This Week In Space – 24 April 2022

Planetary Science, Astrobiology, Asteroids and Rockets – all this and more in NOVAC’s weekly roundup: This Week In Space.



Mars Sample Return - Mars Missions - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


The National Academies of Sciences has released its once-a-decade report. Origins, Worlds, and Life, A Decadal Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023 – 2032 summarizes the state of the field of planetary science and outlines major questions facing the community. Per the report, the top priority should be to complete Mars Sample Return, a mission to collect and return samples of the red planet to be studied in Earth laboratories for the first time in history. Mars Sample Return began with the landing of Perseverance, which has already begun the process of collecting samples.


Voyager Mission Celebrates 30 Years Since Uranus


The report recommends¬†that a flagship mission to Uranus should be NASA’s highest-priority large planetary science mission. An orbiter and lander mission to Saturn’s watery moon Enceladus is also proposed.¬†


In the New Frontiers class ($850 million cost-cap per mission excluding launch vehicle, mission operations, data analysis or partner contributions) proposed missions include an Enceladus flyby, a mission to Io, and a rover at the Lunar South Pole Aitken Basin.


For the first time, the Decadal Survey included planetary defense, with an emphasis placed on the NEO Surveyor mission. NEO Surveyor faces a $100M cut (roughly a 2/3 of budgetary slash) in the recently proposed FY 2023 budget.

Perseverance rover captures stunning Martian eclipse


NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures Video of Solar Eclipse on Mars


NASA Extends Exploration for 8 Planetary Science Missions


Click Here to read Matthew Kenyon’s write up of launches scheduled for this week, including the Crew-4 mission to the ISS.


China has announced plans to build an asteroid monitoring and defense system


On April 28, Rocket Lab will attempt a mid-air booster capture via helicopter

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