mission launched

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This black-owned beauty brand is selling nail polishes for women of color

  • Harvard Business School grads and friends KJ Miller and Amanda E. Johnson are making good on their mission to launch a beauty brand that keeps women of color at the forefront.
  • In March, the duo’s brand Mented debuted with a line of nude lipsticks specifically with women of color in mind. 
  • Now, they’ve launched a line of nude nail polishes, making them one of the very first brands ever to address the fact that many polishes out there billed as “nude” only match the skin tones of very pale women. Read more (6/14/17)

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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Our Psyche mission to a metal world, which will explore a giant metal asteroid known as 16 Psyche, is getting a new, earlier launch date. Psyche is now expected to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in 2022, cruise through the solar system for 4.6 years, and arrive at the Psyche asteroid in 2026, four years earlier than planned. 

Below are 10 things to know about this mission to a completely new and unexplored type of world.

1. Psyche, Squared 

Psyche is the name of the NASA space mission and the name of the unique metal asteroid orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid was discovered in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis and named after the Greek mythological figure Psyche, whom Cupid fell in love with. “Psyche” in Greek also means “soul.”

2. Mission: Accepted

The Psyche Mission was selected for flight earlier this year under NASA’s Discovery Program. And it will take a village to pull off: The spacecraft is being built by Space Systems Loral in Palo Alto, California; the mission is led by Arizona State University; and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be responsible for mission management, operations and navigation.

3. An Unusual Asteroid 

For the very first time, this mission will let us examine a world made not of rock and ice, but metal. Scientists think Psyche is comprised mostly of metallic iron and nickel, similar to Earth’s core - which means Psyche could be an exposed core of an early planet as large as Mars.

4. Sweet 16 

Psyche the asteroid is officially known as 16 Psyche, since it was the 16th asteroid to be discovered. It lies within the asteroid belt, is irregularly shaped, about the size of Massachusetts, and is about three times farther away from the sun than Earth.

5. Discoveries Abound 

The Psyche mission will observe the asteroid for 20 months. Scientists hope to discover whether Psyche is the core of an early planet, how old it is, whether it formed in similar ways to Earth’s core, and what its surface is like. The mission will also help scientists understand how planets and other bodies separated into their layers including cores, mantles and crusts early in their histories. “Psyche is the only known object of its kind in the solar system and this is the only way humans will ever visit a core,” said Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University.

6. Think Fast 

The mission launch and arrival were moved up because Psyche’s mission design team were able to plot a more efficient trajectory that no longer calls for an Earth gravity assist, ultimately shortening the cruise time. The new trajectory also stays farther from the sun, reducing the amount of heat protection needed for the spacecraft, and will still include a Mars flyby in 2023.

7. Gadgets Galore

The Psyche spacecraft will be decked out with a multispectral imager, gamma ray and neutron spectrometer, magnetometer, and X-band gravity science investigation. More: https://sese.asu.edu/research/psyche

8. Stunning Solar Panels 

In order to support the new mission trajectory, the solar array system was redesigned from a four-panel array in a straight row on either side of the spacecraft to a more powerful five-panel x-shaped design, commonly used for missions requiring more capability. Much like a sports car, combining a relatively small spacecraft body with a very high-power solar array design means the Psyche spacecraft will be able to speed to its destination much faster. Check out this artist’s-concept illustration here: https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/artists-concept-of-psyche-spacecraft-with-five-panel-array

9. See For Yourself

Watch the planned Psyche mission in action.

10. Even More Asteroids

Our missions to asteroids began with the orbiter NEAR of asteroid Eros, which arrived in 2000, and continues with Dawn, which orbited Vesta and is now in an extended mission at Ceres. The mission OSIRIS-REx, which launched on Sept. 8, 2016, is speeding toward a 2018 rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, and will deliver a sample back to Earth in 2023. The Lucy mission is scheduled to launch in October 2021 and will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. More: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=6713

Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

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STS-41-B Launch

The Space Shuttle Challenger lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A on mission STS 41-B on February 3, 1984. Aboard the Challenger were astronauts Vance D. Brand, Robert L. Gibson, Ronald E. McNair, Bruce McCandless II, and Robert L. Stewart. The first untethered spacewalks with the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU) were made on this mission. This dramatic air to air picture was taken by astronaut John Young who was monitoring the launch in the cockpit of NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft.

flickr: NASA on The Commons

“We have altered the future of Spaceflight” - first reuse of an orbital-class rocket.

SpaceX successfully reflew one of their Falcon 9 rockets Thursday night on the SES-10 mission, marking the first time in history an orbital-class rocket has been used for more than one mission.

