NASA has found a way to land people on the surface of Mars, and the consequences of the war in Ukraine can be seen with the naked eye from the ISS: News Digest

Selection of the most interesting space news for the week: James Webb tracked an asteroid for the first time, Starliner delivered a computer game character into orbit, and we tell you what exoplanets are and where to find them.

Just wanted to look through the window: Crew of Ax-1 told about their impressions on the ISS

The crew members of the Axiom Ax-1 private space mission told about their impressions on the ISS. They admitted that they were even busier than the NASA crew on board the International Space Station. “Our schedule was very tight, even aggressive, especially at first. The pace was just frenzied,” said Lopez-Alegria, commander of the Axiom Ax-1 mission. The tourist crew, which included Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, Michael Lopez-Alegria and Eitan Stibbe, was originally supposed to stay on the ISS for eight days. But the mission was extended to 15 due to weather conditions on Earth.

James Webb Space Telescope tracked an asteroid for the first time

NASA’s James Webb Space Observatory (JWST) of the new generation observed a moving asteroid for the first time on the eve of the start of the commissioning period. Successful tracking of a nearby object shows that JWST can monitor both objects of the Solar System, and distant galaxies, stars and other distant objects that it will observe during its at least 20-year service life.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Astronauts saw the horrors of war from orbit

European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, who returned to Earth from the International Space Station last month, said he saw the war from the ISS from an altitude of 400 kilometers. The invasion of the Russian army into the territory of Ukraine began on February 24, which coincided with the middle of his six-month mission.

“At the beginning of the war, the whole of Ukraine was plunged into darkness at night,” the German astronaut said in the Morgenmagazin program of the ARD TV channel on May 25, 2022. The war has already left its mark across the country, says the astronaut. Now it is difficult to find out the main sights of Ukraine, except Kyiv. The fighting is clearly visible to the naked eye from space. “In the first days of the war, it was possible to see the unfolding fighting. In Kyiv at night you could see flashes when the missiles hit the target,”.

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NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s. Image:

NASA found a way to land people on the surface of Mars

NASA has shared their latest information on how they present the first manned mission to Mars. On May 17, the agency unveiled ideas for landing on the surface of Mars with the participation of two people and asked the public to express their opinion on how the planning is going. NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars by the late 2030s or early 2040s. It will not be easy to make this vision a reality. Even with the most advanced technology, the round-trip flight time will still take about 500 days, given the distance between Earth and Mars.

During the flight, astronauts will have a big problem with the lack of gravity. Therefore, the pioneers will have to go a long way to restore muscle tone to even work in the conditions of partial gravity of Mars, which is about 1/3 of Earth’s.

ESA completed the assembly of the JUICE probe

ESA engineers have completed the assembly of the JUICE probe (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer). In the near future, it will be transported to the Airbus Defense & Space test center in Toulouse, where it will undergo a series of final tests that will certify its ability to withstand the conditions of space flight. The main objective of the JUICE mission is the three largest icy moons of Jupiter — Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. According to scientists, oceans of liquid water are hiding under their surface. JUICE will have to study these worlds and assess their potential liveability.

Chinese rover entered sleep mode due to dust storm

Chinese rover Zhurong was put into sleep mode. This is said in a statement published by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA). The decision to put the Zhurong into sleep mode was made after the Tianwen 1 spacecraft located in the areocentric orbit captured the landing of the rover. Scientists compared these images with photos from two months ago, and also analyzed data on changes in the power of the rover’s solar panels and came to the conclusion that Zhurong was covered by a powerful dust storm.


Battle for Mars: Dated the third season of the series “For All Mankind”

The battle for the right to conquer Mars will begin next month with the return of the critically acclaimed series For All Mankind from Sony Pictures Television, which is released exclusively on Apple TV Plus. The series tells about an alternative space story in which the United States lost the space race to the USSR and the first Soviet man landed on the Moon. To prove its technological superiority, NASA decided to be the first to establish a colony on the Earth’s moon, but this resulted in a fierce confrontation between the Americans and their main enemy of the Cold War. Despite the fantastic pseudo-historical plot, the series pays great attention to details to make everything look realistic: no sounds in space, real models of spacecraft, even the influence of temperature, gravity and even solar radiation is taken into account.

Exoplanets and how we are searching for them (article)

Not so long ago, planets outside the solar system could be found only on the pages of fiction stories or among purely theoretical considerations of scientists. Only thirty years ago, the existence of the first such objects was proven by scientific methods. Later, the term “exoplanet” began to be used to denote them. Since then, their research has actively progressed. As for now it must be the liveliest of all branches of astronomy. The number of confirmed exoplanets is now approaching  5,000. We now know a lot about physical characteristics and even atmospheric properties of many of them. 

Boeing Starliner delivered a character of the computer game Kerbal Space Program to the ISS

After 2.5 years of delays, the Boeing Starliner capsule successfully went into orbit and docked with the International Space Station. It was an important milestone for a company that was struggling to catch up with SpaceX. Therefore, Boeing decided to celebrate its achievement in an original way. When the ISS crew opened the Starliner hatch, they found a surprise inside the spacecraft. Next to the seated Orbital Flight Test-2 test mannequin floated a plush toy depicting Jebediah Kerman, one of the four original “Kerbonauts” featured in the video game Kerbal Space Program (KSP). Jeb, as he is better known in the KSP community, served as an indicator of weightlessness during the flight.

Read also: China wants to develop weapons against Starlink satellites, and moon dust digested by cockroaches was put up for auction: News Digest

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