“BBC News has an article detailing NASA’s replacement for the much-loved Hubble telescope. The $4.5 billion telescope will be placed in orbit 1.5 million km from Earth and will be almost three times the size of the Hubble. It is set to launch in 2013. They also plan to service the Hubble in 2008.”
“With the financial help of NASA, American and European researchers have developed a new sensor to check for life on Mars. It should also be able to determine if traces of life’s molecular building blocks have been produced by anything that was once alive. The device has been tested in the Atacama Desert in Chile. It should be part of the science payload for the ExoMars rover planned for launch in 2013.”
“Simultaneous warming on Earth and Mars suggests that our planet’s recent climate changes might have a natural â€” and not a human-induced â€” cause. Mars, it appears, has also been experiencing milder temperatures in recent years. In 2005 data from NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide ‘ice caps’ near Mars’s south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.”
dylanduck writes “Good news for rover fans – Spirit is safe for the winter. It had been heading for a north-tilting spot to make sure its solar panels got enough sunlight during the imminent winter to survive, when a sand trap appeared. But, despite its busted wheel, it scooted round and is now sitting pretty. From the article: ‘We’ve got a safe rover,’ says principal investigator Steve Squyres. ‘That’s huge news for us.’”
(Dec 23, 2005) NASA‘s Hubble Space Telescope has helped discover new rings and two small moons orbiting Uranus. The largest ring is twice the size of the planet’s previously known rings, and went undiscovered until now because they’re so far away from the planet. Scientists think that particles in these rings are slowly spiraling away from Uranus, so there must be some source constantly replenishing them with new material.