October 19, 2016
China has launched its 6th manned mission into space this week, aboard the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft. The launch was followed by a successfully dock between the Shenzhou 11 and Tiangong 2 space lab, allowing its two astronauts to remain up to 30 days in orbit.
Orbital ATK successfully launched its improved Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia, on its way to delivering a cargo module to the International Space Station.
Pakistan has announced plans to launch its first earth observation satellite in 2018.
Europe's ExoMars spacecraft made final preparations this week for its arrival at Mars, with the separation of the Schiaparelli lander from the Trace Gas Orbiter. ExoMars is a collaborative project between the European Space Agency and the Russian Space Agency, which is also seen as a forerunner to landing a Mars rover in 2020.
NASA has delayed a planned engine burn for the Juno spacecraft, which was to have changed its orbital period from 53 days to 14 days, due to a technical glitch with the pressurized fuel tanks. The planned burn is being delayed while engineers study the problem.
NASA's MAVEN orbiter has supplied the first ultraviolet images of Martian weather systems, providing fresh data mapping chemical reactions and wind patterns in the Martian atmosphere.
New data continues to point to a large ring system around exoplanet J1407b, which was first identified in 2012. The exoplanet is now believed to have a system of rings some 100 times larger than that which surrounds Saturn.