SES-10 launched at the beginning of a two hour launch window at 6:27pm EDT. Around eight minutes later, the rocket’s first stage landed on Of Course I Still Love You downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

P/C: SpaceX.

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It’s Launch Day! 

Final preparations are underway for today’s 5:55 p.m. EDT launch of the eleventh SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station  from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will liftoff into orbit atop the Falcon 9 rocket carrying about 6,000 pounds of crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crewmembers living aboard the station. The flight will deliver investigations and facilities that study neutron stars, osteoporosis, solar panels, tools for Earth-observation, and more.

Watch live coverage starting today at 5:15pm ET at http://www.nasa.gov/live

Learn more about the mission and launch at http://www.nasa.gov/spacex

Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

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67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (abbreviated as 67P or 67P/C-G) is a Jupiter-family comet, originally from the Kuiper belt, with a current orbital period of 6.45 years, a rotation period of approximately 12.4 hours and a maximum velocity of 135,000 km/h (38 km/s; 84,000 mph) Churyumov–Gerasimenko is approximately 4.3 by 4.1 km (2.7 by 2.5 mi) at its longest and widest dimensions. It was first observed on photographic plates in 1969 by Soviet astronomers Klim Ivanovych Churyumov and Svetlana Ivanovna Gerasimenko, after whom it is named. It came to perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) on 13 August 2015.

67P and the Rosetta Mission

Churyumov–Gerasimenko was the destination of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, launched on 2 March 2004. Rosetta rendezvoused with Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014 and entered orbit on 10 September 2014. Rosetta’s lander, Philae, landed on the comet’s surface on 12 November 2014, becoming the first spacecraft to land on a comet nucleus. On 30 September 2016, the Rosetta spacecraft ended its mission by landing on the comet in its Ma'at regio.

Image credit: ESA / Rosetta (2di7 & titanio44 / Giuseppe Conzo / Justin Cowart / Canale 25 News)

Read more at: Wikipedia 

Rosetta’s Mission Complete - Once Upon a Time | Video

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OTV-4 mission concludes as X-37 returns to Earth.

After nearly two years in space, the U.S. Air Force’s classified space shuttle, the Orbital Test Vehicle X-37B, returned to Earth, landing on Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility runway shortly before 8am EDT. 

Officially known as the AFSPC-5 mission, OTV-4 launched on May 20, 2015, atop an Atlas V rocket. That same rocket also lifted the Planetary Society’s solar sailing cubesat, LightSail-1 into orbit on its own groundbreaking mission. Spending over 717 days in space, the OTV-4 mission is the longest mission thus far of the program’s four flights.

Measuring 29 feet long with a wingspan of 15 feet, the X-37B is a robotic spaceplane with a payload bay ideal for small payloads. While the specific milestones for this flight were classified, at least two of the experiments included the testing of an electric engine and materials exposure pallets.

The first three flights of the OTV program landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, though OTV-4 became the first to land in Florida. By landing at the same spaceport which it left from, OTV operations are expected to streamline and potentially allow for faster times in between missions. One of Kennedy’s three Orbiter Processing Facilities is used by the Air Force to house the two X-37 spaceplanes in between missions.

As seen in the gifs above - taken from video of the vehicle’s landing - the spaceplane glides past a model of another famous space plane, the Space Shuttle. The Inspiration, which once sat outside the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville, was moved to the SLF for restoration ahead of a nationwide tour promoting aerospace science and STEM fields.

See our coverage of the AFSPC-5 mission here.

P/C: USAF.

Put to the Test: Orion Service Module

Blasted with sound, shaken for hours and pyro detonated, the Orion Service Module Completes Ground Tests at our Glenn Research Center

We recently completed a structural integrity evaluation on the test version of the Orion service module at our Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. Designed to ensure the module can withstand launch atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, the battery of tests was conducted in stages over a 16-month period.

The 13-ton European service module will power, propel and cool Orion, while supplying vital oxygen and water to its crew during future missions.

The Powerhouse: Space Launch System and Orion

Our Space Launch System is an advanced launch vehicle that will usher in a new era of human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. SLS, with its unparalleled power and capabilities, will launch missions to explore deep-space destinations aboard our Orion spacecraft.

What is Orion? Named after one of the largest constellations in the night sky and drawing from more than 50 years of spaceflight research and development, the Orion spacecraft will be the safest, most advanced spacecraft ever built. It will be flexible and capable enough to take astronauts to a variety of deep destinations, including Mars.

Welcome to the Buckeye State

In November 2015, the full-sized test version of the Orion service module arrived at Cleveland Hopkins Airport aboard an Antonov AN-124. After being unloaded from one of the world’s largest transport aircraft, the module was shipped more than 50 miles by truck to Plum Brook for testing.

