"The Cosmic Pi project aims to build the world's largest open source distributed cosmic ray telescope. You can be a part of the project, by becoming a Cosmic Pixel!"
NASA's rover Perseverance is hurling to Mars since its launch on July 30 2020 (see this Zapread post). It will land tonight at 21:44 CET, meaning 11 minutes later, we should receive signal from a safe rover on the surface of Mars.
The Perseverance rover is very similar at first sight to the Curiosity rover that landed in August 2012. The design of the main body and driving system is the same, but a whole bunch of details are new, for example:
Watch the NASA livefeed tonight!
The latest status of Bitlinq as presented during The Things Network conference 2021.
I am in the process of getting some funding in place to deploy a number of Lacuna Space terminals to Blockstream Satellite users around the globe, and start running a decentralized version of the Bitlinq message handler.
Busy times in Space last week. Apart from launches by Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, Astra, ULA & Roscosmos, two missions came back with samples from outer Space. The Chinese Chang'E5 mission brought back some Lunar samples (see below) after almost a month in Space, and the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission delivered grains of the Asteroid Ryugu (see above) after being out there for 6 years! Both missions will provide better insights in how the Solar System was created some 5 billions years ago. Very impressive efforts that were concluded successfully!
Two landmark events this week in the Solar System. First of all, an asteroid sample is on its way to planet Earth and it will hit the Earth's astmosphere with an incomprehensible speed of 14 km/s. This sample was snatched off asteroid Ryugu back in 2018. Secondly, the Chinese moonlander Chang'e 5, that will bring back a Lunar sample, is now in orbit around the Moon and landing can be any moment now!
Hayabusa2 is an asteroid sample-return mission operated by the Japanese space agency, JAXA. It follows on from the Hayabusa mission which returned asteroid samples in 2010. Hayabusa2 was launched on 3 December 2014 and rendezvoused with near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu on 27 June 2018. Capsule landing will be on December 5 around 18:45. See timeline below.
The Chang'e 5 spacecraft launched on Nov. 23 intent on becoming the first mission to bring lunar samples to Earth since 1976; the mission reached lunar orbit on Nov. 28. According to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, the mission's orbiter/return vehicle and its lander/ascender vehicle separated in lunar orbit yesterday (Nov. 29) at 3:40 p.m. EST (2040 GMT; 4:40 a.m. Beijing time on Nov. 30). That move sets the stage for a landing near the peak of Mons Rümker, a mountain in the Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms") region of the moon.(space.com). When the landing will occur exactly is unknown yet, but it sure will be somewhere in the coming days.
In a few hours, a Chinese Long March 5 will launch to the Moon. On-board is the Chang'E 5 lander which will scoop up a sample from the Lunar surface and bring it back to Earth. The last time this happened was in 1976 when the Sovjet Union brought back 170 grams of Lunar Soil with the Luna-24 missions.
Below is the live channel that will show the launch at 21:15 CET. If you want to hang-out with Space people during the launch, check-in to the Eye On Orbit chillspace.
Mars rover Curiosity snapped a selfie on the Martian surface. Curiosity, which touched down inside a 160 km wide Gale Crater in August 2012, snapped a selfie on October 25 at a locale mission team members named "Mary Anning.". The photo is stitched together from 59 images that Curiosity can make with its camera on the robotic arm.
Look at all the dust! It is a good thing it is nuclear powered as Solar panels would have a hard time. Also dents on the wheels can be identified. The surface is probably a clay deposit from what was once a seabed.
Remember the historic splashdown of the SpaceX Dragon Crew capsule back in August? That was still a test and now it is time for the first operational flight of crew dragon. 4 astronauts will be on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) as they foresee to lift off on Monday November 15 at 1:27 AM.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will head to the International Space Station for a six-month science mission.
For live coverage, make sure to check out the Live YouTube feed as shown below.
An exciting mission is almost ready for launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The European Sentinel-6, as part of the EU Copernicus Earth Observation programme, is being mated to the launcher and awaiting its launch currently planned for November 21, 2021 from Vandenberg Airforce base in California, US.
With global mean sea level rising because of climate change, Copernicus Sentinel-6 is the next radar altimetry reference mission to extend the legacy of sea-surface height measurements until at least 2030. From an altitude of 1336 km it will provide global maps of sea level that we have been seeing on the rise by 3.6 mm per year in the last decades. Unprecendented accuracy and precision in measurements are expected due to technology advancements incorporated in its measurement suite of a radar altimeter and a microwave radiometer. More info on the mission can be found on the ESA website for Sentinel-6.
Since the launch of the Sentinel-5P mission in October 2017, that I worked on for over a decade, I have been made part of a family of sp-called Sentinerds: Space groupies that promote the Sentinel missions on all Social media channels. For Sentinel-6, the Zapread platform should certainly not be excluded. Spot me in the picture below at the launch event. Unfortunately, the launch event will be online this time :(