After a successful launch in May 5, 2018 the Insight mission sent to Mars to explore Mars’ interior structure is planned to land on November 26, 2018. The interesting part is the mission landing will be monitored by two cube satellites that were launched with Insight and have been traveling on their own since the launch as show in the launch video below. The landing can be watched live on Nov. 26, 2018.
On December 15, 2016 NASA successfully launched 8 small satellites by releasing a rocket from an airplane. The 8 satellites form the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) for tracking and studying the inside of tropical storms and hurricanes.
This step of releasing a rocket from an airplane is part of cutting costs.
The following video by NASA’s Scientific Visualization Center simulates the Martian atmosphere being striped by incoming solar wind.
More videos and images can be found here.
Mars is a cold and barren desert today, but scientists think that in the ancient past it was warm and wet. The loss of the early Martian atmosphere may have led to this dramatic change, and one of the prime suspects is the solar wind. Unlike Earth, Mars lacks a global magnetic field to deflect the stream of charged particles continuously blowing off the Sun. Instead, the solar wind crashes into the Mars upper atmosphere and can accelerate ions into space. Now, for the first time, NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft has observed this process in action – by measuring the speed and direction of ions escaping from Mars. This data visualization compares simulations of the solar wind and Mars atmospheric escape with new measurements taken by MAVEN.
On October 28, 2015, Charles Elachi, the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of Lebanese origins, announced his intent to retire by June 2016 to become a professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
The following video includes Elachi’s announcement as well as an amazing summary of 15 years worth ofachievements at JPL & NASA
Full story @ JPL NASA