Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Space Highlights - April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016

India's ISRO plans to launch India's seventh and final GPS satellite on April 28th.

Northrop Grumman is one of three industry teams being funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) to develop a small, reusable launch vehicle, suitable for placing small satellites into orbit.  The Northrop Grumman concept revolves around a reusable, unmanned space plane, labeled the XS-1.  Boeing and Masten Space Systems are developing competing designs under the first phase of DARPA funding.

NASA has confirmed that the Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn, has detected traces of interstellar dust.  The grains differ in composition from those that originate from within our solar system, reflecting a more uniform, cosmic distribution of elements than the water-rich particles ordinarily detected by Cassini.

NASA has released additional images detailing fractures in the crust of Saturn's moon Enceladus: the fault lines caused by tectonic activity in the moon's icy crust.

The first images have been released from the ESA's ExoMars spacecraft, which has begun its seven-month journey to the red planet.

New images from the Dawn spacecraft feature the Haulani Crater, with evidence of landslides along the crater's rim and bright features that may indicate sub-surface chemistry.

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