NASA's Curiosity rover lands on Mars

In an unparalleled technological triumph, a one-ton nuclear-powered rover the size of a small car was lowered to the surface of Mars on the end of a 25-foot-long bridle suspended from the belly of a rocket-powered flying crane late Sunday to kick off an unprecedented $2.5 billion mission.  Read more at Spaceflight Now.

Space firm says Canadian Mars plan won`t get off the ground

Canada`s contribution to ExoMars, two robotic Mars missions scheduled to begin in 2016, is nearly dead despite last-ditch efforts to salvage it.


NASA and the European Space Agency planned the missions together, but NASA backed out early this year to save money. With ESA scrambling to get Russia as a partner, the Canadian Space Agency hoped Canada`s role of building and using science instruments on the missions might survive.  Read more at

MDA Wins Contract to Build Mapping System for Asteroid Sample Return Mission

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) has been awarded a contract to build a sophisticated mapping system for a joint Canada-US mission to retrieve samples of an asteroid.

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry made the announcement today. "Our government has always been a strong supporter of the Canadian space sector, and this groundbreaking project will position the industry to take full advantage of future space and non-space opportunities," said Minister Paradis. "Canada has a proud legacy in space, and our government is ensuring that the sector can continue to create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians."   Read more at SpaceRef Canada.

Pure Methane Oceans On Titan

On Earth we are familiar with the Water Cycle, a process which defines all life here. But what if there was a similar cycle for other liquids - like methane perhaps? We may be a step closer to finding out. ESA has confirmed that the Cassini has found oceans and lakes of pure methane on its surface. Scientists had previously thought that sunlight would break down the methane, making for bodies of a mix of hydrocarbons, but this does not seem to be the case. Radar scans have mapped the northern hemisphere, which is dotted with these bodies of methane and seems to suggests at a complexe liquid system with methane wetlands, methane sludge ocean beds, a Methane Cycle, and even a climate influenced by this cycle on Titan. The Methane Cycle in particular allows for organic compounds to disolve. All these could result in an environment that is able to create life, but like as we cannot image; based on and composed of methane rather than water. One thing is for sure, there is a lot more going on on Titan than its simple appearance would have you believe.

Read more here!

OSIRIS-REx Scientists Measure Yarkovsky Effect

Scientists with the University of Arizona-led asteroid sample return mission OSIRIS-REx have measured the orbit of their destination asteroid, 1999 RQ36, with such accuracy they were able to directly determine the drift resulting from a subtle but important force called the Yarkovsky effect - the slight push created when the asteroid absorbs sunlight and re-emits that energy as heat.  Read more at Space Daily.


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Dwarf Planets
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Planetary Research

This category is intended for subjects such as general planetary research, analogue missions and technology development for use in the exploration of any planetary body.

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