The American scientists suggest “to withdraw from resignation” the ISEE-3 space probe started more than 30 years ago, and to return it to research work. The ISEE-3 probe was one of three probes intended for research of solar and terrestrial communications, influence of a solar wind on a magnetosphere and near-earth space. Two others worked at Earth orbit, and ISEE-3 became the first artificial object output in a point Lagrange of L1 of Sun- Earth system, at 1,5 million kilometers distance towards the Sun.
In 1982 began the second life of the probe — it received the new name International Cometary Explorer (ICE), was put to heliocentric orbit and went on interception of a comet. In September, 1985 the probe successfully passed through a comet, then he participated in the project on comet research Gallia. But in May 1997, the mission of a space probe was officially stopped. In August 2014, the space probe ISEE will return to Earth. The scientists note, that at rather small investments it is possible to receive the big return comparable to results of start of a new research vehicle.
The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection mission, or BOLD, would send six small spacecraft to Mars to seek out extinct or extant life in the planet’s red dirt. As said researchers the mission, if it’s ever approved, might be ready to go by 2018 and would likely cost less than $300 million. If BOLD gets off the ground, it would be the first dedicated life-detection mission to Mars since NASA’s twin Viking landers blasted off in 1975, ultimately returning inconclusive results.
The subtle yet surprisingly varied colors of Mercury are revealed in the latest images from NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft (the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) space probe).The 485 kg (1,070 lb) MESSENGER spacecraft was launched aboard a Delta II rocket in August 2004 to study Mercury’s chemical composition, its geology, and its magnetic field. It became the second mission after 1975’s Mariner 10 to reach Mercury successfully when it made a flyby in January 2008, followed by a second flyby in October 2008, and a third flyby in September 2009.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spots new images of Saturn’s moons Enceladus, Janus and Dione on March 27 and 28, 2012. The new photos reveal the plume of water ice and vapor that springs from the south pole of Enceladus, which is Saturn’s sixth largest moon,as well as the pockmarked surface of Dione and the tiny oblong shape of Janus. Cassini made a close flyby of Enceladus on March 27, swooping within about 46 miles (74 kilometers) of the moon’s surface.
New evidence from the first probe to orbit Mercury is building support for the idea that the tiny planet may be harboring water ice in some of its most extreme terrain. Certain areas of Mercury’s poles were previously found to be bright in radio waves detected by radar measurements from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Now, the Messenger spacecraft has found that those same bright radar spots appear to be in permanent shadow, according to camera views from the probe’s Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS).
One of NASA’s twin GRAIL (short for Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory) probes sent photos of the far side of the moon, as were selected by 4th grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont.. The students at Emily Dickinson Elementary School were the first to request images of the moon as a reward for winning a nationwide competition to rename the two Grail spacecraft, NASA officials said in an announcement on March 22.
According to new studies the small, sun-scorched planet Mercury has an interior unlike that of any other rocky planet in our solar system and a surprisingly dynamic history. Using observations from NASA’s Messenger spacecraft in orbit around Mercury, researchers have found that the planet’s huge iron core is even larger than they had thought, and it’s likely overlain with a solid shell of iron and sulfur, a layered structure not known to exist on Earth, Venus or Mars.
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has revealed unexpected details on the surface of the giant asteroid Vesta. The new photos of Vesta from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft highlight odd, shiny spots that are nearly twice as bright as other parts of the asteroid, suggesting it is original material left over from the space rock’s birth 4 billion years ago, NASA officials said on March 21. With a width of about 330 miles (530 km), asteroid Vesta is one of the largest and brightest objects in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
The European Space Agency’s Venus Express probe, which is located much closer to the sun than Earth, experienced high doses of radiation from the recent solar storm, and on Tuesday (March 6) at 8:40 p.m. EST (0140 GMT March 7), spacecraft operators reported that Venus Express’ onboard startracker cameras had become blinded. According to Octavio Camino, the Venus Express spacecraft operation manager at ESA’s European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany after being bombarded by solar radiation Tuesday, the cameras were unable to pick up any stars.