August 3, 2016
India's student-designed IIT-B satellite is expected to be launched by ISRO in September.
NASA's Juno spacecraft has now passed the highest-point in its orbit and is heading back towards Jupiter for another close encounter with the gas giant. Juno is intended to probe Jupiter's atmosphere with a suite of instruments unavailable to previous spacecraft.
Competing teams from Israel and the United States are currently the front-runners to win the Google Lunar X-Prize to be the first to land a privately developed and funded spacecraft on the moon. The teams at MoonExpress and SpaceIL are focusing on microspacecraft that would weigh only a few pounds each. To succeed, the winning team must soft-land their spacecraft on the moon, move at least 500 meters in any direction on the lunar surface, and transmit high-definition video back to Earth. The teams have until the end of December 2017 to complete the mission in order to claim the $20 million prize.
Chinese researchers have announced that data from their Chang'e 3 lunar probe has confirmed the absence of water on the lunar surface. Previously, scientists had speculated that some lunar craters, which are protected from sunlight, might harbor ice deposits.