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Solar System: Top 5 Things to Know This Week

Solar System: Top 5 Things to Know This Week

It’s only Tuesday and this week is already filled with news about our solar system. Here are the top five things to know this week:

1) Mars!

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With five spacecraft in orbit and two rovers exploring the ground, there’s always something new and interesting about the Red Planet. Yesterday things got even more exciting when we released the most compelling evidence yet that liquid water sometimes flows on Mars today.

2) HTV-5 Cargo Ship

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On Monday, the HTV-5 cargo ship was released from the International Space Station to burn up as it reenters Earth’s atmosphere. The HTV-5 carried a variety of experiments and supplies to the space station, and was docked for five weeks.

3) Pluto Continues to Excite

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If you haven’t been keeping up with the weekly releases of newly downloaded pictures from our New Horizons spacecraft, you are definitely missing out. But don’t worry, we have you covered. The latest updates can be found HERE, be sure to follow along as new information is released. More images are scheduled to be featured on Oct. 1.

4) Cassini Mission

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This week on Sept. 30, our Cassini spacecraft will reach the closest point to Saturn in it’s latest orbit around the planet. Just to put things in perspective, that will be Cassini’s 222nd orbit around Saturn! Learn more about this mission HERE.

5) What Happened to Mars’ Atmosphere?

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Believe it or not, the Martian atmosphere we see today used to be much more substantial many years ago. What happened? Our Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft has been in orbit around Mars for one Earth year, searching for the answers. Learn more HERE.

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