Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Unmanned Spacecraft

New Horizons to Ultima Thule

After public voting, the distant object in the Kuiper Belt, officially named 2014 MU69, has been given the nickname of Ultima Thule.

Image Awakens

NASA’s spacecraft IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) was launched in 2000 to study Earth’s magnetosphere. It mysteriously went silent in 2005, ending its mission.

Send Your Name to the Sun

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will be launched in the summer of 2018. Its mission is to go where no spacecraft has gone before.

CME Warning Spacecraft

The solar wind is a stream of electrically charged atomic particles continuously flowing outward from the Sun in all directions.

Voyagers

Voyager 1 is currently 13 billion miles from Earth and still traveling. NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft is the only spacecraft that reached interstellar space.

UKube-1 Completes Mission

The United Kingdom is the miniature space tech pioneer. The United Kingdom space program, called the UK Space Agency, developed the first CubeSat called UKube-1.

Enceladus Revisited

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn is revisiting the icy moon Enceladus. Scientists are trying to figure out the history of this unusual moon.

Hedgehog Robots

A new type of robotic lander that can roll and hop has been created to function in the microgravity of comets and asteroids.

Asteroid Impact Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) is planning a mission to use new technologies on asteroids for future deep space missions and planetary defense called Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM).

Spacecraft at Dwarf Planets

Two spacecraft will reach their destinations this year. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, launched on September 27, 2007, will reach the dwarf planet Ceres, located in the asteroid belt.

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