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Four decades of tracking European spacecraft

Forty years ago this week, a satellite ground station in Spain became the first to be assigned to what would become ESA. Since then, the network – Estrack – has expanded worldwide and today employs cutting-edge technology ...

dateMay 19, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Kepler's six years in science (and counting)

NASA's Kepler spacecraft began hunting for planets outside our solar system on May 12, 2009. From the trove of data collected, we have learned that planets are common, that most sun-like stars have at least one planet and ...

dateMay 13, 2015 in Astronomy
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A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation

Tracking the rotation speed of solid planets, like the Earth and Mars, is a relatively simple task: Just measure the time it takes for a surface feature to roll into view again. But giant gas planets Jupiter and Saturn are ...

dateMar 25, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Cassini: Return to Rhea

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

dateMar 30, 2015 in Space Exploration
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Image: Chaos on watery Europa

Jupiter's moon Europa is brimming with water. Although it is thought to be mostly made up of rocky material, the moon is wrapped in a thick layer of water – some frozen to form an icy crust, some potentially pooled in shallow ...

dateMay 11, 2015 in Space Exploration
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