Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
Welcome to my monthly inventory of the 20-plus spacecraft actively exploring our solar system. Highlights of this month include the impending launch of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander, currently planned for March 14, and the resumption of regular VMC Mars images by Mars Express.
Europe's second mission to Mars has begun its journey from its birthplace in Cannes to its planned arrival at Mars on October 19. Since December 17 we've been able to watch every step of its journey via Twitter.
There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.
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.
Valerie Fox reports from the 8th International Conference on Mars on the habitability of the Red Planet.
NASA’s Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG) recently reviewed plans by Europe, the Japanese, and NASA for future Mars exploration. The prognosis is for another exciting decade of Mars exploration.
The European Space Agency announced yesterday a significant milestone in the development of the next Mars mission: the core module of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has been delivered.
Roscosmos has ambitious planetary exploration plans in the coming decades, including a series of solo lunar missions and joint missions to Mars with the European Space Agency.
Bruce Betts reports on the status of the current and future Mars program and on acronyms from a meeting of NASA's MEPAG (Mars Exploration Analysis Program Analysis Group).
Congratulations to the Mars Climate Sounder team on winning a spot for a successor instrument aboard the next Mars orbiter, the joint NASA-ESA ExoMars, set to launch in 2016.
One of the instruments on a 2016 mission to orbit Mars will provide daily maps of global, pole-to-pole, vertical distributions of the temperature, dust, water vapor and ice clouds in the Martian atmosphere.