Lucy & Psyche – NASA selects Missions to Explore a Metal Asteroid & Jupiter’s Trojans

NASA announced on Wednesday the selection of the Lucy and Psyche missions as the agency’s the agency next Discovery missions placing full focus on the study of asteroids as windows into the earliest eras of our Solar System. The two missions are aiming for launch in 2021 and 2023 with Lucy homing in on Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids while Psyche will visit a giant metallic asteroid.

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Cutting Corners & Lack of Operational Protocols doomed Japan’s Hitomi Observatory

Details were now shared on the proximate causes of the spacecraft’s loss, highlighting that Hitomi’s fate was sealed by the deliberate disabling of safety systems, a willingness to accept operational risk and a lack of operational protocols for a major change on the spacecraft’s thruster system.

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Japanese Hitomi X-Ray Observatory declared Lost, Post-Mortem Investigation begins

The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency has officially declared the Hitomi X-Ray Observatory lost and ceased all attempts to communicate with the stricken spacecraft, marking the untimely end of a mission that promised a great scientific return in the field of high-energy astrophysics.

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Photos: All Orbital Launches of 2015

The year 2015 saw 87 orbital launch attempts from spaceports across the globe – 84 missions reached orbit in a year that saw 82 successful orbital launches. Here are photos of all of 2015’s space launches.

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China’s Dark Matter Particle Explorer blasts off for Break-Through Studies in High-Energy Physics

China’s ‘Monkey King’ Dark Matter Particle Explorer blasted off atop a Long March 2D rocket on Thursday, embarking on a mission to join the ongoing efforts of understanding dark matter signatures, filling in the gaps in high-energy astrophysics.

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