6 Great Space Images in January
Category: Health, Science & TechnologyVia: outis • 4 weeks ago • 5 comments
By: Michael Roston
Space is cool!
This is what it looks like when an inflatable space station module explodes . Sierra Space tested the strain its orbital module can handle.
Japan’s SLIM spacecraft landed on the moon. It had engine problems and tipped over while landing, resulting in its solar panels initially pointing the wrong way to charge its batteries.
But Japan’s space agency, JAXA, announced on Monday that the lander was working again. Expect more pictures of moon rocks, which JAXA scientists named for dog breeds like “Toy Poodle” and “Shiba Inu.”
Orienspace, a Chinese company, launched its Gravity-1 rocket from a boat in the ocean on Jan. 11, placing three satellites in orbit while highlighting that private companies are aiming to expand China’s footprint in spaceflight. This view shows a vivid vantage of the liftoff.
Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ space company, shared pictures of its New Glenn rocket. While Mr. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, flew to the edge of space in the company’s smaller New Shepard rocket in 2021, Blue Origin has never sent a rocket to orbit . New Glenn’s first orbital flight is expected this year. It will rely on engines like those that flew in January on Vulcan, a rocket flown by another company, United Launch Alliance.
An asteroid burned up over Germany on Jan. 21. The rock was only three feet in size and posed no risk to people on the ground. But astronomers used planetary defense software to detect the asteroid and pinpoint where it would enter the atmosphere. Meteorite hunters found pieces of it days later in Poland.
NASA landed a helicopter on Mars in 2021. Named Ingenuity, it was to fly five times over 30 days and prove that controlled flight in the thin Martian atmosphere was possible. The mission lasted nearly three years, flying 72 times and helping scout terrain for the rover Perseverance. Unfortunately, Ingenuity had a mishap in flight on Jan. 18, damaging its rotor blade, as seen in the shadow above. It was the little Marscopter’s final flight.