Cassini will be flying just past the edge of Saturn’s main rings. These close passes by the rings are called “Ring-Grazing Orbits,” during which Cassini will come within 90,000 kilometres (56,000 miles) of Saturn itself. Cassini will also use the gravitational pull of Titan to help do this, by passing close to the large moon. Titan’s gravity can affect the spacecraft’s direction and speed as it moves in closer to Saturn.
A company named Sky Canvas plans to launch a colorful artificial meteor shower barrage via micro-satellite.
In the ‘strange but true department’ and a plan that would make any super-villain envious, a Japanese start-up plans to shoot meteoroids at the Earth to create the first orchestrated artificial meteor shower.
“Nextbigfuture – The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is a planned space telescope for NASA’s Explorers program, designed to search for exoplanets using the transit method. It is planned for launch in December 2017.
The primary mission objective for TESS is to survey the brightest stars near the Earth for transiting exoplanets over a two-year period. The TESS project will use an array of wide-field cameras to perform an all-sky survey. With TESS, it will be possible to study the mass, size, density and orbit of a large cohort of small planets, including a sample of rocky worlds in the habitable zones of their host stars. TESS will provide prime targets for further characterization by the James Webb Space Telescope, as well as other large ground-based and space-based telescopes of the future.
Nextbigfuture – The SpaceX satellite constellation is a development project underway by SpaceX to develop a low-cost, high-performance satellite bus and requisite customer ground transceivers to be used to implement a new space-based internet communication system.
SpaceX has plans to also sell satellites that use the same satellite bus, satellites that might be used for scientific or exploratory purposes
Development began in 2015, initial prototype test-flight satellites are expected to be flown in 2017, and initial operation of the constellation could begin as early as 2020.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.