Universe Today – engineers at JPL sent commands across 14 billion kilometers (9 billion miles) out to Voyager 2, enabling it to switch to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. This will reduce the amount of power that the 34-year-old probe needs to operate, giving it better “gas mileage” and — hopefully — the power to operate for at least another decade. Voyager 2 will save about 11.8 watts of electric power by turning off the heater that kept the hydrazine fuel to the primary thrusters warm.
How do Phobos and Deimos compare as far as their fitness for people like us and the stuff we require, like communication with Earth? Would you choose to land your lander in the same place as the experts? Nextbigfuture covers Lockheed’ Martin’s analysis.
Does anybody else remember that movie What Lies Beneath? What a twist ending.
What lies beneath Europa’s icy shell may not cause you to jump out of your seat in fear, but may cause you to do so out of excitement. Liquid water! Interacting with the ice! In a way that could be good for biological things! Nextbigfuture covers the NASA release.
Check out SpaceX’s new launch schedule, courtesy of nextbigfuture. In case you were wondering, the Falcon Heavy will launch late in 2012, and an inflatable space station will likely launch in 2015.