Spread Your Wings

The first step of the service module’s ground test journey at Plum Brook’s Space Power Facility, saw one of its 24-foot solar array wings deployed to verify operation of the power system. The test confirmed the array extended and locked into place, and all of the wing mechanisms functioned properly.

Can You Hear SLS Now?

The SLS will produce a tremendous amount of noise as it launches and climbs through our atmosphere. In fact, we’re projecting the rocket could produce up to 180 decibels, which is louder than 20 jet engines operating at the same time.

While at the Reverberant Acoustic Test Facility, the service module was hit with more than 150 decibels and 20-10,000 hertz of sound pressure. Microphones were placed inside the test environment to confirm it matched the expected acoustic environment during launch.

After being blasted by sound, it was time to rock the service module, literally.

Shake Without the Bake 

Launching atop the most powerful rocket ever built – we’re talking more than eight million pounds of thrust – will subject Orion to stresses never before experienced in spaceflight.

To ensure the launch doesn’t damage any vital equipment, the engineering team utilized the world’s most powerful vibration table to perform nearly 100 different tests, ranging from 2.5 Hz to 100 Hz, on the module in the summer of 2016. 

Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

The team then moved the Orion test article from the vibration table into the high bay for pyroshock tests, which simulated the shock the service module will experience as it separates from the SLS during launch.

Following the sound, vibration and separation tests, a second solar array wing deployment was conducted to ensure the wing continued to properly unfurl and function.

Headed South for the Summer

The ground test phase was another crucial step toward the eventual launch of Exploration Mission-1, as it validated extensive design prep and computer modeling, and verified the spacecraft met our safety and flight requirements.

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ATTENTION ON DECK ! ACTION STATION SET CONDITION 1 ! MISSION LAUNCHED !!!

There it is, the teaser for my graduation film ! 

“In a distant future new worlds are calling us, it is about time we set sail.”

Music : Steel Sleeping - Chrome Sparks

Love !

SpaceX just successfully landed the Falcon 9 rocket — to launch a government spy satellite

  • At 7:15 a.m. Eastern on Monday, SpaceX successfully launched a brand-new Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking the vehicle’s fourth successful landing on solid ground, USA Today reported.
  • The 230-foot rocket’s first stage — the 14-story high core containing main engines and majority of the fuel — re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and touched ground on a landing pad a few miles from the launch site.
  • While the launch was SpaceX’s 34th mission, it was the first assignment executed for the U.S. military — SpaceX received certification to launch satellites for the Air Force back in 2015.
  • The national security mission launched a spy satellite dubbed NROL-76 for the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Reconnaissance Office.
  • Due to the nature of the launch, neither the purpose of the mission nor the length of the satellite’s orbit or final destination have been disclosed.
  • Even the live broadcast of the launch had an air of mystery, showing just a handful of shots of the rocket’s initial descent rather than continuous footage, according to the Verge. Read more (5/1/17)

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What Science is Launching to Space?

The tenth SpaceX cargo resupply mission launched to the International Space Station on Feb. 18, and is carrying science ranging from protein crystal growth studies to Earth science payloads. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights heading to the orbiting laboratory.

The CASIS PCG 5 investigation will crystallize a human monoclonal antibody, developed by Merck Research Labs, that is currently undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of immunological disease. Results from this investigation have the potential to improve the way monoclonal antibody treatments are administered on Earth.

Without proteins, the human body would be unable to repair, regulate or protect itself. Crystallizing proteins provides better views of their structure, which helps scientists to better understand how they function. Often times, proteins crystallized in microgravity are of higher quality than those crystallized on Earth. LMM Biophysics 1 explores that phenomena by examining the movement of single protein molecules in microgravity. Once scientists understand how these proteins function, they can be used to design new drugs that interact with the protein in specific ways and fight disease.

Much like LMM Biophysics 1, LMM Biophysics 3 aims to use crystallography to examine molecules that are too small to be seen under a microscope, in order to best predict what types of drugs will interact best with certain kinds of proteins. LMM Biophysics 3 will look specifically into which types of crystals thrive and benefit from growth in microgravity, where Earth’s gravity won’t interfere with their formation. Currently, the success rate is poor for crystals grown even in the best of laboratories. High quality, space-grown crystals could improve research for a wide range of diseases, as well as microgravity-related problems such as radiation damage, bone loss and muscle atrophy.

Nanobiosym Predictive Pathogen Mutation Study (Nanobiosym Genes) will analyze two strains of bacterial mutations aboard the station, providing data that may be helpful in refining models of drug resistance and support the development of better medicines to counteract the resistant strains.

