Thursday, February 23, 2017

Space Highlights - February 23, 2017

February 23, 2017

Rocket Lab has delivered its first Electron test rocket to the company's private launch facility in New Zealand.  Rocket Lab is the latest private developer to attempt to enter the satellite launch business.

Rocket motor manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne has acquired missile-target developer Coleman Aerospace, which currently provides missile targets to the Pentagon to test anti-ballistic missile systems.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured new images of Saturn's outermost F-ring, as it makes its latest set of "ring grazing" orbits.

NASA officials have concluded that the Juno spacecraft should remain in its current, 53-day orbit around Jupiter, rather than taking the risk of losing the spacecraft to a main engine failure.  Juno had originally been slated to enter a tighter, 14-day orbit, but the necessary engine firing could potentially cripple the spacecraft, after analysts identified a potential problem with the spacecraft's propulsion system.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has identified the building blocks for life on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres, with the identification of organic compounds in one of its craters.

NASA has announced the identification of seven new earth-size exoplanets in orbit around a red-dwarf star some 40 light years away, three of which are believed to be in the star's "habitable zone," where liquid water could potentially exist on their surface.

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