Here's what's been going on in the world of space news recently:
NASA announces multiyear Mars program
The Curiosity rover has been busily driving, scooping and analyzing material on the Red Planet, but there is lots more to be done on Mars. NASA has made plans for a new multiyear Mars exploration program, including the development of a new robotic science rover set to launch in 2020.
The development and design of the next rover will be based on the same architecture as Curiosity, keeping costs down while delivering it to Mars in a way that has already been shown to work.
NASA says the new mission is a significant step to ensure the United States maintains leadership in Red Planet exploration. The United States is determined to send Astronauts back to space sometime in the 2030s.
Including this one, there are seven NASA missions either under way or being planned to study Mars.
Scientists find Green Bean galaxies in space
Observations from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope detected an unusual bright green galaxy that displays the largest and brightest glowing regions ever seen in the universe.
“They are so huge and bright that they can be observed in great detail, despite their large distances,” according to a statement from the European Southern Observatory.
Researchers found 16 more galaxies with similar properties and gave the group of galaxies a new name based on their unusual appearance.
“This new class of galaxies has been nicknamed Green Bean galaxies because of their color and because they are superficially similar to, but larger than, green pea galaxies,” the statement added.
A new look at our planet at night
A NASA and NOAA satellite called Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership has revealed high-resolution images of our planet at night. Data from the new images shows light from natural and man-made objects on the globe in unprecedented detail. That's thanks to a sensor called the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS.
“Satellites in the U.S defense Meteorological Satellite program have been making observations with low-light sensors for 40 years, but the VIIRS day-night band can detect and resolve Earth’s night lights,” a NASA statement explained.
NOAA Weather Service’s forecast office in California uses VIIRS day-night band to improve monitoring and forecasting of dense fog and low clouds at high air traffic coastal airports such as San Francisco airport.
More cool images from VIIRS
CNN's Elizabeth Landau contributed to this report
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July 19thAtlas V launch of US DOD MUOS-2 satellite, notable for large "551" config of Atlas
Aug 3rdJapanese HTV-4 flight to ISS on cargo supply mission
Aug 14thSpaceX launch of Canadian satellite in the first launch from their new Vandenberg facility, and first launch of upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle
Aug 28thDelta IV Heavy launch of NROL-65 spy satellite
SeptemberSoyuz TMA-08M flight returning Expedition 36 crew from ISS to Earth (Kazakhstan)
Sept 12thOrbital Sciences maiden flight of Cygnus cargo vehicle on Antares rocket to ISS
Sept 25thSoyuz TMA-10M flight launching Expedition 38 crew to ISS
Dec 9thSpaceX Dragon launch by Falcon 9 v1.1 on CRS-3 cargo supply mission to ISS
recurringfirst powered test flights of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo commercial vehicle, to be used by Virgin Galactic for sub-orbital tourism