Robot Exploration Archive

  • Next week, all being well a Falcon 9 rocket will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida carrying a very special payload: a spacecraft built by a Tel Aviv-based company […]

    A private spacecraft heads for the Moon

    Next week, all being well a Falcon 9 rocket will take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida carrying a very special payload: a spacecraft built by a Tel Aviv-based company […]

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  • Article written by: Heather Alexander, Education officer At the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium we have been having a look at all the things that are going to happen throughout the […]

    10 things you need to know about Space – 2019

    Article written by: Heather Alexander, Education officer At the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium we have been having a look at all the things that are going to happen throughout the […]

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  • The rapidly-approaching 2019 will let us mark a half-century since human beings took the first steps on a body other than the Earth, namely our own Moon. But, come the New Year, lunar exploration is likely to make the headlines for one other reason: a number of robotic spacecraft built by three different nations will attempt to repeat the feat accomplished by the Apollo programme and land on the Moon’s surface.

    2019: A Chinese Year of the Moon

    The rapidly-approaching 2019 will let us mark a half-century since human beings took the first steps on a body other than the Earth, namely our own Moon. But, come the New Year, lunar exploration is likely to make the headlines for one other reason: a number of robotic spacecraft built by three different nations will attempt to repeat the feat accomplished by the Apollo programme and land on the Moon’s surface.

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  • Some seven months ago, a NASA spacecraft called InSight was launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket and headed to Mars (Figure 1). If all goes well, the spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at around 8pm UK time this Monday 26th November and begin its science investigation. InSight is a fixed lander (see Figure 2 below), a much simpler affair than the Curiosity rover that arrived in 2012 and continues its trek across the floor of Gale crater to this day. Mobility, is however, not required for the specific aim of the mission. 

    Insight on InSight

    Some seven months ago, a NASA spacecraft called InSight was launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket and headed to Mars (Figure 1). If all goes well, the spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at around 8pm UK time this Monday 26th November and begin its science investigation. InSight is a fixed lander (see Figure 2 below), a much simpler affair than the Curiosity rover that arrived in 2012 and continues its trek across the floor of Gale crater to this day. Mobility, is however, not required for the specific aim of the mission. 

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  • Astronomers now know many hundreds of planets orbiting other stars in our Galaxy. These show an incredible amount of diversity in their basic properties such as size and temperature with no two planets being quite the same. But the Earth is still unique among planets within or outside our solar system in its ability to support life

    Lough-Neagh sized pool of liquid water found on Mars

    Astronomers now know many hundreds of planets orbiting other stars in our Galaxy. These show an incredible amount of diversity in their basic properties such as size and temperature with no two planets being quite the same. But the Earth is still unique among planets within or outside our solar system in its ability to support life

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  • July 20 1969 saw, arguably, the most famous event in all of human history when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and left his footprints there - a mark still indelibly framed in the lunar dust today, some 49 years later.  It may seem almost as incredible that it is indeed nearly half a century ago that this epochal event occurred, one that united all of humanity for a short while, as we stared at that yellow orb in our night skies to know that one of our species was walking on it surface.

    Sir Patrick Moore and the First Man on the Moon – 49 years on

    July 20 1969 saw, arguably, the most famous event in all of human history when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon and left his footprints there - a mark still indelibly framed in the lunar dust today, some 49 years later.  It may seem almost as incredible that it is indeed nearly half a century ago that this epochal event occurred, one that united all of humanity for a short while, as we stared at that yellow orb in our night skies to know that one of our species was walking on it surface.

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  • Article written by: Phil Hall Two weeks ago, a space-suited mannequin was strapped inside a cherry red car, the car was strapped inside a rocket, and the whole lot was […]

    Spaceflight for Dummies

    Article written by: Phil Hall Two weeks ago, a space-suited mannequin was strapped inside a cherry red car, the car was strapped inside a rocket, and the whole lot was […]

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  • Since the beginning of the space age, humanity has been sending robotic emissaries to all corners of the solar system. These represent some of the most complex technological undertakings ever […]

    Planetary Exploration in 2018

    Since the beginning of the space age, humanity has been sending robotic emissaries to all corners of the solar system. These represent some of the most complex technological undertakings ever […]

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  • After telling us about the Sun, in part two of this posting  Armagh astronomer Gerry Doyle takes us through the telescopes and satellites being used to study the Sun. The Solar Physics […]

    Telescopes and Satellites for studying the Sun

    After telling us about the Sun, in part two of this posting  Armagh astronomer Gerry Doyle takes us through the telescopes and satellites being used to study the Sun. The Solar Physics […]

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  • Gaia is a satellite launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 19 December 2013. It is essentially a census gathering information on over one billion stars, totalling an amazing […]

    What is happening with Gaia?

    Gaia is a satellite launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on 19 December 2013. It is essentially a census gathering information on over one billion stars, totalling an amazing […]

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