Rosetta’s Quest to Touch a Comet – On Collision Course to 67P for Spectacular End of Mission

More than 700 million Kilometers from Earth, in the dark regions of our Solar System, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft placed itself on a collision course with comet 67P to put the exclamation mark behind a remarkable mission of discovery, beginning to unlock the secrets from a distant past.

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Japanese Akatsuki Craft confirmed in Orbit around Venus, delivers first Images

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced earlier this week that the agency’s Akatsuki Venus Orbiter successfully completed its last-chance orbital insertion maneuver and was tracked close to the expected orbit around Venus, saving a mission that had been feared lost after the spacecraft had missed its first opportunity of entering orbit around Earth’s neighbor planet.

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IRIS Solar Observatory acquires First-Light Image of Sun’s Atmosphere

NASA’s newest Solar Observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph – IRIS, has provided its first-light image of the Sun’s atmosphere and Interface Region. The first images of IRIS were taken less than one month after its launch atop a Pegasus Rocket as part of regular spacecraft commissioning that will be ongoing for the next four weeks.

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Europe & Africa make an Appearance in second DSCOVR Earth Image

NASA released a second image of Earth that was among the first light shots of the Deep Space Climate Observatory which had arrived on station at the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 in June and is currently being commissioned for its mission of delivering space weather data and advanced warnings of impending solar storms as well as having a watchful eye on Earth, gathering multi-band images of the entire sunlit face of Earth and radiometric measurements of the planet’s energy balance.

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MMS Spacecraft Quartet completes initial Instrument Deployments

NASA’s four Magnetospheric Multiscale Satellites launched atop an Atlas V last week have begun initial commissioning activities, going through health tests and each deploying two magnetometer booms, the shortest booms to be deployed over the six-week initial commissioning phase that will be followed by about four months of instrument checks and calibration.

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