During the Microgravity Expanded Stem Cells investigation, crew members will observe cell growth and morphological characteristics in microgravity and analyze gene expression profiles of cells grown on the station. This information will provide insight into how human cancers start and spread, which aids in the development of prevention and treatment plans. Results from this investigation could lead to the treatment of disease and injury in space, as well as provide a way to improve stem cell production for human therapy on Earth.

The Lightning Imaging Sensor will measure the amount, rate and energy of lightning as it strikes around the world. Understanding the processes that cause lightning and the connections between lightning and subsequent severe weather events is a key to improving weather predictions and saving life and property. 

From the vantage of the station, the LIS instrument will sample lightning over a wider geographical area than any previous sensor.

Future robotic spacecraft will need advanced autopilot systems to help them safely navigate and rendezvous with other objects, as they will be operating thousands of miles from Earth. 

The Raven (STP-H5 Raven) studies a real-time spacecraft navigation system that provides the eyes and intelligence to see a target and steer toward it safely. Research from Raven can be applied toward unmanned vehicles both on Earth and in space, including potential use for systems in NASA’s future human deep space exploration.

SAGE III will measure stratospheric ozone, aerosols, and other trace gases by locking onto the sun or moon and scanning a thin profile of Earth’s atmosphere.

These measurements will allow national and international leaders to make informed policy decisions regarding the protection and preservation of Earth’s ozone layer. Ozone in the atmosphere protects Earth’s inhabitants, including humans, plants and animals, from harmful radiation from the sun, which can cause long-term problems such as cataracts, cancer and reduced crop yield.

Tissue Regeneration-Bone Defect (Rodent Research-4) a U.S. National Laboratory investigation sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, studies what prevents other vertebrates such as rodents and humans from re-growing lost bone and tissue, and how microgravity conditions impact the process. 

Results will provide a new understanding of the biological reasons behind a human’s inability to grow a lost limb at the wound site, and could lead to new treatment options for the more than 30% of the patient.

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NASA to Reveal New Discoveries in News Conference on Oceans Beyond Earth

NASA will discuss new results about ocean worlds in our solar system from the agency’s Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope during a news briefing 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 13. The event, to be held at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington, will include remote participation from experts across the country.

The briefing will be broadcast live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

These new discoveries will help inform future ocean world exploration – including NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission planned for launch in the 2020s – and the broader search for life beyond Earth.

This Week @ NASA--April 14, 2017

Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope, two of our long-running missions, are providing new details about the ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Hubble’s monitoring of plume activity on Europa and Cassini’s long-term investigation of Enceladus are laying the groundwork for our Europa Clipper mission, slated for launch in the 2020s. Also, Shane Kimbrough returns home after 171 days aboard the Space Station, celebrating the first Space Shuttle mission and more!

Ocean Worlds

Our two long-running missions, Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope,  are providing new details about “ocean worlds,” specifically the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. 

The details – discussed during our April 13 science briefing – included the announcement by the Cassini mission team that a key ingredient for life has been found in the ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. 

Meanwhile, in 2016 Hubble spotted a likely plume erupting from Jupiter’s moon Europa at the same location as one in 2014, reenforcing the notion of liquid water erupting from the moon.

These observations are laying the groundwork for our Europa Clipper mission, planned for launch in the 2020s.

Welcome Home, Shane!

Shane Kimbrough and his Russian colleagues returned home safely after spending 173 days in space during his mission to the International Space Station.

Meet the Next Crew to Launch to the Station

Meanwhile, astronaut Peggy Whitson assumed command of the orbital platform and she and her crew await the next occupants of the station, which is slated to launch April 20.

Student Launch Initiative

We’ve announced the preliminary winner of the 2017 Student Launch Initiative that took place near our Marshall Space Fight Center, The final selection will be announced in May. The students showcased advanced aerospace and engineering skills by launching their respective model rockets to an altitude of one mile, deploying an automated parachute and safely landing them for re-use.

Langley’s New Lab

On April 11, a ground-breaking ceremony took place at our Langley Research Center for the new Systems Measurement Laboratory. The 175,000 square-foot facility will be a world class lab for the research and development of new measurement concepts, technologies and systems that will enable the to meet its missions in space explorations, science and aeronautics.

Yuri’s Night

Space fans celebrated Yuri’s Night on April 12 at the Air and Space Museum and around the world. On April 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagrin became the first person to orbit the Earth.

Celebrating the First Space Shuttle Launch

On April 12, 1981, John Young and Bob Crippin launched aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-1 a two-day mission, the first of the Shuttle Program’s 30-year history.

