First up, last night SPaceX launched and landed a pre-used booster This is not the Block 5 that they want to launch three times, not yet. That flight is incoming later this year.

Next up, after the Soyuz failure earlier this year, Russia will attempt a launch today at 1:14Pm EST TODAY! this will be a validation flight for inspecting the valve that got stuck on the flight that failed. If this flight goes well, a manned Soyuz will fly to the ISS in December, tentatively December 3.

The Parker Solar Probe survived its first close pass to the sun and performed well. It is now the fastest object build by humans with reference to the solar inertial frame- ie assume the sun is stationary and measure speed relative to that assumption.

The Lucy mission is a go! They are building the spacecraft now with an October 2021 launch window. This mission is mad science to multiple objects we have never seen close up before and I am all kinds of excited that they are funded and moving forward.

For our European friends, you are in on the action as well. BepiColumbo is on its way to Mercury to build on our knowledge of that odd little world. Mercury is heavier than everything else in the solar system, mainly due to Mercury is the densest planet. Despite the MESSENGER mission there are still a great deal of unknowns about Mercury. Seven years a some 6 planetary flybys later, the mission will begin.

Finally, the mission to Phyche is a GO! This is a type of object that appears to be a one-of-a-kind object- a 200 mile wide ball of metal and little to no rock or silicates, like the earth's crust. Summer 2022 is the launch target. The Spacecraft is being put together and its ion thruster is going through testing right now. This will explore the largest object left to be explored inside the orbit of Jupiter!

If you are a space nerd, be happy. Wonderful things are going down and amazing worlds are waiting to be explored.


I much prefer francopoli's space report to Jonathan's Space Report.

posted by francopoli: 94 days ago