Europe will send a rover to Mars but won’t protect Earth from an asteroid

WASHINGTON POST The European Space Agency just secured 436 million euros to send its first-ever rover to Mars in 2020. The news came as a relief to scientists behind the two-part ExoMars mission, who are still reeling after their spacecraft Schiaparelli crashed in an attempt to land on the Red Planet during the first part of the mission. But a proposal to survey a near-Earth asteroid — and eventually attempt to knock it off course — was not so lucky. Last month, more than 100 planeta...
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Russia to Launch Super Heavy Rocket in 2016

Russia’s newest heavy rocket carrier Angara-A5 will orbit a commercial satellite for the first time in 2016, the head of the Khrunichev Center said Wednesday. “[The launch will be in] 2016, everything depends on the space apparatus. I think that this will be a commercial launch, but I don’t know if it will be a foreign or Russian apparatus,” Andrei Kalinovsky told journalists. The Angara family of space launch vehicles has been in development since 1995. According to Roscosmos, new A...
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Unmanned Robotic X-37B Space Plane Takes Flight

The United States Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane will head to orbit this week for the fourth time. The unmanned X-37B spacecraft is scheduled to launch Wednesday (May 20) at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT) atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The liftoff will begin the reusable space plane's fourth mission, which is known as OTV-4 (short for Orbital Test Vehicle-4). Most of the X-37B's payloads and specific activities are classif...
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