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2015 has seen few deep-space-craft launches, but 2016 is shaping up to be a banner year with three launches, followed quickly by a fourth in early 2017. All of the missions under development have reported significant milestones recently.
NASA has been vague about when the new mission to Europa will launch. There's a reason for that, and it's not just orbital mechanics.
NASA just announced the science instruments that will be used to understand the enigmatic ocean moon of Europa. The mission is planned to launch sometime in the early 2020s.
Fantastic new images of Ceres continue to spill out of the Dawn mission, and armchair scientists all over the world are zooming into them, exploring them, and trying to solve the puzzles that they contain.
The first of The Planetary Society’s two LightSail spacecraft is now in space following a late morning launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.