Massimo Luciani

Photo of Enceladus' northern region showing the contrast between its areas (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

Some days ago, the Cassini space probe completed its last Enceladus flyby. It’s a Saturn’s moon very interesting for the presence of an underground ocean of liquid water. This time, Cassini passed about 5,000 kilometers (about 3,100 miles) from Enceladus measuring the heat flow from inside it and taking more pictures of its icy surface.

The Falcon 9 rocket blasting off with 11 ORBCOMM satellites (Image courtesy SpaceX. All rights reserved)

The new version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral in its return to the activity after the June 28, 2015 mishap. It was carrying 11 satellites ORBCOMM, part of the OG2 mission. A secondary objective was the new controlled landing test of the rocket’s first stage, which for the first time had to reach the mainland. The mission was a triumph with the success in the landing and the satellites deployment.

The Progress MS-1 space cargo ship blasting off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the Progress MS-1 spaceship blasted off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After about ten minutes it separated successfully from the rocket’s last stage and and got in route. This is the latest evolution of the Progress space freighter which began the resupply mission to the International Space Station also referred to as Progress 62. The spacecraft was launched on the route that requires a two-day journey.

The area called "Bridger Basin" that includes the target for the Mars Rover Curiosity's research called "Big Sky" and "Greenhorn" (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

The Mars Rover Curiosity has been finding many rocks rich in silica, a compound formed from silicon and oxygen, in an area of ​​Mount Sharp on Mars that it’s been exploring for some months. A few months ago the discovery of that kind of rocks was a surprise, so much so that mission managers changed the Curiosity’s research schedule to perform further analyzes. That decision led to the discovery of other silica-rick rocks and to further studies to try to explain their presence.