Satellites and space missions

Next-generation space weather forecasts, DSCOVR ready to replace ACE on July 27

NOAA's Deep Space Climate Observatory - DSCOVR - has completed instrument validation after reaching the first sun-Earth Lagrange point (L1), approximately 1.6 million km (1 million miles) from Earth, and is ready to go operational on July 27, 2016, taking over...

June 24, 2016

Juno's arrival is getting closer

On the fourth of July, many Americans will be looking skyward in celebration of their nation’s independence. On the same date, NASA, and astronomers worldwide will also look skyward in celebration of another great achievement – Juno’s arrival to...

June 22, 2016

Electric fields around Venus stripped its atmosphere of water components

Scientists using data obtained by ESA's Venus Express have discovered a strong electric field around the planet Venus. Venus' electric field is at least 5 - 10 times stronger than Earth's and it seems it played a crucial part in removing water components...

June 20, 2016

ISS makes 100 000 orbits around Earth

As it passed Earth's equator at 06:10 UTC on May 16, 2016, the International Space Station (ISS) started its 100 000th orbit around Earth. It took 17 years for ISS to reach this important milestone. During the 100 000 orbits since the first component of the...

May 17, 2016

X-ray observatory captures expanding debris from a stellar explosion

Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the NSF’s Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and many other telescopes astronomers are observing the debris field from supernova explosion first extensively observed and written about by Danish...

May 15, 2016

Mercury's rich topography revealed for the first time

A team of scientists from the US Geological Survey (USGS), the Arizona State University, Carnegie Institute of Washington, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and NASA have produced a first comprehensive, high-resolution topographic map of...

May 13, 2016

Flying through explosive magnetic phenomenon to understand space weather

Analyzing data obtained by four identical spacecraft that passed directly through a magnetic reconnection site on the boundary between the solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere, researchers have observed how this explosive physical process converts stored...

May 13, 2016

Earth's magnetic field changes mapped in detail

A group of experts utilized the data collected by the ESA's SWARM satellites to show how the magnetic field is pulsating, where it's weakening and strengthening, and how fast these changes occur. For the first time, experts have mapped both the changes...

May 11, 2016

Kepler mission announces largest collection of planets ever discovered

Kepler mission announced today it has verified 1 284 new planets – the single largest finding of planets to date. "This announcement more than doubles the number of confirmed planets from Kepler and gives us hope that somewhere out there, around a star...

May 10, 2016

Contact with X-ray Astronomy Satellite “Hitomi" (ASTRO-H) lost, debris reported

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has lost communication with their flagship spacecraft, X-Ray Astronomy Satellite “Hitomi" (ASTRO-H), on March 26, 2016. The 2 700-kg satellite, developed in conjunction with NASA, was launched on February 17...

March 28, 2016

Meteor mission launched to ISS

After two failed attempts, Meteor mission was successfully launched at 03:05 UTC on March 23, 2016. Instruments needed for the mission, along with more than 3 ½ tons of supplies were packed inside an Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft and launched via the United...

March 23, 2016

Jason-3 oceanography satellite produces its first map of global sea surface height

Jason-3, a US - European oceanography satellite launched just over a month ago, has produced its first complete science map of global sea surface height, capturing the current signal of the 2015/16 El Niño. The map was generated from the first 10 days of data...

March 17, 2016

Bright spots of Ceres reveal unexpected changes

New observations of the dwarf planet Ceres, made by the HARPS spectrograph at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile show its bright spots become brighter during the day and show other variations, not only those changes related to planet's rotation. The results...

March 16, 2016

ESA and Roscosmos launch ExoMars mission

In a joint space exploration effort, ESA and Roscosmos have successfully launched their ExoMars 2016 mission to planet Mars. The spacecraft was launched aboard Russian Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 09:31 UTC on March 14, 2016. It will...

March 14, 2016

10 years of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) arrived at Mars on March 10, 2006. During the next six months, MRO used hundreds of dips into the top of the Martian atmosphere to gradually adjust the size of the orbit and stabilize at nearly circular orbit at 250 to...

March 11, 2016

Comet Siding Spring plunged the magnetic field around Mars into chaos

When comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) made its historic encounter with planet Mars in October 2014, passing roughly 140 000 km (87 00 miles) from its surface, it wreaked havoc on the magnetic environment around Mars. The effect, temporary but profound, was measured...

March 11, 2016

Russian Mayak satellite to become the brightest star in our night sky

A team of experts from Moscow's University of Mechanical Engineering (MAMI) is getting ready to launch the Mayak satellite into space and have gathered enough funding for the final test stage of the spacecraft, they announced on March 3, 2016. Once launched,...

March 08, 2016