Nearly ten years after its launch, the New Horizons spacecraft will reach its closest encounter with Pluto on July 14, 2015. NASA and the world science community will celebrate the landmark at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at Johns Hopkins University, as well as at “PlutoPalooza” events around the world.
The Planetary Society, the world’s largest non-profit space interest group, today declared the LightSail test mission a success. After 19 days in orbit, the CubeSat spacecraft deployed its Mylar® solar sails in space.
After a successful launch into orbit, The Planetary Society’s LightSail™ spacecraft embarked on a solar sailing test mission as a precursor to a 2016 mission. Complete test mission success hinges on the deployment of LightSail’s Mylar® solar sails. LightSail experts will present sail deployment outcomes and offer a period for media questions.
CubeSats have made low-cost space missions a reality for universities and research groups. However, these tiny satellites lack propulsion. LightSail will demonstrate the viability of solar sailing for CubeSats.
Planetary Deep Drill is the first drill of its kind. Honeybee intends to fulfill one of the biggest needs for subsurface planetary exploration: lightweight, portable drills that pack enough punch to probe deep beneath planetary surfaces.
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