Centauri Dreams 12 Nov 2018, 18:08 UTC Extended operations at multiple targets, as Dawn showed us, are possible with ion propulsion. But we still learn much from flybys, something New Horizons reminded us with its spectacular success at Pluto/Charon, and again reminds us as it closes on MU69. Likewise, a mission called Lucy will visit multiple objects, using traditional chemical propulsion with gravity assist to achieve flybys of seven different targets. The destination: Jupiter’s trojan asteroids. With launch scheduled for 2021, Lucy’s will study six Jupiter trojans and one asteroid in the Main Belt.
The Planetary Society Blog 12 Nov 2018, 16:04 UTC If all goes well, anxious space fans on Earth will learn of a successful InSight landing on Mars on Monday, 26 November 2018, at 19:53 UTC. As with all Mars landings, no one who is watching will be able to do anything to affect the outcome; all we can do is wait and hope everything works. JPL shared a great video featuring Mars landing engineer Rob Manning explaining how everything works. Here, I made you an infographic to follow along with the action.
Starts With a Bang! 12 Nov 2018, 15:01 UTC By time you see a pillar at all, almost all of your ‘formation’ is already finished.
Bad Astronomy 12 Nov 2018, 14:00 UTC In the year 1670, astronomers noticed a “new star” in a part of the sky that would later be known as the constellation Vulpecula (the fox). This is a region rich with stars, but few are very bright. This new star, though, grew in brightness until it reached a magnitude of about 3 (a little bit fainter than the stars in the Big Dipper), then faded away.
Astrobiology Magazine 11 Nov 2018, 20:00 UTC The sun, like all stars, was born in a giant cold cloud of molecular gas and dust. It may have had dozens or even hundreds of stellar siblings – a star cluster – but these early companions are now scattered throughout our Milky Way galaxy.
Space Fellowship 11 Nov 2018, 11:04 UTC What would it be like to explore the Moon? NASA’s Apollo missions gave humans just this chance in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In particular, the Apollo 15 mission was dedicated to better understanding the surface of the Moon by exploring mountains, valleys, maria, and highlands. Astronauts David Scott and James Irwin spent nearly three days on the Moon while Alfred Worden orbited above in the Command Module.