Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Space Highlights - July 27, 2016

July 27, 2016

Australia's National Broadband Network is preparing to launch its second Sky Muster satellite in October, to address the "digital divide" in broadband access that has plagued Australia's remote users.

An Atlas 5 rocket is being prepared for launch later this week, carrying a classified U.S. intelligence gathering satellite.

China is preparing to launch a research satellite in August to test some of the theories surrounding "quantum entanglement," a phenomena which some believe could hold the key to a new generation of supercomputing capabilities.

NASA has downloaded software to the Curiosity rover which allows the Mars explorer to identify its own targets for inspection and to fire its laser autonomously to collect sample data from the Martial surface.

NASA has continued to evolve the technologies used to land the current Curiosity rover, to ensure a more precise and safe landing for the Mars 2020 rover, now under development.

In one of the latest images released from the Cassini spacecraft, Saturn's atmosphere can be seen to distort the light reflected by Saturn's rings, making them appear to "bend".

Although the Dawn spacecraft has mapped numerous impact craters on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres, the absence of any really large impact craters has remained a puzzle with multiple theories surrounding how the asteroid might have been resurfaced - erasing evidence from the anticipated, earlier, larger impacts.

Researchers have identified a strange planetary system surrounding Kepler-80, which features five planets packed tightly around their parent star, within the same distance as between the Sun and Mercury.

Researchers have begun to examine spectral lines to identify the atmospheric chemistry of a planetary system just forty light years from our own - confirming the presence of three relatively rocky worlds such as our own with thin atmospheres.

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