What’s Up in Solar System Exploration

(Planetary Blogs) – Emily Lakdawalla:

November will be a huge month for the Cassini Saturn orbiter: it’s rapidly circling Saturn in 8- or 9-day orbits, setting up for a November 29 encounter with Titan that will shoot it much closer to Saturn, into a new orbit that takes it just outside Saturn’s main ring system. It’s the beginning of the end for the mission, but also the beginning of awesome new science. November was also supposed to be the beginning of awesome new science for Juno, but they have had to delay the beginning of their science mission because of engine and computer problems. Meanwhile, ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter is going to acquire its first science data, just a taste for the science instruments before they begin their aerobraking phase. And here on Earth, two important weather spacecraft, Himawari-9 and GOES-R, should be getting off the ground, while China debuts its Long March 5 rocket. …

emily-lakdawalla 2016/11010918

Solar system missions 2016-11

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