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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Interesting Space Missions

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Interesting ongoing space missions.

Kepler - Launched 2009, is searching for earth like planets and can detect a wide range of data from any planets that pass in front of their sun (the "transit" method). It can detect atmosphere temperature based on it's observations. Updated News Source

GRACE -Launched 2002, The two satellite join USA / Germany expedition to detect minute gravity changes on the earth. Updated News Source

SeaWinds on Midori 2 - Launched 2002, was capable of measuring sea winds via radar pulse backscatter. Stopped functioning shortly after achieving orbit. It is like having a billion ships at sea all taking wind measurements.

Hayabusa - Launched 2003, checked out the Itokawa asteroid and is on it's way back home, hopefully with samples. It should be back around June 2010. Updated News Source

Rosetta - Launched 2004, will check out the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Updated News Source

Epoxi - Launched 2005, will check out comet Hartley 2 in November of 2010. Updated News Source

Dawn - Launched 2007, will visit the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. It will arrive at Vesta in a little less than two years (August - sept 2011, (Updated News Source

Chandrayaan-1 & Moon Mineralogy Mapper - Launched 2008, Updated News Source

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter - Launched 2009, will measure surface and subsurface temperatures on the moon in prep for renewed moon missions. Updated News Source

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