After an 8-day journey, Russia successfully upgraded its capabilities on the International Space Station after its new Nauka module successfully docked. This module will serve as a research lab, storage unit and airlock. After launching from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome last week, the module encountered several issues, including a series of glitches that raised concerns about the docking procedure. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Radbound University / ESO
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which merges dozens of widely dispersed radio dishes, from Hawaii to Greenland and the South Pole, has captured a breathtaking image of a black hole jet in Centaurus A. The massive virtual telescope essentially points a large number of dishes at a celestial object at the same time and carefully time stamps the data from each one with an atomic clock. Researchers later reassemble it with giant computing clusters. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: RG123
Ever wonder what Buzz Aldrin saw when Neil Armstrong captured this famous photograph during the Apollo 11 mission? If so, then one visual effects artist also wanted to see the result, so the lunar vista reflected in his helmet was ‘unwrapped’, resulting in a 360-degree astronaut’s-eye panoramic view of the Moon. To be more specific, this image was taken in July, 1969 when Aldrin stood near the leg of the Eagle lunar module. Read more for the full image and additional information.
Photo credit: NASA / Gaia
An asteroid (2008 GO20) the size of the Giza pyramid / Taj Mahal that stands between 318-720 feet tall (220 meters) is set to zip by Earth today and it’s hurtling through space at 18,000 miles per hour. Researchers state it may come as close as 2.8 million miles to Earth, which places it in the “Apollo,” the term used for near-Earth designation. NASA is closely monitoring the asteroid’s progress, but considering the moon is 238,855 miles away, there’s not too much to worry about. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA officially awarded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) a $178-million contract for Earth’s first mission to conduct detailed investigations of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Called the Europa Clipper mission, it’s set to launch in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once Europa Clipper reaches the moon, it will conduct a detailed survey and use a suite of science instruments to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s InSight spacecraft may have landed on Mars in 2018, but the rovers and orbiters studying the Red Planet concentrated on its surface still provide valuable data today. More specifically, the stationary lander’s seismometer, which gives us the first details on the depth and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle, as well as core, including confirmation that the planet’s center is molten. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is making final preparations to collect its first-ever Martian rock sample, which will be transported back to Earth on future planned missions. It’s currently searching for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough,” and the mission is expected to begin within the next two weeks. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Nicknamed the “Most Vertical Watch”, this Seiko A829-6019 Astronaut Sports 100 Alarm Chronograph was worn by NASA astronaut Kathy Sullivan on both STS-41G and STS-31 space missions, as well as on her descent to the bottom of Challenger Deep. This piece of history recently sold for $21,420 USD at a Sotheby’s auction and comes complete with a typed provenance letter signed by Kathy Sullivan on her letterhead, an olive drab elastic band, and is stamped and numbered “333293 / water resistant 10014 stainless steel” on the underside. Read more for additional pictures and information.
NASA’s Juno successfully completed its 34th flyby of Jupiter on June 7, 2021, while also flying closer by the ice-encrusted moon Ganymede than any spacecraft in more than two decades. So, the agency compiled the JunoCam images it captured into a breathtaking animation that provides a “starship captain” point of view of each flyby. These images were then orthographically projected onto a digital sphere and used to create the flyby animation. Read more for the video and additional information.
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft will not only feature a time-capsule featuring messages to future civilizations in the form of a plaque, but it will also be the first-ever mission to the Trojan asteroids. It aims to survey this mysterious group of small bodies that orbit the Sun beyond the main asteroid belt. They are trapped by Jupiter and the Sun so that they have led and followed the heavenly body in its orbit. Read more for a video about the mission and additional information.