Satellites & Missions - team curated
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Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) → Major mission of the Explorer program. AIM: Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere AIM's two-year mission is to study Polar Mesospheric Clouds, the Earth’s highest clouds, which form an icy membrane 50 miles above the surface at the edge of space. Aqua Aqua, Latin for water, is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named for the large amount of information that the mission will be collecting about the Earth's water cycle. Aquarius The Aquarius/SAC-D mission launched on June 10, 2011 on a mission to map ocean salinity.
NASA's Consolidated Launch Schedule NASA's Launch Schedule features the planned dates and details for missions by NASA and the partner nations in the International Space Station Program, including Russia, European Space Agency and Japan. To learn more about how the schedule is arranged and what it includes, check out Launch Schedule 101.
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Satellites & Missions - team curated
Pioneer Venus One & Orbiter
Hunting down alien planets isn't just for professional astronomers anymore. Thousands of citizen scientists have been poring over data from NASA's Kepler spacecraft, which has so far detected 1,235 potential alien worlds. To date, the amateurs have flagged 50 candidate planets that the mission's sophisticated software may have missed, Time magazine reports . It's all part of a project called Planethunters.org, which enlists the discerning eyes of the masses to pick up patterns in mountains of data. "It really is the wisdom of the crowd," said lead project scientist Meg Schwamb of Yale, according to Time. Thousands of fresh eyes
Supersonic shock waves detected at the edge of the Solar System - a new study by European scientists clarifies conditions at our Earth's outermost shield against interstellar charged particles. The local interstellar cloud Our Solar System entered an interstellar cloud 10,000 years ago. Today it is speeding through this nebulosity at Mach 2 behind a supersonic shock wave - in much the same way that a Concorde crosses the Atlantic at supersonic speed. Since its formation 4.6 billion years ago our Solar System has encountered numerous interstellar clouds, knots, filaments, shells and bubbles of different sizes and contents on its path through the Milky Way. For more than 80 years astronomers have been attracted by these past and future encounters, have tried to understand the physics behind them in order to decipher the dynamic interplay between the interstellar material and the Solar System.
The satellite was successfully launched on October 2002, the 17 th . CNES was prime contractor for the SPI spectrometer, one of the two main instruments, in partnership with numerous French and foreign research laboratories. Since November 2002, the Integral Spectrometer and IBIS delivered their first images and first spectra. The scientific data confirm the excellent operation of SPI and IBIS instruments and of the satellite. The first results were promising with observations of numerous gamma bursts, discovery of numerous sources in the Galaxy center region, cartography of the electron/positron annihilation line in this same region...
Cassini-Huygens Mission Cooperation
HERSCHEL is the fourth cornerstone of the European Spance Agency (ESA) mandatory scientific program. All the french participations developed by the french laboratories are followed up and financed by CNES. HERSCHEL will perform imaging photometry and spectrometry in the far infrared and submillimetre part of the spectrum, covering approximately the 60-670 µm range.
PLANCK is an astronomy mission being flown as part of the ESA scientific program. Planck has two instruments in its focal plane, one of which is the High Frequency Instrument (HFI). The HFI was developed by a partnership between the CNES and several international laboratories, which the Institute of Space Astrophysics (IAS) in Orsay, France, acting as prime contractor. Planck was designed to study the origin and evolution of the Universe in the submillimeter range of the electromagnetic spectrum. It will map the anisotropies, or small variations from place to place on the sky, of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), which is an "afterglow" of the Big Bang which fills all of space and has a temperature of 2.73 K. Planck will make measurements with an angular resolution of about 5 arcminutes (which can be compared to the 13 arcminutes of its predecessor, WMAP) and a temperature sensitivity of about two parts per million.
A flurry of recent papers could lay to rest once and for all a longstanding mystery in astrophysics: the so-called “Pioneer anomaly,” an as-yet-unexplained deceleration of NASA’s Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft in their wanderings beyond our solar system. NASA launched Pioneer 10 in 1972 and Pioneer 11 the following year, part of a mission to explore the asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, and their respective moons. Those “flyby” missions were completed within a few years, but the plucky little Pioneers kept going, eventually traveling beyond our solar system, carrying messages for any aliens they might happen to encounter along the way . And all along scientists at the Jet Propulsion Lab have been tracking their progress through Doppler radio transmissions.
Hipparcos Star Globe 02 October 2007 The Hipparcos Star Globe depicts the celestial sphere that was astrometrically viewed as a whole for the first time by the Hipparcos satellite. It is a projection of the night sky onto an icosahedron (a polyhedron with 20 triangle faces), highlighting especially bright stars and the constellations. Printed onto two sheets of A4 paper, the globe can be assembled to form a 3D star map that fits in the palm of your hand. <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>