Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Space Highlights - May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017

The Indian Geosynchronous Satellite Launch communications satellite was placed into orbit this past week, linking India with its neighbors in South Asia.

Iran has announced plans to launch two satellites in the coming weeks, in what critics are describing as a cover for Iran's ballistic missile weapons program.

Vector Space has made its first successful launch of its microsatellite booster.

The U.S. Air Force's miniature, unmanned space plane returned for a landing in Florida this past week, after spending nearly two years in orbit.  The purpose and details behind the X-37B's orbital missions remains classified.

NASA has released images of Titan's methane cloud cover, captured during the last close pass made by the Cassini spacecraft before it began its "ring diving" orbits last month.

Researchers have confirmed that the gap between Saturn and its rings really is the "big empty," after the Cassini spacecraft sent back data from its two initial ring-diving orbits where it passed between Saturn and its innermost ring.  Dust levels between Saturn and its innermost ring were much lower than what scientists had expected.

NASA has released a new video depicting images from Cassini's "ring diving" orbit, that took it between Saturn and its innermost rings.

NASA's Curiosity rover sent back photos of black sanddunes on Mars, as the rover began to take samples from a linear, active sand dune.

Two new Saturn-sized exoplanets have been identified by researchers.  The planets orbit red dwarf stars.

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