Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

Where space exploration is taking us in 2016

RATE THIS! +38
Posted in Science on 7th Jan, 2016 01:26 PM by AlexMuller

This year is shaping up as a bumper year in space with new missions ready to launch, deep space missions wrapping up, and commercial space going heavy. It's a year when spacecraft ditch on comets, rendezvous with asteroids, lift off for Mars, and arrive at Jupiter. It's also a year when rockets get bigger, space planes roll out, and winds get tracked.

 

To get the lowdown on the highlights, here's a looks at where space exploration is taking us in 2016.

 
Juno
 
On July 4, NASA's deep-space probe Juno will arrive at Jupiter. Launched in 2010, the unmanned orbiter has spent five years on its journey, including a flyby of Earth to slingshot the spacecraft towards Jupiter. Once it reaches its destination it will enter a highly elliptical orbit around the giant planet.
 
Built by Lockheed-Martin, Juno will use imagers, spectrometers, plasma, and energetic particle detectors, magnetometers, and gravity instruments to study the interior of Jupiter.
 
OSIRIS REx
 
Scheduled for launch in September, OSIRIS-REx is designed to rendezvous with the near-Earth asteroid Bennu in 2018. Bennu is one of only five B-type asteroids that is of suitable size and orbit for rendezvous and sample return. It's also one of the most likely asteroids to hit Earth in the next few centuries, so taking a close look has an element of self-interest. Another point of interest is that it's a carbonaceous asteroid that may provide insights into the origins of the Solar System as well as the source of water and organic molecules on Earth.
 
Once it reaches Bennu, OSIRIS-REx will spend a year examining the asteroid, including a detailed study of its chemistry, mineralogy, and topography. It will also compare telescope-based data with on-the-spot observations and make a precise determination of the asteroid's orbit.
 
ExoMars
 
The first of two ESA/Roscosmos Mars probes lifts off some time after March 14 this year as the Exobiology on Mars (ExoMars) mission gets under way. ExoMars is a joint two-part mission being carried out by ESA and Russia's Roscosmos. ESA will provide two spacecraft for the first mission in 2016, the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent, and landing demonstrator Module (EDM).
 
or the 2018 mission ESA will provide a carrier spacecraft and rover. Meanwhile, Roscosmos will build the 2018 mission's rover descent module and surface platform as well as the launchers for both missions. Both agencies will supply instruments for exploration.
 
While ExoMars 2018 is exploring the surface, ExoMars 2016, which is made up of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli module, will study the Martian atmosphere. 
 
Cassini
 
This year, a space veteran's career draws to a close. NASA's Cassini orbiter will wind up its extended mission in anticipation of its controlled disposal into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017. Launched in October 1997, the bus-sized spacecraft arrived at Saturn in 2004 after years of slingshotting around Venus, Earth, and Jupiter. 
 
Aeolus
 
Later in 2016 we will see the launch of ESA's Aeolus mission to study the world's winds. Part of the Earth Explorers program, the Aeolus is designed to learn more about the Earth's atmosphere and weather systems, monitor the weather in different part of the world, and build complex models of the environment in hopes of better weather forecasting.
 
Dream Chaser
 
Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser may have lost out on the contract to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), but the company says that it's far from grounded. An unmanned version of the space plane is scheduled to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on November 1.
 
The unmanned variant of Dream Chaser is similar to the manned version in its basic configuration. Both are lifting bodies that are powered by a hybrid rocket engine burning hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) and nitrous oxide, and both can be launched from atop an Atlas V rocket. 
 
Rosetta
 
Having arrived at the comet in 2014, Rosetta has made a detailed study of 67P and acted as the mothership for the Philae lander. However, as Comet 67P recedes from the Sun, there will eventually be insufficient light available to charge Rosetta's batteries. Before this happens, mission control in Darmstadt will order the spacecraft to make a controlled landing on the comet's surface.
 
SpaceX Heavy
 
If things go according to schedule, the first flight of SpaceX's SpacEx's Heavy booster could take place in April or May. Previously known as the Falcon 9 Heavy, it is a variant of the Falcon 9 that made the first controlled, powered landing of a space rocket last month. The difference is that the Heavy consists of a Falcon 9 core with a pair of strap-on boosters based on the Falcon 9 booster. This will allow the rocket to carry payloads of 53 tonnes into low-Earth orbit, which is a significant advance on the Falcon 9's 13 tonnes.

Tags: space2016hardwareaerospacebusinessspaceflightspace explorationcommercial spaceSpaceXNASA

Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-01-08
+1
Very exciting! Lets hope that all this ambition proves to be a success! Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-01-08
+0
Very exciting! Lets hope that all this ambition proves to be a success! Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 19:05:15
    Google boosts Cloud Natural Language API with automatic.....read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-20 18:55:34
    Salesforce to launch $50 million artificial intelligence.....read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-09-20 18:50:18
    The Paris agreement climate aim is 'still achievable'..read more
    Posted in Software on 2017-09-19 18:06:17
    China orders Bitcoin exchanges in capital city to close..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2017-09-19 18:00:15
    LinkSpace is a Chinese startup that will try to make.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Scientists probe Neptune's depths to reveal secrets of icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New terahertz imaging approach could speed up skin cancer.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Rebutting the claim that antidepressants do not work..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Artificial neural networks decode brain activity during.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Four Earth-sized planets detected orbiting the nearest.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me