Here are some recent stories of interest.
—Reuters: “Bezos’ Space Company Teams with Lockheed, Boeing for NASA Moon Lander Pitch“
Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin is partnering with Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp to pitch a lunar lander to NASA as the agency seeks to send humans to the moon again, the companies announced on Tuesday. The joint moon lander proposal, led by Blue Origin, marks the companies’ second attempt to win a coveted moon lander contract as NASA seeks more options for getting astronauts to the lunar surface under its multibillion dollar Artemis program.
—Western University: “‘Unexpected’ Space Traveller Defies Theories About Origin of Solar System“
Researchers from Western have shown that a fireball that originated at the edge of the Solar System was likely made of rock, not ice, challenging long-held beliefs about how the Solar System was formed. Just at the edge of our Solar System and halfway to the nearest stars is a collection of icy objects sailing through space, known as the Oort Cloud. Passing stars sometimes nudge these icy travellers towards the Sun, and we see them as comets with long tails. Scientists have yet to observe any objects in the Oort Cloud directly, but everything detected so far coming from its direction has been made of ice. Theoretically, the very basis of understanding our Solar System’s beginnings is built upon the foundation that only icy objects exist in these outer reaches and certainly, nothing made of rock.
—Universe Today: “ESA’s Upcoming Mission Will Tell us if Venus is Still Volcanically Active“
The EnVision mission is ESA’s fifth medium-class mission to Venus. It’s being planned in a partnership between NASA and ESA, and NASA will be providing the synthetic aperture radar instrument, which will map the surface (much as Magellan did). In addition to the two radars, the orbiter will carry spectrometers to study the atmosphere and surface. They will monitor trace gases in the atmosphere and analyze surface composition. The idea is to look for surface changes that might be linked to signs of active volcanism. Along with the VERITAS and DAVINCI missions, EnVision should reveal all we need to know about volcanic activity on Venus.