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NASA

Perseverance is about to land on Mars!

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center
 
NASA’s next Mars rover, named Perseverance, will be landing on Mars on February 18, 2021. Launched on July 30, 2020 (another name for the mission Mars 2020), the spacecraft will complete an almost 300-million-mile journey and begin its exploration of Jezero Crater.
 
So, what will Perseverance do during its planned mission? It will spend almost two Earth years (about one Martian year) doing the following:
 

OSIRIS-REx and a Closer View of Bennu

Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

By Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center

What can scientists hope to learn from one of the oldest asteroids in our solar system? The possibilities are endless, and soon we’ll know a whole lot more as the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft dips to its lowest orbit yet around the asteroid Bennu. It’s already giving us an amazing close-up view, but that’s only the beginning.

TESS Shares First Science Images!

by Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center

This week, the NASA spacecraft TESS released its first science images.  Launched in April 2018, TESS stands for “Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.” The goal of its planned two-year mission is to discover small, Earth-like planets using the “transit” method of planet detection, looking for small dips in the light of a star due to a planet passing in between it and our perspective from Earth.

Organic Compounds on Mars

Mars Curiosity Rover

by Dr. Lisa Will, Resident Astronomer at the Fleet Science Center

The latest news from Mars Curiosity is awesome!

On Thursday, June 7, 2018, NASA announced the Mars Curiosity rover discovered evidence of organic compounds in the soil of Mars and methane in the Martian atmosphere. The Curiosity rover is a mobile chemistry laboratory, capable of measuring chemicals in the soil and atmosphere. It’s been doing measurements in Gale Crater since August 2012.

A few things to note:

Launch Delay for the James Webb Space Telescope

By Dr. Lisa Will, Fleet Science Center's Resident Astronomer

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has long been described as the “successor” to the Hubble Space Telescope. Because Hubble won’t last forever, JWST has been designed to push beyond the boundaries of what we’ve learned from Hubble and is planned for launch before Hubble loses functionality .

 

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