NASA confirmed that its space probe Dawn regularly entered the dwarf planet Ceres’ orbit. It was at an altitude of about 61,000 kilometers (about 38,000 miles) when it was captured by the Ceres’ gravity. This happened yesterday but Dawn was on the hidden side of the dwarf planet when it entered its orbit. The consequence is that it took a bit before the probe reached a position where it could transmit data to Earth.
After the flyby performed a few weeks ago, the Rosetta space probe moved away from the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and was able to observe its increasing activity. In late February, from a distance between 80 and 100 km (from 50 to 52 miles) its Navigation Camera (NAVCAM) instrument took several photographs that ESA processed to make the best observations of the jets of steam and dust emitted by the comet.
The Mars Rover Curiosity’s activity was temporarily stopped due to an electrical anomaly that happened on February 27, 2015. During the transfer of dust samples just taken from a drill using the robotic arm, the fault protection system was triggered. The telemetry data sent by Curiosity indicated that there was a short circuit and for this reason its activity was stopped.
The events took place on February 3, 2015, but the US Air Force disclosed them only a few days ago. DMSP-F13 (Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 13), the oldest military meteorological satellite constellation still in use, apparently exploded producing a series of fragments following a sudden spike of temperature with subsequent loss of control.
Yesterday, Commander Barry Wilmore and astronaut Terry Virts completed the third spacewalk in eight days to install various new equipment on the International Space Station. They’re part of the system called C2V2 (Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles) that will serve to allow the docking of the new private spacecraft that will enter service in a few years.