An Early Christmas Present: A Bit of Asteroid from Hayabusa2!

By Dr Rok Nežič (Credit: DLR – German Aerospace Centre) Caption: Artist’s impression of Hayabusa2 firing its ion thrusters If you’ve been following space news in the last couple of years, you will have heard a lot about two space missions to nearby asteroids: Hayabusa2 – operated by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) – Read more…

Insight on InSight

Some seven months ago, a NASA spacecraft called InSight was launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket and headed to Mars (Figure 1). If all goes well, the spacecraft will land on the Martian surface at around 8pm UK time this Monday 26th November and begin its science investigation. InSight is a fixed lander (see Figure 2 below), a much simpler affair than the Curiosity rover that arrived in 2012 and continues its trek across the floor of Gale crater to this day. Mobility, is however, not required for the specific aim of the mission.