background preloader

Outer planets

Facebook Twitter

Cassini probe heads towards Saturn 'grand finale' Media playback is unsupported on your device Cassini has used a gravitational slingshot around Saturn's moon Titan to put it on a path towards destruction.

Cassini probe heads towards Saturn 'grand finale'

Saturday's flyby swept the probe into an orbit that takes it in between the planet's rings and its atmosphere. This gap-run gives the satellite the chance finally to work out the length of a day on Saturn, and to determine the age of its stunning rings. But the manoeuvre means also that it cannot escape a fiery plunge into Saturn's clouds in September. The US space agency (Nasa) is calling an end to 12 years of exploration and discovery at Saturn because the probe's propellant tanks are all but empty. Controllers cannot risk an unresponsive satellite one day crashing into - and contaminating - the gas giant's potentially life-supporting moons, and so they have opted for a strategy that guarantees safe disposal.

Juno probe enters into orbit around Jupiter. New Horizons. New Horizons Web Site. Missions to Saturn. Cassini Solstice Mission. NASA Considers 7-Day Mission to Europa. — The low-cost mission would send two landers to Europa. — Spacecraft would be designed to complete their studies in a week, though they may be able to work longer. — Europa has a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell and is a prime candidate for life beyond Earth.

NASA Considers 7-Day Mission to Europa

In the search for life beyond Earth, few places beckon as strongly as Europa, an ocean-bearing, ice-covered moon circling Jupiter. But how to pull off the mission, given today's tight science budgets and competing missions, such as a sample return from Mars? A team of scientists may have the answer: Send a pair of landers directly to Europa and design the mission to last just seven days. Galileo (spacecraft) Galileo was serendipitously positioned to view Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9's impact with Jupiter.

Galileo (spacecraft)

These images, taken several seconds apart, show fragment W colliding (1994) Galileo was an unmanned NASA spacecraft which studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other solar system bodies. Named after the astronomer Galileo Galilei, it consisted of an orbiter and entry probe. 28PROBE2.JPG (JPEG Image, 640 × 460 pixels) Addendum to Mars Reference Mission v1. Cassini–Huygens. Nearly a decade after entering orbit, on April 3, 2014, NASA reported that evidence for a large underground ocean of liquid water on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn, had been found by Cassini.

Cassini–Huygens

According to scientists, evidence of an underground ocean suggests that Enceladus is one of the most likely places in the Solar System to "host microbial life".[4][5] On June 30, 2014, NASA celebrated ten years of Cassini exploring Saturn and its moons, highlighting the discovery of water activity on Enceladus among other findings.[6] Overview[edit] Europa Jupiter System Mission. Probe search. Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory. Titan Mare Explorer. Discovery-class finalist[edit] TiME was one of three Discovery Mission finalists that received US$3 million in May 2011 to develop a detailed concept study.

Titan Mare Explorer

The other two missions were InSight and Comet Hopper. After a review in Summer 2012, NASA announced in August 2012 the selection of the InSight mission to Mars.[8] Missions to land in Titan's lakes or seas were also considered by the Solar System Decadal Survey. Additionally, the flagship Titan Saturn System Mission, which was proposed in 2009 for launch in the 2020s, included a short-lived battery-powered lake lander.[5][9] History[edit] Planets and solar system. Onswipe. In Arthur C Clarke's 2010 A Space Odyssey, the supercomputer HAL issues a last instruction to the Discovery crew ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EUROPA ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE.

Onswipe

Now, NASA scientists have a better idea: Powerful radio signals that Jupiter generates could be used to help researchers scan its giant moons for oceans that could be home to extraterrestrial life. Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, possesses 67 known moons, including three giant icy moons that might possess liquid oceans underneath their frozen surfaces. Astrobiologists want to investigate Europa, Ganymede and Callisto for extraterrestrial life, as there is life virtually wherever there is liquid water on Earth. Pluto By Moonlight. This image of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was taken by the Ralph color imager aboard New Horizons on April 9, 2015, from a distance of about 71 million miles (115 million kilometers).

Pluto By Moonlight

It is the first color image ever made of the Pluto system by a spacecraft on approach. Credits: NASA NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is three months from returning to humanity the first-ever close up images and scientific observations of distant Pluto and its system of large and small moons. "Scientific literature is filled with papers on the characteristics of Pluto and its moons from ground based and Earth orbiting space observations, but we’ve never studied Pluto up close and personal,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut, and associate administrator of the NASA Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington.

Reaching this third zone of our solar system – beyond the inner, rocky planets and outer gas giants – has been a space science priority for years.