Landers / Rovers

Blogs about landers and rovers

A simulation of Odysseus Moon landing (Image courtesy Intuitive Machines / NASA TV)

It was the afternoon in the USA when Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C Odysseus lander attempted its Moon landing in the Malapert A crater. It was an autonomous maneuver that constituted the crucial step of the IM-1 mission. It took about 10 minutes to receive the first faint signals from Odysseus but they were invaluable in confirming the Moon landing. At Intuitive Machines’ mission control center, work began to have regular communications that allow them to understand Odysseus’ exact status and receive the data collected, including images.

Photo of the area where a river delta entered the lake that existed in Jezero Crater (Image NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” reports new evidence that Jezero Crater on Mars was a lake when the red planet was young and much more Earth-like. A team of researchers coordinated by UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) and the University of Oslo used data collected by the RIMFAX radar (Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment) mounted on NASA’s Mars Rover Perseverance, exploiting its ability to carry out detections underground to a depth of 20 meters.

Data collected between May 20 and December 8, 2022, in a contact area between the crater floor and the delta of an ancient river, made it possible to map that area and reconstruct the sequence of erosions and sediment deposits. Conditions were favorable for the development of life forms and there may still be traces of them in the samples collected by Perseverance.

Image from the SLIM lander Moon landing simulation

It was the night between Friday and Saturday in Japan when the Japanese space agency JAXA’s SLIM lander attempted to land on the Moon but things got complicated. Only after a couple of hours, a press conference was held in which it was announced that the Moon landing was successful but there were some problems that could shorten the mission if SLIM fails to recharge its batteries. Meanwhile, Japan has become the fifth nation to put a robotic vehicle on the Moon.

The Vulcan rocket blasting off (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago, ULA’s Vulcan rocket launched on its maiden mission, formally designated as CERT-1. For the occasion, it was carrying Astrobotic Technology’s Peregrine Moon lander, which separated from the rocket stage called Centaur after about 50 minutes. A capsule containing ashes of various famous people was also launched into a heliocentric orbit. The Centaur continued its mission with a few burns and cut-offs of its engine until it goes out of Earth orbit, scheduled after just under 4.5 hours from the launch.