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Jupiter as seen by the Juno spacecraft. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's InSight lander on Mars and the Juno orbiter at Jupiter have new leases on life.

Why it matters: The spacecraft are expected to continue gathering data about their respective planetary targets during their newly extended missions, allowing scientists to learn more about seismic activity on Mars and turn their attention to the moons of Jupiter.

Where it stands: Juno's mission has been extended to September 2025 or whenever its life ends with a crash into Jupiter's atmosphere.

  • InSight will continue its mission to study Mars' geology and seismic activity from the Martian surface through December 2022.

What's next: Both missions are expected to make good use of their extended time at Jupiter and Mars.

  • InSight's extra two years will see the spacecraft collect more data on marsquakes to help create a long-term dataset that scientists can refer to for years to come, according to NASA.
  • Juno will broaden the scope of its studies to observe Jupiter's rings and moons including flybys of Ganymede, Europa and Io.

The big picture: NASA often extends the missions of its satellites and spacecraft in space if they're functioning well and still beaming home useful data.

  • The Mars Opportunity rover, for example, landed on Mars in 2004 for a 90-day mission, but the little spacecraft managed to keep roaming the Red Planet for nearly 15 years, after being granted multiple extended missions.

Go deeper

36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.