NASA is plotting a daring robotic mission to Jupiter’s watery moon Europa, a place where astronomers speculate there might be some form of life.
The space agency set aside $15 million in its 2015 budget proposal to start planning some kind of mission to Europa. No details have been decided yet, but NASA chief financial officer Elizabeth Robinson says that it will be launched in the mid-2020s.
When Mars One invited people to apply for a one way ticket to Mars, we didn’t think anyone would be interested. But, 202,000 applications later, we stand corrected. Mars One have now whittled this number down to a mere 1,058 hopefuls ranging from age 18 to 81 and hailing from no fewer than 107 countries. Dying on Mars truly holds a global appeal.
After a journey of 10 years, of which 31 month spend in hibernation, ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta has officially woken up. The radio signal transmitted from the ‘comet chaser’ was received by ESOC, Germany tonight at 7:18PM GMT.
Rosetta is designed to land on an actual flying comet, the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, to gather information on how comets behave and possibly find clues to the formation of the Solar System.
Rosetta is now about 673 million kilometers away from the Sun, and radio signals take up to 50 minutes to arrive. The spacecraft operates in a similar way as the Mars lander, Curiosity. Once Rosetta’s lander, Philae, has been successfully put on the comets surface in November, it will send the same HD pictures as those taken from Mars’ surface (but they will not be 3D).
Russia is set to launch a probe to the Martian moon Phobos by 2022, the head of the Russian Space Research Institute has revealed. The renewal of the ambitious program, which includes taking samples of the moon’s soil, comes despite previous failure. (via Phobos-Grunt-2: Russia to probe Martian moon by 2022)