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Expert Reactions

Cassini’s grand finale nears – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on September 13th, 2017.

After a 20 year mission, NASA’s spacecraft Cassini will meet its demise this week by plunging into Saturn’s atmosphere and burning up. With propellant running low, NASA scientists are concerned that the probe might accidentally crash into one of Saturn’s nearby moons, which could contaminate it with Earthling bacteria stuck to the spacecraft. Instead, the […]

Juno spacecraft reaches Jupiter – In the news

John Kerr posted in on July 5th, 2016.

After five years travelling across the solar system, the NASA spacecraft Juno has begun its final descent into orbit around Jupiter to collect data. From a unique polar orbit, Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only about 5,000 kilometers from the cloud tops at closest […]

Spinning spacecraft on the radio

Laura Goodall posted in on May 4th, 2015.

Dr. Duncan Steel, New Zealand-based space scientist, spoke on the Radio New Zealand show Our Changing World on 30th April about the out-of-control Russian space capsule that failed to reach the International Space Station. Dr. Steel, who lives in Wellington, is Space Scientist at the NASA-Ames Research Center, Professor of Astrobiology at the University of Buckingham and Astronomer at […]

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Failed spacecraft mission – Expert reaction

Laura Goodall posted in on April 30th, 2015.

A Russian spacecraft due to deliver supplies to the International Space Station has failed in its mission and is now spinning uncontrollably as it orbits Earth. The unpiloted Progress 59 spacecraft encountered problems when it reached orbit and separated from the Soyuz rocket booster’s third stage, as reported at Russian officials scrambled to communicate […]

NZ involved in first commercial space flight

John Kerr posted in on May 23rd, 2012.

Kiwi space scientists are playing a key role in the fist commercial space mission. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 7.44pm (NZT) last night, carrying the Dragon spacecraft destined for the International Space Station orbiting 400km above the earth. The Dragon is carrying a two and a half tone […]

Observing Earth from above: remote sensing and satellite data

Dacia Herbulock posted in on February 15th, 2011.

UPDATE: ATV Launch successful (see below) This week, top scientists from the European Space Agency are in New Zealand for the launch of the ‘Johannes Kepler’ unmanned spacecraft, which will be tracked at Awarua Station near Invercargill. The new spacecraft, known as an Automated Transfer Vehicle or ATV, will carry essential supplies to the International […]

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