Watch the full episode:

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For the first time in 2,044 days, a rocket is perched atop historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket arrived at the pad early this morning, February 10, ahead of an upcoming static fire test.

The former Apollo and Shuttle era launch pad last saw a space vehicle in July of 2011 when the final space shuttle mission, STS-135, launched. NASA continued to operate the pad until early 2015, when SpaceX leased it for Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy operations. This historic event marks the third rocket to fly from LC-39A behind the Saturn V moon rocket and space shuttle.

SpaceX will perform a static fire test sometime Saturday to test the rocket’s systems. Once complete, the rocket will return to the Horizontal Integration Facility for mating with the Dragon spacecraft.

Falcon 9 will perform its east-coast return to flight with the CRS-10 mission to the International Space Station, slated for February 18. Following liftoff, the rocket’s first stage will return to Cape Canaveral for a landing at LZ-1, the third time the company has done so.

Below, the Falcon 9 rocket is seen prior to being erected vertical at LC-39A.(Photo credit: William Harwood/CBS.)

P/C: Elon Musk/William Harwood.

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     While driving down Interstate 5 through Santa Ana, California, you may have spotted this rocket. Even for space fans, identifying this vehicle may be difficult. It is a rare Delta Cryogenic Second Stage (DCSS) for the short lived Delta III rocket. This DCSS has a home at Discovery Cube Orange County, where she acts as an effective billboard for this educational museum. This equipment is appropriately placed near Huntington Beach where this particular payload fairing was manufactured.

     On August 27, 1998, the Delta 259 mission lifted off from Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, marking the first flight of a Delta III, carrying the Galaxy 10 communication satellite. During the burn of its first stage, a design flaw in the rocket’s guidance system caused it to violently diverge from its planned trajectory and begin to break up. During the breakup process, the flight termination system was activated by the range safety officer, causing what was left of the rocket to explode. The Galaxy 10 satellite could be seen that night as a flaming ball streaking down until it spectacularly exploded as it hit the Atlantic Ocean. 

     The second flight of a Delta III would take place on May 5, 1999, as the Delta 269 mission flew from the same pad. Thanks to a manufacturing flaw in the Pratt & Whitney RL10B-2 engine, the second stage burn was cut short, causing the stage to tumble into a useless orbit. The Orion 3 communication satellite was written off and a second payload was lost.

     A final flight of the Delta III would take place on August 23, 2000, with the Delta 280 mission, which carried a dummy payload called DM-F3. This time, the flight was a success, but it was too late for the Delta III. The commercial satellite industry took a steep dive in the late 1990s. The more powerful Delta IV was just a few years away from its first flight, and Boeing was pursuing a more conservative Delta II Heavy rocket. These factors, combined with the failures, caused the Delta III to be quietly shelved. Some spare parts from the program were flown on various Delta II and Delta IV flights, and in the late 2000s, Boeing donated this DCSS to Discovery Cube Orange County where it stands today, greeting passersby on Interstate 5.

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New radar technique locates lost Indian Lunar orbiter, NASA probe.

Using previously untested radar techniques, NASA has successfully located two Lunar-orbiting spacecraft, one of which has not been tracked since 2009.

Scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California beamed high energy microwaves at the Moon from the Goldstone Deep Space Communications complex in California. The waves bounced off the Moon and were picked up by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. By using the return signal to estimate velocity and distance, JPL scientists were able to locate NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – which is still operating and is currently tracked by the agency.

However, the team also located India’s derelict Chandrayaan-1orbiter whose mission ended in 2009. Due to regions of the lunar surface with a stronger gravitational pull than others – known as mascons – the spacecraft’s orbit could have been radically altered or it could have even crashed into the moon.

Since the spacecraft was known to be in a Lunar polar orbit, the team directed the microwave beam just above the Lunar north pole and hoped the spacecraft would intercept it. The returned beam picked had a radar signature in accordance to what a small spacecraft wold be expected to make. Furthermore, during the four hours the Chandrayaan-1 test took place, the spacecraft crossed the beam twice in the amount of time it was predicted to make a single orbit and return to the same point. Due to the varying strength of the Moon’s gravity over regions of different composition – known as mascons – the spacecraft’s location had to be shifted by nearly 180 degrees.

Scientists were not certain if the tests, which occurred in July 2016, would be successful. Although interplanetary radar has been used to track asteroids millions of miles away using the same technique to locate a small satellite around the moon was untried. The technology demonstrated could be useful in planning future lunar missions. The Indian Space Research Organization has no intention to reactivate the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, whose mission ended in 2009.  Chandrayaan-1 was India’s first Lunar mission, launching in October 2008.

P/C:NASA.