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Exciting Times in the Solar System

10 Jul 2015, 17:28 UTC
Exciting Times in the Solar System
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We Are Exploring Many Worlds
It’s coming closer!
While New Horizons is grabbing the headlines these days for its upcoming flyby of Pluto, there are other fascinating solar system expeditions taking place. Just to give you a quick rundown, world by world:
The Sun: Our star is a fascinating place, and there are a number of missions looking at it from space. The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), Global Geospace Geoscience Wind satellite, Hinode, PICARD (from the French space agency, CNES), Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and Solar Monitoring Observatory (on the ISS).
Earth’s Moon: China’s Chang’e 3 landed a rover that can’t move but is still “live”, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is orbiting the Moon.
Mars: Not only do we still have two working rovers on the surface, Curiosity and Opportunity, but we also have the MAVEN orbiter (sampling the atmosphere and determining the climate history), the Indian Space Research Organization’s MOM orbiter, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Odyssey, and Mars Express (from the European Space Agency);
Venus: Japan’s Akatsuki will return to the planet this autumn.
Ceres: NASA’s Dawn mission is ...

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