A Trip to Space

A Trip to Space

Episode 10: A Trip into the Deep Past

June 28, 2021

Space news

Hubble still down: NASA is trying to fix the HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE after a memory module failure forced the agency to shut down the iconic orbiting observatory.

The problem is with the payload computer, which halted o June 13, stopping hte spacecraft from collecting science data. The telescope andother instruments are all working as expected, but they rely on the payload computer to operate.

Over the next week, the team will continue to assess hardware to identify if something else may be causing the problem.

Thousand sign up to fly to space: The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for six astronauts to join its core, as well and 20 reservists from academia.

They will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) and one day on to the NASA Lunar Gateway that will be in orbit around the Moon.

A total of 22,589 people have applied, and submitted a valid medical certificate, in the hope of going into the next round. The six will be confirmed late in 2022.  

Are they watching us? There could be as many as 29 potentially habitable worlds ‘perfectly positioned’ to observe the Earth if they hold an intelligence civilisation, according to a new study.

Exploring ways in which we find exoplanets, that is worlds outside the solar system, the team from Cornell University reversed the process to see which could spot us. 

While exoplanets haven’t been detected around all of the stars that can observe the Earth, the team estimate 29 will have a rocky world in the habitable zone that are well positioned to also detect radio waves emitted by humans over 100 years ago. 

A Virgin licence: Space tourism firm Virgin Galactic has been given the go ahead by the FAA to take paying customers to the edge of space, in a first for the aviation industry. 

The firm said there were still three test flights to go before it takes the first commercial astronauts next year, but this is an important step in that journey.

The new licence from the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) gives the firm the right to send paying customers into space, and not just as part of a test flight.

Upcoming launches

This week: SpaceX Falcon 9 • Transporter 2 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Transporter 2 mission, a rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit with numerous small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commercial and government customers.

June 29: Soyuz • Progress 78P from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the 78th Progress cargo delivery ship to the International Space Station. The rocket will fly in the Soyuz-2.1a configuration. Delayed from March 19.

July 1: Soyuz • OneWeb 8 from Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia. A Russian Soyuz rocket will launch 36 satellites into orbit for OneWeb, which is developing a constellation of hundreds of satellites in low Earth orbit for low-latency broadband communications. The Soyuz-2.1b rocket will use a Fregat upper stage.

July: Falcon 9 • Starlink from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch on the first dedicated mission with Starlink internet satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Bas...