Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Space Highlights - March 2, 2016

March 2, 2016

SpaceX has delayed launch of the SES-9 communication satellite twice, pushing back their next launch attempt to the end of this week due to high winds at the launch site.

In reaction to delays in testing of an upgraded Russian boost vehicle, satellite developer Iridium has lined up launch slots for their Next satellite fleet with SpaceX.

China has revealed plans to launch over 20 satellites in 2016, exceeding the launch total currently planned for the U.S.

Satellite imagery indicates that Iran is preparing to attempt another satellite launch sometime in March.  Like North Korea, the Iranian launch has been characterized by international analysts as being largely a test for Iran's military ballistic missile technology.

NASA's solar powered Opportunity rover has begun climbing the slope of "Knudsen Ridge", the steepest grade that it has yet traversed.

Additional images continue to be transmitted by the Dawn spacecraft, as it maps the surface of Ceres in ever greater detail.

Images of Pluto's north pole, captured by the New Horizons spacecraft, reveal giant canyons that appear to represent an older period of tectonic activity than similar canyons that appear elsewhere on Pluto.  The northern canyon walls are degraded, suggesting a less recent origin.

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