SpaceX cuts Plans for Powered Dragon Landings, places Focus on Commercial Crew

SpaceX decided against the company’s previous plan of having their next generation Dragon spacecraft return to Earth via a powered landing to bring back cargo and crews from the International Space Station, company chief Elon Musk said on Wednesday at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington.

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Weak Simulations, Inadequate Software & Mismanagement caused Schiaparelli Crash Landing

The European Space Agency concluded its inquiry into the crash landing of the experimental Schiaparelli Mars Lander last October, citing a lack of understanding and modeling of parachute dynamics experienced at high speed, insufficient failure identification and recovery options in the craft’s software and mismanagement of subcontractors & hardware acceptance as contributing factors for the botched landing sequence.

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NASA Juno Spacecraft to remain in Elongated Capture Orbit around Jupiter

NASA’s faraway Juno spacecraft will remain in a highly elongated orbit around Jupiter for the remainder of its mission as engineers opted against performing a burn of the craft’s rocket engine that is considered too risky after a series of valves within the propulsion system had shown a suspect signature.

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ESA Mars Orbiter completes Plane Change Maneuvers ahead of long Aerobraking Campaign

ESA’s Trace Gas Orbiter completed a series of engine burns to shift its orbit around Mars toward a higher inclination in preparation for a lengthy altitude reduction campaign that will take the rest of the year and spiral the spacecraft down into its science orbit from where the orbiter can obtain a detailed inventory of the Martian atmosphere.

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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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