NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Provides Front-Row Seat to Landing, First Audio Recording of Red Planet

New video from NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover chronicles major milestones during the final minutes of its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on the Red Planet on Feb. 18 as the spacecraft plummeted, parachuted, and rocketed toward the surface of Mars. A microphone on the rover also has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars.

From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater. The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover’s touchdown in the crater.

Read more at: NASA

Size Of Crack Aboard Space Station Unchanged, Says Russian Cosmonaut

The size of a crack in the intermediate chamber of the Russian Zvezda module aboard the International Space Station (ISS) remains unchanged, cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov reported to Russia’s Flight Control Center on Wednesday.

“It [the length] has not changed. As in the previous measurements, I do not see any changes,” Ryzhikov said during his talks with Mission Control broadcast on NASA’s website.

Read more at: TASS


Here’s What We Know About Planetary Protection On China’s Tianwen-1 Mars Mission

This spring, China will attempt its first Mars landing. But in anticipation of that milestone, scientists are wondering whether the Tianwen-1 rover may carry Earthly contamination with it to the surface.

Because scientists have high hopes of someday discovering traces of life on Mars, spacecraft that will land on the planet are kept as immaculately free of Earthly life as possible. These days, that means a complicated cleaning procedure throughout the spacecraft’s assembly and frequent testing for spores, an inactive form of bacteria that are particularly hardy.

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Imaging Space Debris in High Resolution

Litter is not only a problem on Earth. According to NASA, there are currently millions of pieces of space junk in the range of altitudes from 200 to 2,000 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, which is known as low Earth orbit (LEO). Most of the junk is comprised of objects created by humans, like pieces of old spacecraft or defunct satellites. This space debris can reach speeds of up to 18,000 miles per hour, posing a major danger to the 2,612 satellites that currently operate at LEO. Without effective tools for tracking space debris, parts of LEO may even become too hazardous for satellites.

Read more at: sinews

For Military Superiority in Space, Start with Safety

The U.S. military has worked in space for decades, providing GPS to the masses and bouncing combat messages through satellites to troops around the world. In some ways, though, the Space Force feels like it’s starting from scratch.

The Space Force was created to ward off Chinese anti-satellite weapons and Russian satellites stalking U.S. spy systems across the cosmos, among other concerns. Still, officials are looking for ways to keep space safe and maintain an upper hand while the Pentagon learns how to treat space as it does air, land, and sea.

Read more at: airforce mag


Space Enthusiasts In Japan Ready To Launch Their Own Satellite

Interest in commercial aerospace is growing among amateurs in Japan, with enthusiasts assembling rockets and satellites by trial and error. As the space business grows around the world, amateur builders and launchers, including office workers and students, are challenging the idea that outer space is the sole domain of professionals.

“Let’s disassemble it and replace the component,” says a voice at a small workshop in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. Spread out on a table are several components. In the center is a satellite, one side of which measures about 10 cm. The person who suggests replacing the part is working away in a sweatsuit.

Read more at: Nikkei asia

Korean Space Companies Set To Benefit From Launch Of Rocket

There is a less-covered stock segment that has gained a significant boost entering this year: aerospace.

With 2021 set to become a defining moment for Korea’s aerospace industry thanks to the planned launch of a rocket developed with homegrown technology, investors became bullish about private space companies linked with the project and with the industry in general.

The upturn coincides with a big round of investments into big global players like SpaceX and Blue Origin, highlighting expectations for space exploration and satellite launches at lower cost.

Read more at: koreajoongangdaily

Space Tourism From Cornwall ‘Would Send Wrong Message’

The leader of Cornwall Council has poured cold water on the suggestion that space tourism could operate from Spaceport Cornwall. There had been reports in national media recently that Sir Richard Branson could use the base at Cornwall Airport for his Virgin Galactic enterprise which will offer space flights for tourists.

Virgin is already a partner for Spaceport Cornwall which is to be used as a base for Virgin Orbit which uses horizontal launches to send small satellites into orbit.

Read more at: cornishstuff

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