Good morning, fellow space cadets, and welcome to the latest issue of your weekly space news briefing. It’s finally Friday! This week, NASA was the main engine and shaking factor. Today we have NASA’s Voyager and Perseverance mission updates, as well as an updated Artemis launch schedule. We will hear from ESA Great Mission Control Bake-Off. Finally, we will leave you with some photos and videos that you can not miss from Sunday’s lunar eclipse of Super Flower Bloody Moon. (Wow. Say that five times fast!)

Starliner takes off for the International Space Station

Boeing’s Starliner capsule launched from Canaveral last night on top of the Atlas V rocket. This flight, dubbed the Orbital Flight Test-2, is a wet rehearsal without a crew. But the Starliner capsule still has a passenger: Rosie the Rocketwoman.

Rosie is a Boeing anthropometric test device, which is a five-dollar term for a crash test dummy. But technically it is a crash test rocket scientist. (And her bandana bears the signature of May Krier, the original Rosie Riveter!) For Starliner’s Orbital Flight Test-1, Rosie was locked in the commander’s chair. This time, it is included directly in the entire crew compartment, recording hundreds of data points so that the mission’s engineers can build a model of what the astronauts on board will experience during the flight.

At a press conference after the launch, NASA spokesmen explained that two of the twelve propulsion devices of the rocket had given up. However, Starliner is on time to land on the International Space Station shortly after 7pm EDT on Friday, May 20th. The capsule will remain on the ISS for several days, returning with about 600 pounds of cargo.

Persistence chooses a path

The consistency moves to the delta of the Three Forks River for most of the year. But it’s time for our favorite space Roomba to choose the path to the top. Mission engineers have directed the rover to the Hawksbill Gap, which has a shorter driving time. Perseverance is planning up to five different test stops along the way, collecting samples for its Delta Front campaign.

Mastcam-Z panorama of the Lake Delta. Hawksbill Gap is on the left. Perseverance is currently exploring the area on its way to the top of the Three Forks.

NASA has also successfully re-established communications with Ingenuity following the recent hiccups. Mission engineers are analyzing telemetry data to find out what happened.

Voyager gets dizzy

Scientists from the Voyager project wonder why Voyager 1 has started behaving like a migraine. The Probe Position Articulation and Control System (AACS) returns telemetry data that may not be accurate. However, the problem has not yet triggered any of the on-board probe damage protection systems. In addition, the signal strength of Voyager 1 does not fluctuate. This suggests that the antenna of the high-gain probe is still pointed at the Earth, just as it should be.

All indications are that AACS is still working, but returns data that “may appear randomly generated or does not reflect any possible state that AACS may be in.”

“Such a mystery is something like this nominal value for the course at this stage of the Voyager mission, “said Susan Dodd, Voyager 1 and 2 Project Manager. The spacecraft is nearly 45 years old, far beyond what the mission planned. We are also in interstellar space, a high-radiation environment in which no spacecraft has flown before. So there are some big challenges for the engineering team. But I think if there is a way to solve this problem with AACS, our team will find it. “

Artemis Rising

There is also movement from Artemis. IN news releaseNASA has indicated possible launch dates from July this year to mid-2023.

After three unsuccessful launches of a “wet dress”, the besieged SLS missile is in the building assembly building for modification and troubleshooting. At a press conference on Friday morning, Tim Sanders of NASA’s Marshall Space Center also described the safety and structure tests that SLS will undergo. The mission’s engineers are testing the rocket’s performance in “shaking, jingling and rolling” – mechanical loads that can threaten the spacecraft in flight.

Image: NASA / Marshall Space Center

Meanwhile: In honor of the upcoming release of Artemis, ESA has launched its own Great Baking Control Mission, complemented by a truly unearthly recipe challenge. Everyone and all bakers are welcome to try a special recipe for banana bread, which contains “the main chemical elements found on the moon.”

“While the banana and chocolate will add magnesium, the oats will stick to a little silicon dioxide and iron, and the baking powder will bring oxygen,” the agency explained. “Yogurt and almonds will take us to the moon’s calcium.” And banana slices look like impact craters! Delightful.

Recipe for moon bread. For American cooks, preheat ovens to 350 ° F. Credits: ESA – K. Oldenburg

But wait – there is more! IN Great baking control of the ESA mission and its accompanying challenge on social media launched on May 17, inspired by World Baking Day. Bakers, crazy scientists, food chemists and everyone else who wants to enter can find instructions at The official invitation of ESA Bake The Moon. The competition ends on May 24.

Photos of the beauty of the lunar eclipse “Super Flower Bloody Moon”.

Last but not least, ICYMI, here are some selected photos of the total lunar eclipse on Sunday night. First, a dramatic delay series by an Italian photographer Giuseppe Donatiello. Here the moon passes from its pearly face to a piece of garnet before slipping into the black of the aggregate.

Credit: Giuseppe Donatiello, Flickr.

This eclipse occurred when the full moon came closest to Earth for the moon, making it a “supermoon.” And it was a really bloody moon. From our latitude in the Great Lakes, it was the color of a blood orange hanging in the silent sky. Here it is, as seen by Houston:

May 15, 2022: the night of the bloody moon of super flowers and a total lunar eclipse.

Original image from Stephen FUNGFlickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The moon acquired this saturated hue due to particles and pollution in the atmosphere. The small particles absorb the shorter and bluer wavelengths, but pass redder wavelengths to our eyes.

Here is NASA’s official eclipse stream, from start to finish, with expert commentary:

That’s all for now, people. But if you want to see NASA’s official stream for docking Starliner to the ISS, tune in to NASA live Friday night at 19:00 EDT. Have a nice weekend and see you next week.

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