A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft ended its CRS-12 (Cargo Resupply Service 12) mission for NASA splashing down smoothly in the Pacific Ocean a little more than 420 kilometers (about 326 miles) off the coast of California. The Dragon left the International Space Station a few hours before.
NASA has confirmed that it has lost contact with the Cassini space probe, which until the last moment was sending information as it descended into the atmosphere of the planet Saturn and went to its destruction. It’s the end of the Cassini-Huygens mission, a collaboration between NASA, ESA and ASI (Italian Space Agency), one of the most extraordinary space missions in history.
A few hours ago the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after about six hours reached the International Space Station with the three new crew members on board Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba and Alexander Misurkin. The Soyuz used the fast track, now commonly used also for this spacecraft’s new version.
An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes the first observation of an irregularity in the rotation period of a pulsar, a phenomenon called glitch, in a binary system. A team of scientists from the Middle East Technical University and Baskent University, both in Ankara, Turkey, used data collected from observations of the Swift, XMM-Newton and Chandra space telescopes conducted over two years to identify glitches in the pulsar SXP 1062.
An article published in the journal “Nature” describes a research on the auroras on the planet Jupiter and on the differences with those on Earth. A team of researchers led by Barry Mauk of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory investigated data collected in particular by two instruments aboard NASA’s Juno space probe finding traces of remarkable electrical potentials. They’re aligned with Jupiter’s magnetic field, which accelerates the electrons towards the atmosphere at energies even tenths times higher than those of the Earth’s auroras.