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COROT | DAWN | GALEX | INTEGRAL | Mars Express | MESSENGER | Mars Exploration Rovers
Mars Odyssey | MRO | New Horizons | Planck | Rosetta | SOFIA | THEMIS | Venus Express | WISE | XMM Newton
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Mission News Gallery | Mars Missions Gallery | Cassini Mission Gallery

The Scientific Frontline® Mission page is simple to navigate. Select your mission from the page bookmarks, the previous button will take you back one article within that mission. On each article page you will be able to navigate back and forward through the mission. When you have read the last article in that mission, the back button will return you to this page.

Current Top Article
COROT is a CNES project with ESA participation. The other major partners in this mission are Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain.
COROT started its science mission

Feb. 09, 2007
COROT, the satellite to probe into the interiors of stars and to look for extra-solar planets, has completed its in-orbit verification and started its science observations on 3 February this year.
Dawn is to become the first spacecraft ever planned to orbit two different bodies after leaving Earth, will orbit Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids in the solar system.
The Prius of Space

Sept. 13, 2007
"Dawn will be history's first mission to go out into the solar system, orbit and explore a distant body, and then go on to a totally different celestial body and explore that one," said Dawn project manager Keyur Patel of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "To do all that you need a spacecraft with a lot under the hood."
Mapping the history of star formation in the universe.
A Real Shooting Star
Galaxy Evolution Explorer Celebrates Five Years in Space

Apr. 28, 2008
Since its launch five years ago, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) has photographed hundreds of millions of galaxies in ultraviolet light. M106 is one of those galaxies, and from 22 light years away, it strikes a pose in blue and gold for this new commemorative portrait. The galaxy's extended arms are the blue filaments that curve around its edge, creating its outer disk.
The International Gamma Ray Astrophysics Laboratory (Integral) is the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory ever launched.
Integral locates origin of high-energy emission from Crab Nebula
Faint gamma-ray bursts do actually exist

Oct. 13, 2008
Gamma-ray bursts, powerful glares of high-energy that wash through the Universe once every day or so are, for a brief time, the brightest objects in the gamma-ray sky. ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory has observed several low-luminosity gamma-ray bursts, confirming the existence of an entire population of weaker bursts hardly noticed so far.
Mars Express
Mars Express, so called because of the rapid and streamlined development time, represents ESA's first visit to another planet in the Solar System.
Mars Express observes aurora on the Red Planet
Mars Express zeros in on erosion features

Mar. 19, 2009
Mars Express has uncovered geological evidence suggesting that some dispositional process, revealed by erosion, has been at work on large scales in the equatorial regions of the planet. If so, this would provide another jigsaw piece to be fitted into the emerging picture of Mars’ past climate.
The evidence comes from the mineralogical composition of the Aram Chaos region, a crater 280 km in diameter lying almost directly on the Martian equator.
The MESSENGER mission, spacecraft, and science instruments are focused on answering six key outstanding questions that will allow us to better understand Mercury as a planet.
Mercury Features Receive New Names
Second Group of Mercury Craters Named

Nov. 27, 2008
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) recently approved a proposal from the MESSENGER Science Team to name 15 craters on Mercury. All of the newly named craters were imaged during the mission’s first flyby of the solar system’s innermost planet in January 2008. The IAU has been the arbiter of planetary and satellite nomenclature since its inception in 1919.
The Mars Exploration Rover mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet.
Shoulder Motor Balks on Opportunity's Robotic Arm
Five Years on Mars

Dec. 31, 2008
The rovers have made important discoveries about wet and violent environments on ancient Mars. They also have returned a quarter-million images, driven more than 13 miles, climbed a mountain, descended into craters, struggled with sand traps and aging hardware, survived dust storms, and relayed more than 36 gigabytes of data via NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. To date, the rovers remain operational for new campaigns the team has planned for them.
Mars Odyssey
This orbiter is mapping the mineralogy and morphology of the Martian surface.
NASA Orbiter Finds Possible Cave Skylights on Mars
NASA's Mars Odyssey Shifting Orbit for Extended Mission

Oct. 10, 2008
The longest-serving of six spacecraft now studying Mars is up to new tricks for a third two-year extension of its mission to examine the most Earthlike of known foreign planets. NASA's Mars Odyssey is altering its orbit to gain even better sensitivity for its infrared mapping of Martian minerals. During the mission extension through September 2010, it will also point its camera with more flexibility than it has ever used before. Odyssey reached Mars in 2001.
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched August 12, 2005, is on a search for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time.
MRO Detects Buried Glaciers on Mars
NASA Orbiter Finds Martian Rock Record With 10 Beats to the Bar

