Space exploration rarely gives second chances, but the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took advantage of a big one today. The Agency has confirmed that its Akatsuki space probe has successfully made it into orbit around the planet Venus on its second attempt. The first try was way back on December 7, 2010, when a malfunction of the main engine sent the spacecraft back into orbit around the Sun.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft has begun the process of transferring to its fourth and final mapping orbit, as it continues its mission around the dwarf planet Ceres. Dawn initially made orbit around Ceres on Mar. 6, and since then has provided us with increasingly detailed images and data, unlocking many of the mysteries harbored by the enigmatic celestial body.
Having already provided us with numerous insights into the nature of the dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft is ready to move into a new, lower mapping orbit, which will provide the most detailed views so far.
A team of researchers
from MIT and Aarhus University, Denmark, have discovered that
Earth-sized exoplanets orbit their parent stars in the same way that
our planet orbits our own Sun – maintaining a roughly equidistant
circular orbit. The discovery further narrows the characteristics of
worlds that could potentially play host to extraterrestrial life.