New Explorations of the Solar System

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Here is my presentation from Astronomy Day 2008.

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New Explorations of the Solar System

  1. 2. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: MESSENGER ( ME rcury S urface, S pace EN vironment, GE ochemistry, and R anging) United States Mercury In flight August 2004 2011 MESSENGER will study the solar system’s innermost planet, the first spacecraft to visit there since Mariner 10 in 1974.
  2. 3. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Venus Express European Space Agency (ESA) Venus In Venus orbit November 9, 2005 April 2006 Venus Express represents the ESA’s first effort to study the planet Venus.
  3. 4. Names: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Mission: L unar R econnaissance O rbiter (LRO) L unar CR ater O bservation and S ensing S atellite (LCROSS) United States Moon Testing phase 2008 These two unmanned spacecraft will survey the moon to help find safe landing sites for future human visits.
  4. 5. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Flight Duration: Mission: Chandrayaan 1 India Moon Preparing for launch Summer 2008 2 years The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 will be India’s first spacecraft to travel to the moon. It includes instruments from several other space agencies, including NASA and ESA.
  5. 6. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Mars Express European Space Agency (ESA) Mars In Mars orbit June 2, 2003 December 2003 Already a successful mission, Mars Express has been granted mission extensions through at least May 2009.
  6. 7. Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Mars Exploration Rover A, “Spirit” United States Gusev Crater, Mars Active June 10, 2003 January 3, 2004 Spirit was the first of NASA’s two Mars Exploration Rovers to arrive at the Red Planet. Originally designed to function for three months, each has continued working for over four years.
  7. 8. Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Mars Exploration Rover B, “Opportunity” United States Meridiani Planum, Mars Active July 7, 2003 January 25, 2004 Opportunity continues its mission, analyzing the area known as Meridiani Planum. Among other things, both rovers have confirmed signs that liquid water once existed on Mars.
  8. 9. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Launch Dates: Arrival Date: Mission: Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Mars Phoenix Lander United States (University of Arizona coll. w/ NASA) North polar region, Mars In flight August 4, 2007 May 25, 2008 The Phoenix lander will touch down in the ice-rich polar region. It is designed to search for water ice, and other signs of environments hospitable to microbial life.
  9. 10. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Juno United States Jupiter Proposed 2011 2016 Juno is planned to orbit the largest planet in an unprecedented polar orbit. It will be the first mission to Jupiter powered by solar panels.
  10. 11. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Cassini/Huygens United States Saturn In Saturn orbit 10/17/1997 July 2004 Since arriving at Saturn, Cassini has spent the past four years transmitting remarkable pictures of the planet, its rings, and many moons.
  11. 12. Enceladus Phoebe Mimas Crescent Saturn Saturnian Rings Cloud patterns
  12. 13. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: Huygens Lander European Space Agency (ESA) Titan, the largest moon of Saturn Mission completed 10/17/1997, on board Cassini 1/15/2005 The Huygens probe was designed to parachute down through the clouds of Saturn, to arrive at its surface. It functioned perfectly.
  13. 14. Name: Origin: Destination: Status: Date of Launch: Date of Arrival: Mission: New Horizons United States Jupiter, Pluto, Kuiper Belt In flight January 2006 June 2015 New Horizons will be the first probe ever to travel to Pluto. Even though it is the fastest manmade object ever made, it will still take nearly a decade to arrive there.

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