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April 2-8, 2018 / Vol 37, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA

30 Mar 2018, 20:28 UTC
April 2-8, 2018 / Vol 37, No 14 / Hawai`i Island, USA
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

International Spacecraft Exploring the Solar System and Beyond

Voyager 1 is in interstellar space, ~141 AU from Earth, headed for Gliese 445. The probe’s 8-track Digital Tape Recorder is scheduled to turn off in 2018. Voyager 2 is in the heliosheath, ~117 AU from Earth, headed for Sirius with anticipated arrival in ~250,000 years. The probes are expected to communicate until at least 2025. New Horizons is scheduled to awaken from hibernation on June 4 and encounter KBO Ultima Thule, meaning ‘beyond the borders of the known world’, on January 1, 2019, 05:33 UTC. This will be the most distant flyby in history at ~40 AU from Earth. The mission has been extended through 2021 to explore additional KBO. Juno is in a highly elliptical orbit near Jupiter. The 11th flyby will gather data on weather, rings, and composition. Juno intends to operate through July 2018 with anticipated mission extension approval. Within the asteroid belt, Dawn continues to circle the ice world of Ceres every 5.4 hours. It plans to fire an ion engine on April 17, beginning a downward spiral to its smallest to date elliptical orbit by the first week of June. Mars Curiosity Rover, currently on Vera ...

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