Solar Orbiter to provide first look at sun’s poles

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing to launch the Solar Orbiter on Sunday that will give a first-ever look of undiscovered parts of the star. (Feb. 7)

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Soyuz spacecraft undocks to return to earth | AFP

The Soyuz spacecraft undocks from the International Space Station to return to earth. On board are US astronaut Christina Koch, who has shattered the spaceflight record for female astronauts, and her colleagues Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency. IMAGES

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Record-breaking US astronaut set to return to Earth | AFP

American astronaut Christina Koch, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano are set to return to Earth from the International Space Station on Thursday. Koch will touch down in Kazakhstan after 328 days at the ISS as the holder of the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman. Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Skvortsov of Roscosmos are rounding off standard half-year missions. IMAGES

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Name revealed for Mars rover as UK commits to ESA post-Brexit

The result of a competition to name the European Space Agency’s new ExoMars rover is revealed as Rosalind Franklin after a 20th century female DNA pioneer . At the event Britain’s Minister for Space confirmed the UK will remain part of the ESA post-Brexit, a move welcomed by the ESA’s Director General.

ExoMars Schiaparelli module to land on Mars (Streamed live)

The ExoMars lander, Schiaparelli, is performing its six-minute descent towards Mars. An entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli will enter the atmosphere of the red planet, traveling at a speed of about 21,000kph (13,000mph). After its descent, the module is set to land near the Martian equator and deliver a science package that will operate on the surface of Mars for two to four ‘sols’ (Martian days). The ExoMars 2016 mission is a joint project of the European Space Agency and Russia’s Roscosmos.

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