Italian radar satellite, European exoplanet telescope to launch on Soyuz next year
The Italian government has decided to launch two next-generation radar reconnaissance satellites on Soyuz and Vega rockets from French Guiana, and a European Space Agency telescope to study the structures of planets around other stars will likely ride to orbit as a co-passenger on one of the missions.
NASA to have limited role in SpaceX’s planned Mars campaign
Expertise, input and advice from seasoned NASA engineers will improve SpaceX’s chances of nailing the first commercial landing on Mars as soon as late 2018, a senior space agency official said Wednesday, but Elon Musk’s space transport company will likely seek more independence from U.S. government support on later expeditions to the red planet.
NASA spells out support for SpaceX’s Red Dragon Mars mission
If SpaceX is able to dispatch a robotic Dragon capsule to land on the red planet in 2018 on time and successfully, engineers stand to get a lesson on what it will take to eventually send humans there, capturing key data on an untested Mars landing scheme a decade sooner than NASA could do it, space agency officials said this week.