Space is hard, and some days, getting rockets to work doesn’t go as well as expected. An Epsilon rocket launched by JAXA and carrying eight payloads including RAISE 3 was lost when mission control triggered the flight termination system due to an attitude issue. Plus, stars blowing dust rings, stars exploding, asteroids getting hit with spacecraft, and Europa’s geysers may not come from the subsurface ocean.
Fast, strong magnetic winds caused by quickly rotating pulsars may be accelerating particles like electrons to extremely high-energy states and creating gamma-ray photons in their wake. Plus, missions close to home, large and distant objects, some pretty Hubble photos, and laser simulations of fast radio bursts.
An analysis of sediment core samples taken at the Salmon River Estuary in Oregon provides evidence that the massive 1700 Cascadia earthquake caused 15 meters of slip along the shoreline, which lead to over a meter of coastal subsidence. Plus, all the rocket launches, a few mission updates, making Mars bricks with urea, and an interview with Maggie Thompson from UC Santa Cruz about using methane as a biosignature.
An analysis of microscopic features in rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt in Quebec, Canada, which date back between 3.75 and 4.28 billion years, finds evidence of possible microbial life. Plus, a supermassive black hole precursor, temperatures on Neptune, check-ins with various spacecraft, and our weekly What’s Up segment.
This week, our Rocket Roundup includes crewed space flights from the U.S. and China, Russia launches more satellites for OneWeb, and NASA launches the Lucy spacecraft to visit asteroids near Jupiter. Plus, this week in rocket history, we look back at the launch of the Cassini mission to Saturn.
Today we whirl through some of the stories that happened last week while we were on hiatus, including pretty images of two galaxies merging and a lovely supernova, as well as news about moons Europa and Titan. Plus, we interview Dr. Julie Rathbun, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute.