Author: Rony Mattar

Japanese Spacecraft Arrives at Venus 5 Years After 1st Try

  Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft has arrived in orbit around Venus, five years after an engine failure scuttled its first attempt, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) officials announced in December 9. The $300 million Akatsuki mission launched in May 2010 along with JAXA’s IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) spacecraft, which became the first probe ever to deploy and use a solar sail in interplanetary space. You can check hereunder some of the photos: On Sunday (Dec. 6), Akatsuki fired its small attittude-control thrusters for 20 minutes to achieve Venus orbit (its main engine was pronounced dead long ago)....

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Twin Planets Could Share Life In Alien Solar Systems

In the past 25 years, astronomers have confirmed the existence of more than 1,900 exoplanets, or alien planets around other stars, this factor is known by the scientists as “multihabitable systems” and they have confirmed that there are billions of habitable planets because they lie in the habitable zones of their parent stars, where temperatures are right for liquid water to exist, and thus life as it is known on Earth. Astronomers have recently discovered two exoplanets around the star Kepler-36 where their orbits come so close together that each rises in the night sky of its sister world like an...

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft Sends Sharper Photos from Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is now sending the closest photos of Ceres and it shows the small world’s features in unprecedented detail, including Ceres’ tall, conical mountain; crater formation features and narrow, braided fractures. “Dawn is performing flawlessly in this new orbit as it conducts its ambitious exploration. The spacecraft’s view is now three times as sharp as in its previous mapping orbit, revealing exciting new details of this intriguing dwarf planet,” said Marc Rayman, Dawn’s chief engineer and mission director, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Dawn is the first mission to visit a dwarf planet, and...

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An Invitation to Send Your Name to Mars Aboard NASA’s InSight Lander

Believe it or not, a year from now your name could land on Mars aboard NASA’s next Red Planet mission. NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names to be engraved on a silicon chip that will be affixed to the InSight Mars lander, which is scheduled to be launched on February 2016 and land on Mars seven months later. According to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the InSight mission (formerly called GEMS), will place a lander on Mars designed to drill beneath the surface and investigate the planet’s deep interior to better understand Mars’ evolution as a rocky planet. As part of its investigation,...

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