NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley safely returned to Earth aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon, concluding the primary crewed check flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew program. The astronauts launched on 30 May and spent simply over 2 months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Next up: four astronauts are scheduled to fly to the ISS in September for this system’s first operational mission.
The early interior photo voltaic system was a violent place, as chunks of leftover planet-forming materials slammed into the Earth and the Moon. New information from China’s Yutu-2 rover on the far facet of the Moon has discovered extra proof of that, utilizing its subsurface radar to detect a number of layers of rock fashioned from impacts between 3.9 billion and 3.2 billion years in the past. Missions to the Moon assist us piece collectively our origin story.
Ever surprise why there aren’t extra Earth-like planets in our photo voltaic system? Blame Jupiter, a brand new examine says. Without the attractive fuel large’s gravity pushing every part round, up to 6 planets might have existed in our Sun’s liveable zone—the not-too-hot, not-too-cold area the place liquid water can exist on the floor. We already know of 1 photo voltaic system with a number of habitable-zone planets: TRAPPIST-1.
Mars used to have liquid water on its floor, however does that imply raging rivers, serene lakes, and international oceans? A brand new examine says not essentially: the water could have been locked beneath large ice sheets. While that pokes a gap in a few of our visions of early Mars, it’s truly excellent news for doable life, which might have been protected from photo voltaic radiation and loved calm situations beneath the ice.
NASA’s Lucy spacecraft continues to be on observe to launch in October 2021, regardless of delays from the continued COVID-19 pandemic. The mission accomplished a essential assessment that permits scientists and engineers to start assembling the spacecraft. Lucy will go to eight asteroids, 7 of which share an orbit with Jupiter.