NASA has published a series of images captured by its TESS space telescope’s cameras. These are the first scientific images, that in jargon are called the first light, obtained on August 7, 2018 after the instrument testing period and show the southern sky. The images portray an amount of stars and other objects among which systems where exoplanets were already found. However, the main goal is to discover new exoplanets.
A little while ago, NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite blasted off atop a Delta II 7420-10C rocket from the Vandenberg base. After almost 55 minutes it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and entered its almost polar and almost circular orbit at an altitude of 496 kilometers (308 miles), from where it will study glaciers but also the rest of the territory.
NASA has published an image captured by its New Horizons space probe in which its LORRI instrument detected Ultima Thule, the Kuiper belt object – but there may be two objects and/or a moon – that represents its next target for a flyby scheduled for New Year’s Day 2019. When the 48 photos combined in the image were taken, on August 16, 2018, New Horizons was still about 172 million kilometers (107 million miles) from Ultima Thule and being able to identify its target is positive because mission managers can start assessing any adjustments to the probe’s course.
On August 25, 2003, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II rocket. Its primary mission lasted 2.5 years and its success led to a series of extensions even after it ran out of the liquid helium it had on board that was used to keep some instruments at very low temperatures, which determined the end of their use.
A little while ago, the Parker Solar Probe was launched atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from the Cape Canaveral base. After a little more than 43 minutes, it successfully separated from the rocket’s last stage and went en route to slowly approach the Sun to study it closely.