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Mars ‘terror’,’ the future Moon missions and an epic journey to the Sun: 2018 year in the space

connectVideoNASA stunning new pictures of Mars

NASA has some beautiful new images of Mars captured by the Insight lander, the robotic arm when it snapped a photo of her new workplace.

2018 has been a busy year for space exploration. Here are some of the highlights:

MARS LANDER’S ‘SEVEN MINUTES OF TERROR’

NASA’s Mars Insight Lander reached the Red Planet on Nov. 26 after an epic journey of more than 300 million km, which took six months. The last phase of the descent, however, was fraught with difficulties – NASA engineers are characteristic for the landing on Mars as “seven minutes of terror.”

A safe spot on the surface of the planet, the sensors on the Lander recently captured the very first “sounds” of Mars wind. The probe also made use of a camera on the robotic arm, to the first Mars selfie.

NASA’S INSIGHT MARS LANDER ARRIVES ON THE RED PLANET, ENDS SUCCESSFUL TRIP

The Insight mission, which is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, scientists with a wealth of data. By studying Mars’ deep interior, the mission is expected to provide valuable information about the formation of rocky worlds like the Earth.

Mars looms ever larger in America space for the future.

In November, NASA announced that it has been chosen for the location where the Mars 2020 will land Rover on the Red Planet. The rover is expected that the march on Feb. 18, 2021.

NASA’s long-term goal is to have a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. However, the former astronaut Buzz Aldrin thinks that a slightly later target date of 2040 is more realistic. In an interview in 2016, the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut told Fox News that in 2040, the astronauts might have visited Mars’ moon Phobos, which could serve as a kind of stepping stone to the Red Planet.

MASSIVE MARS DISCOVERY

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover found organic molecules on Mars, the space agency revealed in a big announcement in June.

The molecules that were found in rocks from an ancient lake bed, give new insight into the Red Planet, according to scientists. The rocks are billions of years old, NASA said.

While NASA went to great lengths to explain that it is not has life been discovered on Mars, the organic molecules can provide important clues.

MASSIVE MARS DISCOVERY: ORGANIC MOLECULES OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE FOR OUR SEARCH FOR LIFE’ TO BE FOUND BY THE NASA ROVER

“Organic compounds are essential to our search for life,” said Paul Mahaffy, director of the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Goddard, Md.

Described as the most technologically advanced rover ever built, Curiosity, launched on Nov. 26, 2011. The rover landed on Mars’ Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012, with the objective of determining whether Mars was ever able to support microbial life.

RENDEZ-VOUS WITH THE ASTEROID BENNU

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, reached its orbit of the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3 after a journey of more than 1 billion kilometres through space. The spacecraft was launched in September 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The asteroid that may provide answers to the origin of our solar system, according to NASA.

OSIRIS-REx will spend almost a year of research at the space rock out of a job. The probe is scheduled to comment briefly on the asteroid with a robotic arm in July 2020, and the retrieval of a sample returned to Earth in September 2023.

NASA’S OSIRIS-REX SPACECRAFT REACHED ASTEROID BENNU AFTER AN EPIC JOURNEY

Scientists recently made a fascinating discovery on the asteroid. They analysed the data from the probe and identified water is locked up in the asteroid, the clay, the space agency announced. The spacecraft’s two spectrometers revealed the presence of “hydroxyls”, which are molecules that oxygen and hydrogen atoms connected with each other.

Other countries are also ramping up their efforts to study asteroids. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa-2 spacecraft recently reduced to two small rovers on a distant asteroid. Hayabusa 2 arrived at the Ryugu on June 27, 2018, when the asteroid was nearly 170 million miles from Earth. The spacecraft, which traveled nearly 2 billion miles to reach the space rock, is expected to leave Ryugu at the end of 2019 and returning to Earth around the end of 2020.

DRAMATIC LAUNCH ESCAPE

On Oct. 11, NASA astronaut Nick Hague and the Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, a dramatic escape after their Soyuz booster rocket failed just two minutes after the launch from the baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The spaceship was about 30 km above the earth’s surface when the crew was forced to make a dangerous “ballistic re-entry in the atmosphere of the Earth. After the successful deployment of the parachute, the rescue capsule landed safely in the steppe of Kazakhstan, about 30 minutes after the rocket failure.

A Russian research attributed to the malfunction in a sensor that was damaged during the rocket’s final assembly.

AMERICAN, RUSSIAN ASTRONAUTS OF DANGEROUS BALLISTIC RE-ENTRY INTO THE EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE AFTER THE ROCKET FAILED

Less than two months later, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that the three astronauts, including an American, successfully linked with the International Space Station. The launch of Kazakhstan was the first successful manned mission to the space lab since the aborted Soyuz launch.

The Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only vehicle that can ferry crew to the space station, but Russia stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX’s Dragon and Boeing Starliner crew capsules.

MYSTERIOUS SPACE STATION LEAK

The leak was found on Aug. 30 in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the orbiting space lab. The crew quickly located and sealed the small hole that made a small loss of pressure, and space officials said the station has remained safe to operate.

