View Full Version : Looking ahead to probes in 2013

Lord Jubjub
2013-Jan-03, 03:08 AM
I have been tracking Rosetta, New Horizons, Dawn and now Juno. 2014-2016 will be exciting years for these probes, 2013 will not.:eh:

Rosetta: This probe is drifting in hibernation toward its target. There should be nothing to report this year.

New Horizons: There are no named objects whose orbit NH will pass this year. The only milestone I have is the two-years-to-go mark.

Dawn: Other than reaching perihelion this October, there is nothing to say but that this probe will be steadily powering its way to intercept with Ceres in 2015.

Juno: There will be a couple of milestones. This probe is falling toward the Sun. It will pass Mars orbit in April and encounter Earth in October. Right about the end of the year, it will cross Mars orbit for the last time.

2013-Jan-05, 05:12 PM
I will have to add 2013 to this graph soon:

Active Interplanetary Probes At Any Given Time (http://users.rcn.com/ilya187/TimeGraph.html)

And move it onto different server

2013-Jan-08, 02:33 AM
NASA's LADEE mission (Lunar Atmosphere & Dust Environment Explorer) will launch from Wallops Flight Facility some time in 2013

website (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/)

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) is a robotic mission that will orbit the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar atmosphere, conditions near the surface and environmental influences on lunar dust. A thorough understanding of these characteristics will address long-standing unknowns, and help scientists understand other planetary bodies as well.

The LADEE spacecraft's modular common spacecraft bus, or body, is an innovative way of transitioning away from custom designs and toward multi-use designs and assembly-line production, which could drastically reduce the cost of spacecraft development, just as the Ford Model T did for automobiles.

2013-Jan-11, 04:23 PM
NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is scheduled to launch Feb. 11 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mission, LDCM will add to the longest continuous data record of Earth's surface as viewed from space.

LDCM is the eighth satellite in the Landsat series, which began in 1972. The mission will extend more than 40 years of global land observations that are critical in many areas, such as energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery and agriculture. NASA and the USGS jointly manage the Landsat Program.

NASA.gov webpage (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/landsat/news/ldcm-launch-prep.html)

LDCM carries two instruments, the Operational Land Imager (OLI), built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS), built by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. These instruments are designed to improve performance and reliability over previous Landsat sensors.

"LDCM will be the best Landsat satellite yet launched in terms of the quality and quantity of the data collected by the LDCM sensors," said Jim Irons, LDCM project scientist at Goddard. "OLI and TIRS both employ technological advances that will make the observations more sensitive to the variation across the landscape and to changes in the land surface over time."

OLI will continue observations currently made by Landsat 7 in the visible, near infrared and shortwave infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It also will take measurements in two new bands, one to observe high altitude cirrus clouds and one to observe water quality in lakes and shallow coastal oceans as well as aerosols. OLI's new design has fewer moving parts than previous versions.

2013-Jan-24, 06:25 PM
From NASA.gov (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/iris/news/iris-integration.html)

NASA's next Small Explorer (SMEX) mission to study the little-understood lower levels of the sun's atmosphere has been fully integrated and final testing is underway.

Scheduled to launch in April 2013, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) will make use of high-resolution images, data and advanced computer models to unravel how matter, light, and energy move from the sunís 6,000 K (10,240 F / 5,727 C) surface to its million K (1.8 million F / 999,700 C) outer atmosphere, the corona. Such movement ultimately heats the sun's atmosphere to temperatures much hotter than the surface, and also powers solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which can have societal and economic impacts on Earth.

"This is the first time we'll be directly observing this region since the 1970s," says Joe Davila, IRIS project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "We're excited to bring this new set of observations to bear on the continued question of how the corona gets so hot."

The mission carries a single instrument: an ultraviolet telescope combined with an imaging spectrograph that will both focus on the chromosphere and the transition region. The telescope will see about one percent of the sun at a time and resolve that image to show features on the sun as small as 150 miles (241.4 km) across. The instrument will capture a new image every five to ten seconds, and spectra about every one to two seconds. Spectra will cover temperatures from 4,500 K to 10,000,000 K (7,640 F/4,227 C to 18 million F/10 million C), with images covering temperatures from 4,500 K to 65,000 K (116,500 F/64,730 C).

The IRIS observatory will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and will fly in a sun-synchronous polar orbit for continuous solar observations during a two-year mission.

2013-Feb-12, 02:21 PM
Monday was apparently a good day to launch rockets. An Atlas 5 launched from Vandenberg with the latest Landsat satellite (see post 4) and an ISS supply ship launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome.