Feb. 24, 2017

15: Organic material discovered on Ceres

15: Organic material discovered on Ceres

The Astronomy and Space Science News Podcast

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*Organic material discovered on Ceres 

Evidence of organic material has been found on the dwarf planet Ceres. A report in the journal science claims the detection by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft adds to a growing list of solar system bodies found to contain organic materials which are key building blocks for life as we know it. 

*NASA's Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase 

A mission to examine the habitability of Jupiter's ocean-bearing moon Europa is taking one step closer to the launch pad, with the completion of a major NASA review. The Europa mission spacecraft would launch in the 2020's, arriving in the Jupiter system several years later. 

*How to stop when we reach Alpha Centauri 

Scientists have worked out a way to slowdown and stop once spacecraft finally reach our nearest interstellar neighbour Alpha Centauri. In April last year, Russian physicist and billionaire Yuri Milner together with British scientist Steven Hawking announced the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative to fly a swarm of tiny spacecraft to the Alpha Centauri star system -- 4.37 light years away -- with in our lifetimes. 

*Ariane 5’s first launch this year 

The first Ariane 5 launch for 2017 has successfully blasted into orbit carrying two new telecommunications satellites. Arianespace flight VA235 launched from the European Space Agency’s Kourou spaceport in French Guiana into cloudy skies.

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