Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Has now been orbiting Saturn for 10.5 years.

    :Juno: Launched Aug 5 2011, arrive at Jupiter Jul 2016.

    :New Horizons: – launch Jan 19 2006, flyby of Pluto 14 Jul 2015.

    :Rosetta: In orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko since 6 Aug 2014, the lander Philae may or may not wake up as the comet approaches the Sun. End of mission Dec 2015.

    Dawn: To arrive Ceres 6 Mar 2015, expect a picture of Ceres on 26 Jan 2015 as it gets closer.

    Opportunity: – Launched 7 Jul 2003 and still alive. In Dec 2014, NASA reported that Opportunity was suffering from “amnesia” events in which the rover fails to write data in one of the rover’s seven memory banks. NASA aims to force the rover’s software to ignore the failed memory bank.

    :Curiosity: Still very active in Gale Crater. Mission officially “extended indefinitely”.

    :Mars Express: – On 19 Oct 2014, the ESA reported the Mars Express is healthy after the Comet Siding Spring flyby of Mars. Launched in Jun 2003, it’s had five mission extensions so far.

    Voyager 1 & 2 – Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 still alive and expected to last until 2025.

    :Messenger:– Due to die soon, but on 24 Dec 2014 NASA revealed a plan to extend the Messenger mission at Mercury an extra month by using its propulsion system pressurant for reaction control.

    :Akatsuki: Akatsuki was launched on 20 May 2010, by JAXA, and was planned to enter Venus orbit in Dec 2010. However, the orbital insertion maneuver failed and the spacecraft was left in heliocentric orbit. Another attempt will be made when it again approaches the planet in 2016.

    Venus Express – Launched Nov 2005, Venus Espress was shut down in Dec 2014 [ So Venus is currently un-observed].

    Look forward to BepiColombo. This is a joint mission of ESA and JAXA to the planet Mercury. The mission comprises two satellites to be launched together: the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The mission will perform a comprehensive study on Mercury, including its magnetic field, magnetosphere, interior structure and surface. It is scheduled to launch on 9 Jul 2016.

    Mars Orbiter Mission is India’s first interplanetary mission. Launched on 5 Nov 2013, it has been orbiting Mars since 24 Sep 2014.

    Mars Odyssey is the oldest spacecraft orbiting Mars that is still operational. Launched 7 Apr 2001.

    Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter, launched 12 Aug 2005. Still operational.

    MAVEN, launched 18 Nov 2013, (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN Mission) arrived in a highly elliptical orbit around Mars on 22 Sep 2014. Operational.

    The above is a comprehensive list by a scientist on another forum that I found awesome and worth repeating.
    I think we can be rather proud.
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  5. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    At least two of the most challenging ones in your list came from JHU/APL. I worked there for 30 years, 20 in the space department but mainly on implantable biomedical devices that have nearly a dozen requirements much like a space craft but I have been retired for 22 years.
    "APL has built and operated many spacecraft, including: the TRANSIT navigation system, NEAR, Geosat, ACE, TIMED, CONTOUR, MESSENGER, New Horizons, and STEREO. APL proposed the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) mission to NASA. The asteroid 132524 APL has been named in honor of APL after a flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft." quote from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Applied_Physics_Laboratory

    If I recall correctly, the Navy's TRANSIT series, which APL/JHU controlled for the Navy totaled 63 satellites and APL's total of satellites it designed and often initially controlled is more than 250 now! Yet few have any knowledge of APL/JHU (except NASA and other funding sources, know APL/JHU usually delivers on time and under budget. - JPL is much better known, but MESSENGER, I think it was, that got way behind and was running over budget at JPL, so NASA pull the plug on them and gave job to APL, where it got delivered on time and under budget!)

    As New Horizons approaches the frozen bodies, observations will become more detailed. By the middle of May, images from the robotic observer are predicted to be more detailed than the best images of the dwarf planet ever taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. New Horizons will make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015.
    APL/JHU, the builder and operator, awakened New Horizon two to three times a year for course corrections, to gather science data, practice approach procedures, and to calibrate instruments. New Horizons sent a signal, once a week, back to mission controllers, reporting on the condition of the vehicle. The final hibernation wake up on 6 Dec. 2014 was successful - observations of Pluto and its moons starts on 15 Jan. 2015 with telephoto camera, mainly but most will not be sent back to APL until after the fly-by as I understand it. The power is needed for other space craft operations now. (It takes a lot of both time an energy to get a photo back.)
    The journey to Pluto is the greatest distance NASA has ever covered on the way to a spacecraft's primary target. The vehicle is so far away from the Earth that it takes radio waves, traveling over 186,000 miles a second, four-and-a-half hours to travel between the craft and mission on our planet. More at: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/2...craft-nears-pluto-after-nine-year-journey.htm

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    The grey, finned cylinders are the radio/isotope power supplies.

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    Most of flat squares soon to drop off, I think. They have been protecting instruments, cameras, etc. for 9+ years. Gold foil, is thermal insulation. Multi- layers of "crinkled" foil barely touch and have natural vacuum between - fanststic insulation, as just by raditive transfer and very light weight. APL/JHU has the project leadership and operates N.H., but is not the chief scientist.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2015
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  7. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Great stuff.....Something I certainly hope you cherish and are proud of.
    I never fail to get rather short with the many misinformed people, who with their bleeding hearts attitude about the world, hunger poverty, war etc, then suggest that space endeavours and probes such as listed, could have been money spent elsewhere.

    The total world militaristic expendature is something though that they fail to address to alleviate the same problems...[of which I am also sympathetic to]
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed, although without our military's experience with ICBM's, near-space operations, lifting bodies etc the manned (and unmanned) space programs would not have been as successful.
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


    Sadly, you are probably correct. Although another line of thought may suggest more International co-operation between nations.

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