More and more awesome photos are starting to arrive from New Horizons after its July swing by Pluto. Here’s a great “synthetic perspective” made from a few different photos: There are some awesome closeups in this batch and a good shot of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon (largest dwarf moon?), with a huge ridge or canyon down the equator. It’s reminiscent of the equatorial ridge on Iapetus. Source
We’ve waited ten long years since Rosetta launched but finally, after flybys of Earth (three times), Mars and other asteroids, Rosetta will finally reach the Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet tomorrow. It’s already pretty close (as seen by pictures it’s sending back) but it will officially decelerate into orbit around the comet which is a first for humanity. After mapping the surface for a while, it’ll achieve another first by sending the air-conditioner sized Philae lander towards the comet which should be able to grapple onto the surface and send back data about the general make up of the comet.
Yesterday evening Elon Musk presented the next generation of the SpaceX Dragon 2 module; the top part that actually makes it to the space station and back. The existing Dragon module has already delivered cargo to the ISS three times, splashing down in the ocean after reentry and descent via parachute. The new Dragon 2 module is a step beyond that. It should descend through the atmosphere, slowed only by friction until it lights reentry and landing rockets (the SuperDraco rockets namedropped in the presentation video), slowing the craft until it comes to a comfy stop on the ground.