Posts tagged solar system
The Moon Is In Fact A Harsh Mistress

The Israeli Beresheet lunar lander encountered engine trouble during the final minute of its descent, and the craft wasn't able to slow down enough, resulting in a crash landing. 😔

Space is hard, guys. And the moon is a MFing harsh mistress.

Below is the last image Beresheet beamed back before its crash landing. So beautiful! 


Originally posted on Facebook.

A Busy Week in the Stars

It's a busy week for our accelerating journey into the stars, so keep one eye on the news - or this page, because you know I'll be posting. 😎

Wednesday at 9am EST, scientists are expected to reveal the first ever direct imaging of the event horizon of a black hole 😯, as part of the results of the Event Horizon Telescope (actually 10 radio telescopes on 4 continents). It's a surprise whether the image and data will relate to Sag A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, or the one in the M87 galaxy. You can watch the press conference here:

Wednesday evening (EST), SpaceX will conduct its second launch of its massive Falcon Heavy rocket - then attempt to land the central core and both side boosters at 3 separate locations. 😲 You can watch the launch and landings here:

Thursday afternoon (EST), the Israeli privately funded Beresheet lunar lander will attempt to - you guessed it. Land on the moon. 🌝 You can watch the landing here:



Originally posted on Facebook.

Exploration Posters

From NASA: “Are you ready for your vacation on the Moon? Are you looking forward to setting up camp on Mars? Can you get excitement to use the Gateway to access #Moon2Mars? Show everyone your new favorite exploration destinations with these free downloadable posters:

Le Sigh. I have no more wallspace, dammit! These are beautiful, though....


Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Crew Dragon

LIFTOFF! The next big leap in a new chapter of U.S. human spaceflight systems has begun. @SpaceX’s #CrewDragon demo flight is the 1st commercially-built & operated American spacecraft designed for humans to dock at the @Space_Station. NASA: “Today’s successful launch marks a new chapter in American excellence, getting us closer to once again flying American astronauts on American rockets from American soil."

For this demo launch, Crew Dragon is staffed with a sensor-laden dummy named “Ripley.” The capsule will arrive at the ISS on Sunday, where it will attempt its first autonomous docking (previous non-crew Dragon capsules have been snagged and guided in by an arm on the ISS controlled by astronauts on board).

NASA Press Release:


Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter (1st tweet, 2nd tweet).

Stunning Astrophotography Image of SpaceX Launch

By Mike Seeley: “40 mins of pre-launch star trails + 4 minutes of rocket streak + 55 seconds of the Moon rising with bonus: the boost-back landing burn, low on the horizon. Congratulations to all involved in the #SpaceX #NusantaraSatu #Falcon9 launch (&landing!) (Pis: me / @WeReportSpace)”

The mission sent an Israeli commercial lunar lander off on its two-month journey to the moon. You can learn more about the mission at


Originally posted on Twitter.

A Celebration of Opportunity

The NASA press conference was a beautiful, heartfelt celebration of the 15 years of Opportunity's mission and a look to the future of Mars exploration.

Over the last 9 months, the team sent over 1,000 recovery commands to try and wake Opportunity up, ultimately to no avail. The last message Opportunity sent translated as “My battery is low and it is getting dark.” 🥺 Amidst a month-long, record-setting dust storm, it was simply too cold and too dark for too long.

Now the internet is overflowing with personal tributes, and more than a few tears. Here are a few, as well as some images and infographics:

Official statement and mission recap from JPL:…/nasas-opportunity-rover-mission-on…/

XKCD Comic "Opportunity":

A comic with a happy ending, one day:

More hope for a reunion in the future: “And in 200 years time the little rover will awaken to someone cleaning and repairing it and fitting new batteries, and it'll roll outside and look out over the city of the same name, its home.”:

A thread on what went wrong for Opportunity:

A thread on what Opportunity has meant for humanity, and why we cry at its loss:…/status/1095730251873714176

A live blog thread on the NASA press conference:

Another beautiful goodbye:

A eulogy by Rachel Feltman:

A whole Flikr gallery of images from Opportunity over the years by Jason Major:…/lightsinth…/sets/72157669559511817/

Curiosity’s tribute to Opportunity:

Even The Onion got sentimental:

Beautiful thoughts from Scott Maxwell, who relayed commands to Opportunity for years:

Ad astra to Opportunity, the finest planetary rover we’ve ever known:

I'm not crying, you're crying. Okay, fine, we're all crying. 😭


Originally posted on Facebook (with updates).

Opportunity Update

NASA will hold a press conference Wednesday at 2PM EST to share the results of its efforts to reestablish contact with Opportunity. All indications are that it won't be good news, and may very well mark the end of the mission.

It's been 9 months since communication with the rover was lost during a massive Mars dust storm.

Whatever happens, here's a beautiful piece about Opportunity and some of the lives it's touched by Shannon Stirone:…/its-time-to-say-goodbye-to-our-beloved…. Expect a lot more pieces like this to be posted in coming days.


Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Join Us In Going To The Moon - and Beyond

NASA: Join Us in Going to the Moon ... and Beyond. "This time, when we go to the moon, we will stay." - A statement by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

And more nitty-gritty details about NASA’s plans:


Originally posted on Twitter.

GS JennsenNASA, solar system, missions