South Korea launched the first interplanetary mission, and the Earth’s atmosphere “boiled” after the eruption of an underwater volcano: News Digest

Selection of the most interesting space news for the week: The surface of the asteroid Bennu turned out to be like a pool with plastic balls, and we tell how China conquers the Moon.

NASA and private companies assure that the replacement of the ISS will be launched on time

The replacement of the ISS in the form of commercial orbital stations will be ready on time. This was assured by representatives of NASA, Axiom Space, Sierra Space and Nanoracks. Northrop Grumman says that everything will depend on the market. Amid Russia’s threats to withdraw from the International Space Station project, fears have intensified that the planned replacement for it in the form of private orbital projects will not be launched into space on time. At least, NASA hopes not to be left without this partner after 2024.

Asteroid Bennu was compared to a pool with plastic balls

A near-Earth asteroid named Bennu turned out to be full of surprises. According to the latest research by NASA scientists, its surface looks like a pool of plastic balls. The new discovery came after the space agency successfully collected samples by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from an asteroid in October 2020.

“We thought that the composition of Bennu is like a rock, but inside it is almost empty, like a pool of plastic balls,” explained Kevin Walsh, a member of the OSIRIS-REx scientific group from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. 

Danuri: South Korea’s first interplanetary mission

On the night of August 4-5, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome. It sent “Danuri” to the Moon — the first ever South Korean interplanetary mission.

The development of the project of the first South Korean interplanetary mission began in the middle of the last decade. Its target is the Moon. Initially, the mission was designated KPLO (Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter), but recently received its own name “Danuri”, which can be translated as “enjoy the Moon”.

Earth’s atmosphere “boiled” from the eruption of the Tonga volcano

Scientists have received impressive footage of the eruption of the underwater volcano Tonga, taken from space. According to the NASA satellite, this eruption was one of the most powerful on the planet and threw such a huge amount of water vapor high into the atmosphere that it temporarily heated the Earth’s surface. The plume of water vapor reached a height of 53 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. According to NASA satellites, there was enough water to fill 58 thousand Olympic swimming pools, which is 10% of the water that is generally present in the atmosphere.

Red Moon. How China develops the natural satellite of our planet (article)

China’s approach is markedly different from the actions of most other space players who have sent spacecraft to the moon as part of joint programs to study the solar system. For Celestial Empire, the natural satellite of the Earth is a priority goal. In recent years, the PRC has sent five research vehicles with two rovers, one repeater and two microsatellites to the Moon. This is more than the total number of lunar probes launched during the same period of time by all other countries combined. And in the near future this list will only increase. So it’s time to talk about how China systematically conquers the Moon and its plans for the near future.

Read also: Students printed a house that fits inside a Starship rocket, and astronomers found an explanation for the absence of rings at Jupiter: News Digest

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