Planetary Society Weblog
Planetary Society Weblog's Latest Posts
The cancellation was for NASA Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) that would have provided a new generation of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) based electrical power systems. ASRGs could have stretched NASA's limited supply of plutonium to potentially enable missions to the perpetually-shadowed polar craters on our moon, to flyby Uranus, or to float for months on a Titan lake.
Gliding smoothly through the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn continues to make good progress on its ambitious mission of exploration. It is patiently but persistently pursuing Ceres, the second destination on its interplanetary itinerary.
Next week is the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an enormous gathering of geoscientists of all varieties that occurs every year at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. AGU is putting increasing effort into making it possible to attend some sessions virtually, and press briefings will be webstreamed, too.
Just a quick update: Chang'e 3 successfully entered lunar orbit today at 09:53 UTC, after a 361-second lunar orbit insertion burn.
Decisions about both the 2014 and 2015 budgets are happening soon.
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