9 at a distance of 7995 km, while ESA/JAXA’s BepiColombo mission passed just 552 km from the planet’s surface on August 10th. The flights were needed to give the spacecraft a gravity boost so they can reach their next destinations. BepiColombo will make the first of six … Read more

Solar Orbiter Probe Passes Through Venus And Captures The Planet’s Intense Glow

On August 9, 2021, the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter probe passed less than 7,995 kilometers from the surface of the planet Venus. In the days leading up to the approach, the spacecraft’s imager, known as the Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager, or SoloHI, captured this brilliant view of the planet. The images show Venus approaching from the … Read more