Solar System Exploration
Last updated 15 weeks ago
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Spacecraft and Instruments
New Horizons Spacecraft and Instruments - Spacecraft instruments are selected to meet a mission's science goals. On New Horizons, for example, NASA set out a list of things it (and the planetary science community) wanted to know about Pluto: What is its atmosphere made of, and how does it behave? What does the surface of Pluto look like? Are there big geological structures? How do particles ejected from the sun (known as the solar wind) interact with Pluto's atmosphere?
Europa's Stunning Surface
Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in a newly-reprocessed colour view, made from images taken by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. The view was previously released as a mosaic with lower resolution and strongly enhanced colour. To create this new version, the images were assembled into a realistic colour view of the surface that approximates how Europa would appear to the human eye.
Controlling the ISS
Attitude and altitude are important factors for flying a spaceship. But How do you control the International Space Station, a ship the size of a US football field (or five hockey rinks — a better reference for Canadians!)? And where does this happen? Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield answers these questions from inside the ISS.
A cosmic hurricane
The giant planet Saturn is home to some of the most bizarre weather in our Solar System, such as the swirling storm shown in this Cassini view. Known as “the hexagon”, this weather feature is an intense, six-sided jet stream at Saturn’s north pole. Spanning some 30 000 km across, it hosts howling 320 km/h winds that spiral around a massive storm rotating anticlockwise at the heart of the region.