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.
While astronomers have observed white dwarfs consuming companion stars on numerous occasions, for the first time, they have now observed the consumption of the companion’s helium and not just hydrogen. Plus, galactic alignment, rocket launches including Crew 5, a new Europa image, and a review of the video game “Tinykin”.
Early Saturday morning, another company entered the exclusive club of successful orbital launchers, Firefly Aerospace, when their second attempt to reach orbit, named To The Black, lifted off on October 1. Plus, a crater in Spain, a new DART image, Juno flies by Europa, and an interview with Jochen Grandell regarding the Meteosat program.
After ten months of space travel, NASA’s DART spacecraft arrived at the asteroid Didymos, targeted the moonlet Dimorphos, and successfully flung itself at the surface. Multiple observations confirm that the system brightened and even managed to resolve a cloud of debris. Plus, rocket launches, an update on the SLS, some broken physics, and International Observe the Moon Night.
In advance of the next scheduled launch attempt, NASA conducted another test to fill the fuel tanks onboard the Space Launch System rocket. The results were mixed, but the launch is still on schedule. Plus, a crewed launch, beautiful images, and an interview with Mike Simmons from Astronomy for Equity about sending telescopes to underprivileged students.
Asteroseismologists are combining data from TESS, Kepler, and eventually, JWST to study stellar oscillations in ‘infant’ stars, with the goal of creating new models for how such young stars form and evolve over time. Plus, JWST images Mars, Hubble images stars, and SpaceX manages to launch another Starlink mission in spite of weather delays.