NASA Juno spots volcano on Jupiter moon Io

Scientists have discovered a volcano close to the south pole of Jupiter’s moon Io, using data collected by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The infrared data were collected in December 2018, when Juno was about 470,000 kilometres away from the moon, using its Jovian InfraRed Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument. Juno was launched on August 5, 2011, from the US.

NASA prepared to ‘touch the sun’

NASA is prepared for a launch on August 4 to touch the sun, for the first time in human history. NASA unveiled a cutting-edge heat shield that will protect the spacecraft from getting burnt. It was installed on June 27, 2018. The shield will prevent the spacecraft core from being exposed to temperatures around 1,370 degrees Celsius.

Methane dunes found on Pluto

Pluto is covered with surprising dunes made of methane ice, which have formed relatively recently despite the frigid dwarf planet’s very thin atmosphere, international researchers have said. Pluto’s atmosphere has a surface pressure 100,000 times lower than Earth. The dunes were spotted with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

Twin spacecraft to track Earth’s water cycle

A joint U.S./German space mission to track the global water cycle was successfully lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On, GRACE-FO, is a joint mission by NASA & German Research Centre for Geosciences. GRACE-FO will monitor the movement of mass around the earth by measuring where & how the moving mass changes Earth’s gravitational pull.

Mars probe taking mini satellites

A pair of briefcase-sized spacecraft known as CubeSats are making their way into deep space for the first time, sharing a ride with NASA’s InSight Mars lander. Mars Cube One (MarCO) is a pair spacecraft that launched along with NASA’s InSight Mars lander on May 5. CubeSats are generally under 15 kilogrammes, and can weigh as little as about 2.5 kilogrammes.

NASA blasts off Mars-bound spacecraft, InSight

NASA has blasted off its latest Mars lander, InSight, designed to study the deep interior of Mars. It aims to expand human knowledge of interior conditions on Mars, inform efforts to send human explorers there & reveal how rocky planets like Earth formed billions of years ago. InSight aims to be the first NASA spacecraft to land on Mars since the Curiosity rover in 2012.

NASA to track Earth’s ice and water

NASA is gearing up for the upcoming launch of its Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission. The mission will map changes in water and ice around the world by detecting variations in Earth’s gravity & it involves 2 identical spacecraft that will orbit the Earth. The mission is a joint project between NASA and the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Germany.

NASA to Build ‘HAMMER’ Spacecraft

NASA has drawn up plans to build a huge nuclear spacecraft that is capable of shunting or blowing up dangerous space rocks and safeguarding life on Earth. The spacecraft named Hammer (Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response) is an eight-tonne spaceship which could deflect a giant space rock. The 1,600-foot-wide asteroid Bennu is circling the sun at 63,000 mph.

NASA probe beams farthest image

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has beamed back an image while being 6.12 billion km away, breaking a 27-year-old record set by Voyager 1.NASA’s Voyager 1, the farthest man-made object, had captured the “Pale Blue Dot” photo of Earth before exiting the Solar System.Meanwhile, New Horizons shared an image of a Kuiper belt object, beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Indian rover to spend 14 days on Moon

ISRO is leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success.This time, heavy-payload lifter GSLV Mk II will launch the spacecraft weighing 3,290kg as the module will carry an orbiter, a rover and a lander to the moon.Chandrayaan- 2, will spend 14 Earth days on the lunar surface, before going into sleep mode.