The German Aerospace Center is scheduled to launch its Eu:CROPIS research satellite into orbit in early 2017. Its purpose is to test a biological life-support system for future human space missions. The satellite's payload includes an ion analyzer. This compact device will automatically monitor all of the system's internal processes.
The search for the three-legged lander is complex because even when fully illuminated by the Sun, Philae will be just a few pixels across in images acquired by the Rosetta orbiter's Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS).
The Dawn orbiter initially traced the path of the equator before crossing the north and south poles of Ceres. Researchers have used the images acquired thus far with the Framing Camera on board the spacecraft and the first three-dimensional terrain models created from them to produce a virtual scenic flight over icy Ceres.
Researchers have used satellite data to detect deposits of glass within impact craters on Mars. Though formed in the searing heat of a violent impact, the glasses just might provide a delicate window into the possibility of past life on the Red Planet.
If you lived on one of Pluto's moons, you might have a hard time determining when, or from which direction, the sun will rise each day. Comprehensive analysis of data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows that two of Pluto's moons, Nix and Hydra, wobble unpredictably.
A close-up of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by NASA's ultraviolet instrument surprised scientists by revealing that electrons close to the comet's surface - not photons from the Sun as had been believed - cause the rapid breakup of water and carbon dioxide molecules spewing from the surface.
An international team has discovered a young planetary system that shares remarkable similarities to our own early solar system. Their images reveal a ring-like disk of debris surrounding a Sun-like star, in a birth environment similar to the Sun's.