Recent News in...
mission launched successfully on a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Kourour, French
Guiana at 09:12 UT on 19 December 2013. The mission is designed to
measure the positions and velocity of roughly 1,000,000,000 stars as well as
determine their temperature, composition, and other properties.
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)
satellite has released data from the first 57% of the sky surveyed during the
mission. The satellite went into hibernation in early February 2011, but
its discoveries include 20 comets, more than 33,000 asteroids between Mars and
Jupiter, and 133 near-Earth objects.
NASA's launch of the
Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS)
spacecraft took place at 7:27 p.m. on 27 June 2013
(02:27 UT, 28 June) about 100 miles from Vandenberg AFB.
Voyager 1 has encountered
a region of spacecraft at the edge of our solar system that scientists believe
is the last region the spacecraft will have to cross prior to entering
Lunar and Planetary Science
The Xinhua news agency has reported that China has successfully launched its lunar orbiter
and return test spacecraft. Latest reports had the spacecraft scheduled to
launch at 17:59 UT (1:59 p.m. EDT) on October 23. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for
about a week and then return to Earth and release a re-entry capsule to land in China.
Comet Siding Spring flew by Mars at a distance of about 139,500 km (87,000 miles)
on Sunday, 19 October at 18:27 UT (2:27 p.m. EDT). Many of the spacecraft currently
operating at Mars observed the comet, all were in good health following the comet's
passage. For more information, see the
NASA Siding Spring Comet page.
The European Space Agency has announced November 12 as the target date for the
to be released from the
spacecraft and land on comet 67 P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
For more information, see the
ESA Press Release.