Space Stories: Stalled Martian Rover, Early Mega-Galaxies, and Soviet Space Debris

Image (Credit): Artist’s rendering of China’s Zhurong rover about to roll off the lander and drive onto Mars. (WEIBO)

Here are some recent stories of interest.

SpaceNews: “NASA Mars Orbiter Reveals China’s Zhurong Rover Has Not Moved for Months

Images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal that China’s Zhurong rover remains stationary on the Red Planet as China remains silent on the status of its spacecraft. The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captured images of the rover on March 11, 2022, a second on Sept. 8, 2022 and finally Feb. 7, 2023. The images were published Feb. 21 by the HiRISE Operations Center.

Los Angeles Times: “Space Telescope Spots Massive Galaxies Near Cosmic Dawn and Blows Astronomers’ Minds

Astronomers have discovered what appear to be massive galaxies dating back to within 600 million years of the big bang, suggesting the early universe may have had a stellar fast-track that produced these “monsters.” While the new James Webb Space Telescope has spotted even older galaxies, dating to within a mere 300 million years of the beginning of the universe, it’s the size and maturity of these six apparent mega-galaxies that stunned scientists. They reported their findings Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Newsweek: “Russian Rocket Crashes Back Into Russia After 42 Years

A decades-old Soviet era piece of space junk has crashed back to Earth after over 40 years in orbit, improbably crash landing back in its home country, Russia. The abandoned Soviet Vostok-2M Blok E rocket stage, weighing more than 3,000 pounds, “made an uncontrolled reentry over Novaya Zemlya at 1016 UTC Feb 20 after 42.7 years in orbit,” tweeted Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and group leader at the Chandra X-ray Center Science Data Systems.