Missions


Ep. 413: Navigating Near


Posted on May 17, 2016 in Astronomy, Missions

It’s hard enough finding your way around planet Earth, but what do you do when you’re trying to find your way around the Solar System? Today we’ll talk about how spacecraft navigate from world to world.

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The gravity of the Earth is a tough thing to escape, but breaking free from the gravity of the Sun is on a whole other level. But humans have achieved this amazing accomplishment, and right now there are several spacecraft leaving the Solar System and never coming back.

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Ep. 342: Sunsetting Spacecraft


Posted on Apr 15, 2014 in Missions

Everything dies, including our technology. But when we’ve hurtled a few thousands pounds of robotic instrumentation to another planet, it gets a little difficult to shut it down and clean up. What do we do when a mission has reached the end of its useful life?

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When you consider the hazards of spaceflight, it’s hard to get worked up about dust bunnies. And yet, atmospheric dust is going to be one of the biggest problems astronauts will face when they reach the surface of other worlds. Where does this dust come from, and what does it tell us about the history of other worlds, and what can we do to mitigate the health risks?

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