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#1 2018-11-03 14:33:46

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,325

Missions coming to an end

Missions do not last forever and the funds can only be given to extend them just so far before they fail....

2 Big NASA Space Missions Ended This Week, But Don't Panic after NASA announced the end of two long-running missions: the exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope and the Dawn mission that visited the asteroid belt.

Kepler telescope, identified more than 2,600 alien planets

Dawn spacecraft, visited the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres

The fate of the Opportunity rover remains unknown as NASA continues to try to revive it through January

This group may be next:

As for the last contenders for fallen spacecraft this fall, both the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory issues were never expected to be fatal injuries. In both cases, engineers knew the scientific instruments were unharmed, and that the troubles were likely caused by the telescopes' gyroscopes, which control how the instruments orient themselves in space.

The next group will be possibly a decade from now or less as they are just starting out.

The Parker Solar Probe mission to "touch the sun" launched in August and is making its first close approach to our star this week.

NASA's new Mars lander, called InSight, will touch down just after Thanksgiving, ready to study the Red Planet's interior, and the New Horizons spacecraft will ring in the new year by swinging past a distant Kuiper Belt object.

What fun these explorers will do for the science that they will explore and discover....

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#2 2018-11-04 19:09:38

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,325

Re: Missions coming to an end

Sun sets on NASA’s Dawn spacecraft after 11 years of studying asteroid belt and a journey of 4.3 billion miles, the craft has run out of fuel and has now gone silent. Without the hydrazine fuel that the craft uses, it is no longer able to turn its solar panels toward the Sun to recharge or to keep its antennae pointed toward Earth, which means it can no longer send data back to mission control.

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#3 2019-02-05 19:27:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 17,325

Re: Missions coming to an end

Beyond Mars, the mini MarCO spacecraft fall silent

The MarCOs—nicknamed EVE and WALL-E, after characters from a Pixar film—served as communications relays during InSight's landing, beaming back data at each stage of its descent to the Martian surface in near-real time, along with InSight's first image. WALL-E sent back stunning images of Mars as well, while EVE performed some simple radio science.

All of this was achieved with experimental technology that cost a fraction of what most space missions do: $18.5 million provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which built the CubeSats.

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/cubesat/missions/marco.php

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