Two new papers problem the invention of phosphine in Venus’ environment. The authentic announcement of the detection of phosphine—a chemical related to life—got here in September 2020. Since then, different scientists have challenged the findings. One of the brand new papers argues that sulfur dioxide may very well be producing the phosphine sign. New observations of Venus are deliberate in the approaching weeks and months. Pictured: Venus’ higher clouds imaged in infrared by JAXA’s Akatsuki spacecraft. Image credit score: JAXA/DARTS/ISAS.
The first 2 of three new Mars missions arrive subsequent week. The United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft enters orbit on Tuesday, and China’s Tianwen-1 enters orbit Wednesday. Both launched in mid-2020. Tianwen-1 features a rover; the rover will stay hooked up for now with a touchdown deliberate for May. For the newest news, see our Mars 2021 Missions Arrival Guide.
SpaceX plans to launch Four non-public astronauts into orbit on a 4-day mission in late 2021. Tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman bought the flight at an undisclosed worth. His fellow passengers will probably be a healthcare employee, the winner of a charity raffle, and a contest winner from a pool of people that use his firm’s software program to launch an internet retailer.
SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket flew once more, however didn’t stick its touchdown. The firm, which plans to make use of Starship to ship people to Mars, is conducting high-altitude take a look at flights in Texas. This one ended the best way the primary did, with a spectacular crash-landing. Another take a look at car is already ready in the wings. Learn how NASA and SpaceX depend on each other for success.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover accomplished a second spacewalk exterior the International Space Station. The crew members, who arrived on the ISS by way of SpaceX’s second astronaut flight in November, wrapped up battery substitute work that started in 2017 and put in a brand new high-definition digicam.
The Space Launch System will conduct a second test-firing of its engines. NASA says a defective wire harness and overly conservative take a look at parameters stopped the primary take a look at of the massive rocket. The second take a look at is scheduled for the week of 21 February.