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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Our solar system is huge, let us break it down for you. Here are a few things to know this week:

1. The New New Horizons

Seven months after the  Pluto flyby, information and discoveries continue to flow from the New Horizons mission, as the spacecraft transmits more and more data to scientists on Earth.

2. A Longlasting Dawn

The Dawn orbiter is in good health as it carries out the ongoing reconnaissance of the dwarf planet Ceres, which is revealing some spectacular and mysterious landscapes.

3. Storm Watch: Saturn

This week the Cassini spacecraft will be watching for storms in Saturn’s turbulent atmosphere. On March 6, it will spend about 14 hours acquiring a movie of the narrow, braided F ring. Check out some past photos of Saturnian storms HERE.

4. The Next Flight to Mars Departs Soon

The ExoMars 2016 mission, a joint endeavor between the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is set to lift off in March. The 2016 mission consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module. We’re supplying some of the technology that will fly aboard the orbiter. In 2018, the ExoMars rover is slated to follow.

5. Early Encounter with a Comet

As we continue to marvel at the latest images from Rosetta, this week is a good time to remember the 30th anniversary of the Vega 1 Comet Halley flyby. This Russian spacecraft dropped off a balloon probe at Venus before continuing on to the comet, which is photographed and examined at close range by flying through its coma.

Want to learn more? Read our full list of the 10 things to know this week about the solar system HERE.

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Source: NASA

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

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