The capsule leak caused a flap between the AMERICAN and Russian space agencies. Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin observed that the hole could be drilled during the production or in a job. The space station’s commander at the time flatly denied any violations by him or his crew.

SPACE STATION CREW TO INSPECT THE MYSTERIOUS HOLE ON SPACEWALK

The Russian space chief has since backpedaled on his statement that he never pointed the finger at the americans and blaming the media for twisting his statement.

Rogozin has recently said that the Russian official probe is underway. During a grueling spacewalk in December, Russian cosmonauts took samples from the black epoxy sealant which out of the hole and put the insulation over the area. Roscosmos discuss the probe’s findings with NASA and other space station partners, according to Rogozin.

NASA ANNOUNCED THE MOON, MARS-MISSION PARTNERS

In November, NASA announced that Lockheed Martin and eight other companies will compete for $2.6 billion in contracts to American astronauts back to the Moon and Mars.

In addition to Lockheed, which built the Mars Insight lander, NASA’s commercial partners are Astrobotic Technology, Deep Space System, Draper, Firefly, Intuitive Machines, Masten Space Systems, Moon Express Orbit and Beyond.

The contracts can be worth as much as $2.6 billion over a period of 10 years, and flights could begin as soon as next year, the officials said. The original list included more than 30 companies compete for the bids, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

NASA SAYS LOCKHEED MARTIN, THE 8 OTHER BUSINESSES WILL HELP TO BRING THE ASTRONAUTS BACK TO THE MOON AND MARS

President Donald Trump wants the AMERICAN astronauts to return to the Moon as a base for future missions to Mars.

The last time a man set foot on the Moon during the Apollo 17 mission in December 1972. Only 12 men, all Americans, have set foot on the Moon.

NASA’s goal is to send manned missions into space from U.S. soil in the coming years. Since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, the U.S. has been relying on the Russian Soyuz rockets launched from Kazakhstan, to get astronauts to the ISS.

In August, NASA named nine “American hero” astronauts are the crew of the test flights and the first space station resupply missions SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

PARKER SOLAR PROBE’S EPIC JOURNEY TO ‘THE SUN’

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe blasted off on the odyssey from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the top of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket in the early hours of Aug. 12, 2018.

The $1.5 billion mission will be humanity closer to the Sun than ever before. Parker is the first spacecraft to fly by the Sun (the corona is the outermost part of the atmosphere of the star

To withstand the heat of more than 2500 degrees Celsius, the probe is protected by a special 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield.

NASA’S PARKER SOLAR PROBE BLASTS OFF ON AN EPIC JOURNEY TO ‘THE SUN’

Parker will be confronted with “brutal” heat and radiation in the epic journey that will take you to within 3.83 million km from the surface of the Sun, according to the space agency. This is seven times closer than the previous closest spacecraft, Helios 2, which came within 27 million miles of the Sun in 1976.

The use of Venus’ gravity, Parker will complete seven flybys more than seven years gradually its orbit closer and closer to the Sun. At its closest approach in 2024, the probe travels approximately 430,000 km / h, setting a new speed record for a human-made object.

The Sun, the corona, which can be seen during a total solar eclipse, is mostly hidden by the bright light of the star from the surface. The probe, named after a pioneering solar physicist Dr. Eugene Parker, offer a wealth of invaluable scientific data.

Scientists expect that shed a new light on the Sun’s potential to disrupt satellites and spacecraft, and electronics and communication on Earth.

In November, the probe snapped a stunning picture of the solar atmosphere.

‘SUPER-EARTH’ DISCOVERY

In March, scientists announced the discovery of 15 new planets, including a “super-Earth” that could have liquid water on its surface.

The planets orbiting small, cool stars in the neighborhood of our solar system, known as “Red Dwarfs.”

One of the brightest Red Dwarfs, K2-155, has three “super-Earths”, K2-155d, can be within the star’s habitable zone. K2-155d, which has a radius 1.6 times that of the Earth, may harbor liquid water, according to the three-dimensional global climate simulations.

K2-155, which is about 200 light-years from Earth. A light-year, which measures distance in space is equal to 6 trillion miles.

PLANETS OUTSIDE THE MILKY WAY FOR THE FIRST TIME SPOTTED

In February, proved to be the discovery for the first time, planets outside the Milky way.

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of astrophysicists from the University of Oklahoma identified the extragalactic planets about 3.8 billion light-years away. The space observatory have helped scientists to find over 2,000 objects with similar mass to Jupiter and the Moon.

The Oklahoma University team used a technique called microlensing, where the gravity signature of planets orbiting extremely distant stars.

MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR OBJECT

Oumuamua, the first interstellar object ever spotted in our solar system, also garnered a lot of attention in 2018. NASA said that Oumuamua is a “metallic or rocky object”, while a study from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics speculated that the “lightsail” sent from an ancient civilization.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia, Jennifer Earl, Amy the Place, and the Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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