Thursday, April 25, 2024

Short Takes – 4-25-24 – Space Geek Edition

A NASA rover has reached a promising place to search for fossilized life on Mars. article. Pull quote: “Mars sample return remains NASA's highest planetary science priority and is strongly supported by the planetary science community around the world. The samples from Perseverance may revolutionize our view of life in the universe. Even if they don't contain fossils or biomolecules, they will fuel decades of research and give future generations a completely new view of Mars. Let's hope NASA and the US government can live up to the name of their rover, and persevere.”

SpaceX’s Special Starship Cargo Lander Capacity Revealed By NASA Ahead Of Fourth Starship Test. article. Pull quote: “In a press release, NASA outlined that the cargo landers, part of the original HLS award will land on the Moon starting from the Artemis 7 mission. The Artemis 7 was slated to land on the Moon in 2030 according to a NASA manifest from 2022 - before the space agency moved its timeline for the Artemis 2 mission forward by a year. Artemis 2 will be the first time humans will venture to the Moon since the Apollo program, and the mission was initially slated to launch this year.”

China's Tiangong space station damaged by debris strike. article. Pull quote: “"The space station's core module Tianhe had suffered a partial loss of power supply due to the impact of the space debris on the solar wing's power cables," Xinhua reported, paraphrasing CMSA deputy director Lin Xiqiang.”

China on track for crewed moon landing by 2030, space official says. article. Pull quote: “Lin added that astronaut training for the mission includes mastering operation of the Mengzhou and Lanyue spacecraft, including in normal and emergency flight conditions. Rendezvous and docking and manually avoiding obstacles during the lander’s descent were noted as part of the training. Other activities include entering and exiting the lander, working in one-sixth of Earth’s gravity, long-range lunar roving, drilling, sampling and other scientific work on the lunar surface.”

Companies offer proposals for Apophis asteroid missions. article. Pull quote: “Scientists, though, are interested in sending additional missions to Apophis, particularly those that would fly by or orbit the asteroid before the flyby so that researchers can better the understand what impact tidal forces from the flyby might have on the asteroid. Several such mission concepts were discussed during an April 22–23 workshop at a European Space Agency center in The Netherlands.”

Major changes approved for ClearSpace-1 mission. article. Pull quote: ““On 10 August, 2023, a collision involving our original target increased the risk of capture and induced the spinning of the object,” ClearSpace CEO Luc Piguet told SpaceNews by email. “This made it more difficult to capture and added complexity to the mission as the goal is to remove debris completely.””

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