Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and CEO, has announced that his company was hired to send two people on a private journey around the Moon in 2018. Musk didn’t reveal the two persons’ identity nor indicated the journey’s cost but merely stated that they have already paid a substantial deposit. The journey will be made on the Dragon V2 spacecraft, the version developed precisely for manned missions, which will be launched on a Falcon Heavy rocket.
In recent days on La Réunion Island a meeting was held to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sighting of the supernova 1987A (SN 1987A), the brightest of the last four centuries and for this reason a historic event for modern astronomy. For these celebrations scientists from the Hubble and Chandra space telescopes chose an animation derived from the model of a team of astrophysicists from INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo, Italy led by Salvatore Orlando.
A little while ago the Progress MS-5 spacecraft docked with the International Space Station inthe mission also referred to as Progress 66. The Russian space freighter, which blasted off last Wednesday, is carrying food, water, scientific experiments, propellant and various hardware.
A little while ago the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was captured by the robotic arm Canadarm2 on the International Space Station. Thomas Pesquet, assisted by his colleague Shane Kimbrough, managed the operation then started moving the Dragon to the berthing point at the Harmony module. The cargo spacecraft blasted off last Sunday.
NASA held a press conference to communicate new discoveries in the research on the TRAPPIST-1 star system. These results have also been described in an article published in the journal “Nature”. Using data collected by NASA’s Spitzer Telescope, a team of researchers led by Michaël Gillon of the STAR Institute confirmed the existence of 7 planets in this system, all rocky. Potentially, at least in some region of all those planets there could be liquid water.