Dec. 05, 2008
Climate cycles persisting for millions of years on ancient Mars left a record of rhythmic patterns in thick stacks of sedimentary rock layers, revealed in three-dimensional detail by a telescopic camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Researchers using the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera report the first measurement of a periodic signal in the rocks of Mars.
New Horizons
New Horizons began its journey across the solar system to conduct flyby studies of Pluto and its moon.
NASA Spacecraft Sees Changes in Jupiter System

Oct. 09, 2007
New Horizons used Jupiter's gravity to boost its speed and shave three years off its trip to Pluto. Although the eighth spacecraft to visit Jupiter, New Horizons' combination of trajectory, timing and technology allowed it to explore details never before observed.
Planck will make the most accurate maps yet of the microwave background radiation that fills space. It will be sensitive to temperature variations of a few millionths of a degree
Planck sees tapestry of cold dust
Planck highlights the complexity of star formation

Apr. 26, 2010
New images from ESA's Planck space observatory reveal the forces driving star formation and give astronomers a way to understand the complex physics that shape the dust and gas in our Galaxy. Star formation takes place hidden behind veils of dust but that doesn’t mean we can’t see through them.
Rosetta Mission
Rosetta will orbit comet 67P and accompany it on its journey to the Sun.
Rosetta And New Horizons Watch Jupiter In Joint Campaign

Mar. 30, 2007
ESA's Rosetta and NASA's New Horizons are working together in their joint campaign to observe Jupiter. A preliminary analysis of the data from Rosetta's Alice ultraviolet spectrometer indicates that the data quality is excellent and that good science is expected to follow.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy--or SOFIA--is an airborne observatory that will complement the Hubble, Spitzer, Herschel and James Webb space telescopes,
NASA Awards SOFIA Development, Engineering to L-3 Communications
SOFIA Airborne Observatory Begins Flight Test Phase

Oct. 12, 2007
NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, has begun a series of flight tests intended to confirm the structural integrity and performance of the highly modified Boeing 747SP aircraft.
The 2-year mission of Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions During Substorms (THEMIS) is to track these violent, colorful eruptions near the North Pole.
Launch Week Arrives for THEMIS
Launch Week Arrives for THEMIS

Feb. 12, 2007
On Feb. 3, THEMIS was transported from Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA Kennedy Space Center to Pad 17-B. The five satellites and their rocket were then subjected to a combined systems check to ensure everything is ready for the flight into space on launch day. Following the test, technicians installed the Delta II rocket's protective payload nose fairing around THEMIS.
Venus Express
Venus Express is a follow on from the Mars Express mission. Many of the instruments on the mission are simply upgraded versions of those on the Mars Express platform.
How windy is it on Venus? Venus Express answers
Watching Venus glow in the dark

Feb. 25, 2009
ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has observed an eerie glow in the night-time atmosphere of Venus. This infrared light comes from nitric oxide and is showing scientists that the atmosphere of Earth’s nearest neighbor is a temperamental place of high winds and turbulence.
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, will scan the entire sky in infrared light, picking up the glow of hundreds of millions of objects and producing millions of images.
How windy is it on Venus? Venus Express answers
NASA's WISE Mission Releases Medley of First Images

Nov. 14, 2008
X-ray and gamma-ray data from ESA’s XMM-Newton and Integral orbiting observatories has been used to test, for the first time, the physical processes that make magnetars, an atypical class of neutron stars, shine in X-rays. Neutron stars are remnants of massive stars (10-50 times as massive as our Sun) that have collapsed on to themselves under their own weight.
The Mirror Modules on this x-ray observatory allow XMM-Newton to detect millions of sources, far more than any previous X-ray mission
XMM-Newton calls for help!
XMM-Newton and Integral clues on magnetic powerhouses

Nov. 14, 2008
X-ray and gamma-ray data from ESA’s XMM-Newton and Integral orbiting observatories has been used to test, for the first time, the physical processes that make magnetars, an atypical class of neutron stars, shine in X-rays. Neutron stars are remnants of massive stars (10-50 times as massive as our Sun) that have collapsed on to themselves under their own weight.

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