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October 23-29, 2017 / Vol 36, No 43 / Hawai`i Island, USA

20 Oct 2017, 20:04 UTC
October 23-29, 2017 / Vol 36, No 43 / Hawai`i Island, USA
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Solar System Orbiter Encounters at the Moon, Sun, Mars, Jupiter

Precursor to China’s first lunar sample return mission, Chang’e-5 T1 ‘service module’ celebrates 3 full years in space October 23 and 2.75 years in Moon orbit. The satellite is 7.6 m³ and reaches a span of 18 meters with three-panel arrays. It will likely continue collecting data on surface features in a 200-km altitude, 127-minute polar orbit into 2018 when CE-4 orbiter, lander, rover and CE-5 missions take place. In Heliocentric Orbit, the Stereo A and B spacecraft are entering their 12th year in space Oct 26, having launched in 2006. They primarily monitor the far side of the Sun for coronal mass ejections; data has also been used to discover 122 eclipsing binaries and hundreds more variable stars. The record-holding longest serving spacecraft at Mars, Mars Odyssey will begin its 17th year in orbit Oct 24. Spectrometers and a thermal imager collect information on planet geology and radiation environment, potential water / ice, and the craft also works as a communication relay for Mars landers. On Oct 24 Juno is set to make its 8th close science flyby of giant Jupiter during Perijove 9 at ~3,500 km altitude above ...

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