NASA Planetary Mission Updates

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bystander
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NASA Planetary Mission Updates

Post by bystander » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:29 pm

New Horizons Receives Mission Extension
to Kuiper Belt, Dawn to Remain at Ceres

NASA | 2016 July 01

Following its historic first-ever flyby of Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons mission has received the green light to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt, known as 2014 MU69. The spacecraft’s planned rendezvous with the ancient object – considered one of the early building blocks of the solar system -- is Jan. 1, 2019. ...

In addition to the extension of the New Horizons mission, NASA determined that the Dawn spacecraft should remain at the dwarf planet Ceres, rather than changing course to the main belt asteroid Adeona. ...

Also receiving NASA approval for mission extensions, contingent on available resources, are: the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), the Opportunity and Curiosity Mars rovers, the Mars Odyssey orbiter, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and NASA’s support for the European Space Agency’s Mars Express mission.
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garycsr55
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Re: NASA Planetary Mission Updates

Post by garycsr55 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:40 am

What is known about 2014 MU69?

I've heard everything from transient planetary body to Brown Dwarf to(and I lend no credence to this) Niburu.

Any real facts or photography to work with yet?

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Re: NASA Planetary Mission Updates

Post by geckzilla » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:52 am

garycsr55 wrote:What is known about 2014 MU69?

I've heard everything from transient planetary body to Brown Dwarf to(and I lend no credence to this) Niburu.

Any real facts or photography to work with yet?
Fact: It's not Nibiru or a brown dwarf; just another icy Kuiper Belt object. Too small to be anything else.
Actual picture is available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2014 ... imated.gif

No one knows what it looks like, but it might look something like a smaller Pluto. Plenty of other facts, including an estimated size, are available at its Wikipedia article, assuming it hasn't offended any particular ideology enough to become a target for vandalism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_MU69
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garycsr55
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Re: NASA Planetary Mission Updates

Post by garycsr55 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:52 am

Thanks!

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NASA Selects Five Mars Orbiter Concept Studies

Post by bystander » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:30 pm

NASA Selects Five Mars Orbiter Concept Studies
NASA | JPL-Caltech | 2016 July 18
[img3="NASA's Mars Exploration Program includes two active rovers and three active orbiters.
Concept studies have begun for a potential future Mars orbiter mission.
Global Color Views of Mars - Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS
"]http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpegMo ... modest.jpg[/img3][hr][/hr]
NASA has selected five U.S. aerospace companies to conduct concept studies for a potential future Mars orbiter mission. Such a mission would continue key capabilities including telecommunications and global high-resolution imaging in support of the agency's Journey to Mars.

The companies contracted for these four-month studies are: The Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California; Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver; Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California; Orbital ATK in Dulles, Virginia; and Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California. ...

The concept studies will address how a potential new Mars orbiter mission could best provide communications, imaging and operational capabilities. They also will assess the possibilities for supporting additional scientific instruments and functionalities, in addition to optical communications. The orbiter concept under study would take advantage of U.S. industry's technology capacities by using solar electric propulsion to provide flexible launch, mission and orbit capabilities. ...
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor