Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Space Highlights - May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

India's ISRO has conducted a successful, suborbital test of its unmanned spaceplane, demonstrating its autonomous control system and reentry characteristics.

SpaceX expects to make another launch and recovery attempt this week for its Falcon 9 rocket, when it attempts to launch the Thaicom8 communications satellite.

The EU has successfully launched satellites 13 and 14 in its Galileo system of geopositioning satellites.  The satellites were launched by a Russian Soyuz rocket, from a launch site in French Guiana.

Russia is delaying the launch of its next GLONASS navigation satellite by a week.

Studies in galactic radiation suggest that many fossils left by early life forms on Mars - if such life forms existed - might be erased by the radiation that bombards the surface, making it more difficult to detect signs of primitive life forms that later went extinct.

Recent geological maps of Mars have uncovered evidence for at lease two "mega-tsunamis" on the northern plains of Mars - locations where giant 400-foot tidal waves left deposits along the shore of an ancient Martian sea.  Scientists speculate that the events could have been triggered by an asteroid impact.

Cassini's final set of orbits, before it plunges into Saturn's atmosphere later this year, are providing fresh views of Saturn's polar regions.

Speeding away from Pluto, NASA has directed the New Horizons spacecraft to train its camera on a more distand Kuiper belt object, 1994 JR1.

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