After NASA's Mars rover Curiosity touches down on the Red Planet tonight (Aug. 5 PDT; early Aug. 6 EDT), mission controllers will begin testing the rover's systems to make sure its onboard instruments survived the intense journey through the Martian atmosphere. During this time, the rover will beam back preliminary images from Mars, NASA says. So, what can we expect to see in these first photos? According to NASA officials, the first photos from the Curiosity rover will come from its one-megapixel Hazard-Avoidance cameras, or Hazcams, which are attached to the body. http://www.space.com/16929-mars-rover-landing-first-photos-anticipation.html
NASA's next low-budget planetary mission will land a probe on Mars in 2016 to study why the Red Planet went down such a different evolutionary path than Earth did, the agency announced today (Aug. 20). The new mission, called InSight, will attempt to determine whether Mars' core is liquid or solid, and why the Red Planet's crust does not appear to be composed of drifting tectonic plates like Earth's is. Such information could help scientists better understand how rocky planets form and evolve, researchers said. http://www.space.com/17195-nasa-mars-landing-mission-2016-launch.html
NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 55,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years away from Earth. A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter.The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias (γαλαξίας), literally "milky", a reference to the Milky Way galaxy. Examples of galaxies range from dwarfs with as few as ten million (107) stars to giants with a hundred trillion (1014) stars,each orbiting their galaxy's own center of mass.
The first human spaceflight took place on April 12, 1961, when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one orbit around the Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, launched by the Soviet space program and designed by the rocket scientist Sergey Korolyov. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on board Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. Both spacecraft were launched by Vostok 3KA launch vehicles. Alexei Leonov made the first spacewalk when he left the Voskhod 2 on March 8, 1965. Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to do so on July 25, 1984.
The iconic Voyager 2 spacecraft celebrated its 35th birthday Monday (Aug. 20) in a milestone for NASA's longest-running mission ever. Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 just 16 days before its twin, Voyager 1. The probes were tasked chiefly with studying Saturn, Jupiter and the gas giants' moons, but have continued on through the solar system and are now about to cross into interstellar space. Voyager 1 is due to cross first, becoming the first manmade object to travel beyond our solar system, and Voyager 2 is not far behind. http://www.space.com/17201-voyager-2-nasa-longest-mission.html