Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J.D. Gammell
Unlike other rovers, NASA’s DuAxel consists of two-wheeled rovers, each called Axel. How does it work? The rover stops, lowers its chassis and anchors it to the ground before separating into two halves. When the rear half locks firmly in place, the forward half undocks and rolls away on a single axle. A tether connects the two, but unspools as the lead axle approaches the hazard and rappels down the slope, using instruments stowed in its wheel hub to study inaccessible terrain on Mars and beyond. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
NASA’s Juno mission has captured countless images of Jupiter, and what better way to make use of them than by creating a breathtaking time-lapse video? To accomplish this, scientist Kevin M. Gill used data from the spacecraft’s JunoCam instrument as it performed its 27th close flyby of Jupiter on June 2, 2020. Juno officially entered a polar orbit of Jupiter on July 5, 2016 to begin a scientific investigation of the planet, and once complete, the spacecraft will be intentionally deorbited into the planet’s atmosphere. Read more for the video and additional information.
Humans will most likely never be able to visit the center of our Milky Way galaxy, but thanks to NASA, we can still explore it. Telescopes enables us to view the Galactic Center in different types of light, and by translating the inherently digital data captured by telescopes in space into images, astronomers create visual representations that would otherwise be invisible to us. Now if you want to hear this data, the process is called sonification, which translates the ones and zeroes into sound. Read more for a video and additional information.
The European Space Agency’s CHEOPS (Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite) was launched back in December and it officially began science observations this past April. It wasn’t designed specifically for locating alien exoplanets, but it did manage to find WASP-189b. This bizarre planet is classified superhot, so much so that it gives off a blue glow, while orbiting its star in just 2.7 Earth days. Read more for two videos about CHEOPS and additional information.
Photo credit: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group partnered with construction technology company ICON, SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) and NASA to develop “Project Olympus,” a space-based construction system that could support future exploration of the Moon. The main goal is to ensure the safety of astronauts and to do so, the team believes that 3D printing with indigenous materials is the best way to go. This will not only offer a practical solution, but also prove to be critically vital to human survival both Earth and in space. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Riess (STScI/JHU) and the SH0ES team; acknowledgment: M. Zamani (ESA/Hubble)
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured an incredible photo of a fading supernova, or in scientific terms, the self-detonation of a star. What you’re looking at is the spiral galaxy NGC 2525, located 70 million light-years away. The time-lapse sequence that you’re about to see spans nearly a year, and the supernova first appears as a blazing star located on the galaxy’s outer edge, outshining the brightest stars in the galaxy before fading out of sight. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA is currently testing their first new space toilet in decades, or to be more specific a $23-million titanium device that’s set to blast off late Thursday from Wallops Island, Virginia, to the ISS. Weighing just 100-pounds and measuring 28-inches tall, it’s approximately half as large as the two Russian-built toilets at the space station now. It’s more compact to fit into the NASA Orion capsules that will carry astronauts to the moon in a few years. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Steve Lee, Univ. Colorado/Jim Bell, Cornell Univ./Mike Wolff, SSI/NASA
Scientists published new research today in the journal Nature Astronomy that indicates the evidence of a buried reservoir of super-salty water near the south pole Mars, thus vastly improving the likelihood that the planet might harbor microscopic life of its own. This underground “lake” of liquid water pooled beneath frozen layers of sediment near the Martian south pole, similar to the subglacial lakes found beneath the Antarctic and the Greenland ice sheets on Earth. Read more for a video and additional information.
Mission: Impossible actor Tom Cruise is officially going to space in October 2021 to either shoot an entire movie or a part of one in space. Universal Pictures hired director Doug Liman, whom he worked with on Edge of Tomorrow, to be the director of this upcoming film. Both Tom Cruise and Doug Liman will be transported on a Crew Dragon capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, with Michael Lopez-Alegria at the controls. Read more for two videos and additional information.
On future space missions, NASA will utilize a combination of laser sensors, a camera, a high-speed computer, and sophisticated algorithms to give spacecraft artificial eyes and analytical capability to find a designated landing area, identify potential hazards, as well as adjust course to the safest touchdown site. These technologies are all a part of the Safe and Precise Landing – Integrated Capabilities Evolution (SPLICE) project that will allow spacecraft to avoid boulders, craters, and more within designated landing areas. Read more for a video and additional information.