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From source to sink: Meteorites from Mars have been known since the 1970’s, but researchers in Oslo, In Lyon, and at IAS have for the first time been able to identify the source crater for shergottites, the largest group of martian meteorites. The source region on Mars was probably impacted about 3 million years ago by a medium-size body, and the meteorites ended their space journey at the Earth’s surface a few thousand years ago.

The PLATO (Planetary Transits and Oscillations of stars) space-based observatory has been selected on the 19th of February by ESA’s Science Programme Committee for implementation as part of its Cosmic Vision 2015–25 Programme. This mission, planned for launch by 2024, will be able to search for planets orbiting alien stars and to characterize these stars.

Don Hassler became the new director of the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), on February 1st, 2014 for a 5-year term, succeeding Yves Langevin, who remains director of the Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de l’Université Paris-Sud (OSUPS). Don Hassler was previously science program director at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado, USA

After a 31 months hibernation phase, the ROSETTA spacecraft has woken up as scheduled on January 20th. After this critical milestone, the spacecraft will progressively get closer to the comet, then it will get into orbit (end of June) so as to map it and to select a landing site for the Philae lander, which will reach the surface of the nucleus in November. IAS has contributed to 3 experiments on board the orbiter and the lander.