Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Space Highlights - March 22, 2017

March 22, 2017

Small satellite launch start-up Rocket Lab has raised an additional $75 million in venture capital, as it relocates its headquarters in California.

The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral, carrying the WGS-9 communications satellite.  The night-time satellite launch was also captured from orbit by the GOES-16 weather satellite.

Japan successfully launched the IGS (Information Gathering Satellite), radar surveillance satellite into orbit aboard an H-IIA rocket.  The IGS is intended to provide Japan with space-based intelligence on activities in North Korea and China.

SpaceX launched the EchoStar 23 communications satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center.  Due to the high target orbit - requiring a longer rocket burn - no attempt was made to recover the first stage of the launch booster.

The aluminum wheels on NASA's Curiosity rover are starting to show the wear from their age, after five years on the surface of Mars.

A Finnish film maker has assembled some 50,000 images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to produce a video of the spacecraft's view in orbit around the red planet.

Europe's ExoMars spacecraft has begun lowering its orbit around Mars, as it positions itself to sample the Martian atmosphere for signs of methane.

The European Space Agency has revealed details for its CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) planet hunter, due to be launched in 2018.

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