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Stephen Hawking is backing a project to send tiny spacecraft to another star system within a generation. They would travel trillions of miles; far further than any previous craft.
 interstellar probe Stephen Hawking
The Philae comet lander has fallen silent, according to scientists working on the European Rosetta mission. The fridge-sized spacecraft, which landed on Comet 67P in November, last made contact on 9 July.
 comet probe Philae Lander
The European Space Agency (Esa) has released some pictures that may include its lost comet lander, Philae. Whether that really is the case is far from certain, however.
 comet probe Philae Lander
When Philae first sent back images of its landing location on Comet 67P, researchers could see it was in a dark ditch. The Sun was obscured by a high wall, limiting the amount of light that could reach the robot's solar panels.
 comet probe Philae Lander
Europe's Philae comet lander has been back in touch with Earth - its first contact since Sunday night (GMT). The communication was relayed by its mothership Rosetta, which is in orbit around the 4km-wide icy dirt-ball known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
 comet probe Philae Lander
No new signals have been picked up from the Philae comet lander since a brief radio contact on Sunday. European Space Agency (Esa) controllers listened again on Tuesday night but heard nothing.
 comet probe Philae Lander
Europe's comet lander has again been in touch with Earth. The Philae probe made three short contacts of about 10 seconds each at roughly 2130 GMT on Sunday.
 comet probe Philae Lander
The European Space Agency (Esa) says its comet lander, Philae, has woken up and contacted Earth. Philae, the first spacecraft to land on a comet, was dropped on to the surface of Comet 67P by its mothership, Rosetta, last November.
 comet probe Philae Lander
The European Space Agency (Esa) says it will conduct no more dedicated searches for its lost comet lander. The Philae probe made its historic touchdown on the 4km-wide "icy dirtball" 67P in November, but rapidly went silent when its battery ran flat.
 comet probe Philae Lander
Efforts to find Europe's lost comet lander, Philae, have come up blank. The most recent imaging search by the overflying Rosetta "mothership" can find no trace of the probe.
 comet probe Philae Lander
When I sat down with the mission's project scientist in California in August 2012, his response was much the same as always: "My best estimate is that it will be in the next couple of years, but it may be in the next couple of days. It's unknown." Not anymore.
 Voyager Voyager 1 interstellar probe
The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (Jimo) is part of an ambitious mission to explore the three planet-sized Jovian moons Callisto, Ganymede and Europa. Designing the spacecraft poses a significant engineering challenge given the long distances involved. Controversially, the probe is to be powered by a nuclear propulsion system. Callisto, Ganymede and Europa are thought to harbour oceans of probable water beneath an icy crust. Jimo would be the...


 Moon power extraterrestrial life nuclear Jupiter probe Callisto Ganymede Europa
Researchers are testing technology that could allow a lander to melt through the ice crust of Jupiter's moon Europa to reach the water ocean beneath. Space scientists want to send a craft to the Jovian moon because its ocean might, in theory, harbour life. Once through the 10-30km ice sheet, the probe could take a sample of water, to analyse it for microbial life.


 ocean ice Moon extraterrestrial life Jupiter probe Europa melt
Nasa and the European Space Agency have decided to forge ahead with an ambitious plan to send a probe to the Jupiter system and its icy moon Europa.


 Moon Jupiter probe Europa
A Chinese lunar probe has crashed into the moon in what Beijing has called a controlled collision.


 China Moon probe
The Genesis probe is a week away from the dramatic conclusion to its mission: returning to Earth a sample of the solar wind, particles from the Sun.


 probe Sun Genesis
The Genesis mission to grab particles from the solar wind and return them to Earth pulled off a crucial manoeuvre.


 probe Sun Genesis
Twin Nasa spacecraft have returned panoramic images that will help scientists to study solar explosions capable of causing havoc on Earth.


 probe Sun corona stereo flare
Japan's Hinode spacecraft provides a tantalising preview of what to expect when it powers up to its main phase of scientific observations.


 probe Sun plasma