We've had a turbulent week.
the highs, the lows, the year that built up to it.
So we've curated some good news in a digestible package for you.
Only positive news to feed your relief.
Voyager 2 phones home, a first in over seven months.
Voyager 2 is back online after Canberra's Deep Space Station 43 (DSS43) radio antenna beamed test commands to the spacecraft following its first transmitter replacement in over 47 years. The probe confirmed the instructions and complied without incident on November 3rd, said NASA officials. Voyager 2 is 18.8 billion km from Earth in interstellar space. Meaning a command from mission control takes about 17.5 hours.
Four-time spaceman, Mark Kelly, has won a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Veteran astronaut Mark Kelly wins democratic U.S. senate seat, making him the fourth NASA astronaut elected to Congress. Kelly, who launched four times into space before pursuing a career in politics, was successful in his bid to represent the state of Arizona in the U.S. Senate.
"When we launched this campaign from this very spot, right here, 619 days ago, I could have never anticipated just how many Arizonians would be part of this mission," said Kelly, addressing supporters at the Hotel Congress in Tucson on November 3rd. "This mission does not end when the last vote is counted. It is only the beginning."
"When I was at NASA, we would train for two years for a space shuttle mission. From being in the space shuttle simulator and flying and training, two years of focusing on the details. Two years before we were on the launchpad ready to go. And then the work started," he said. "Now the work starts."
NASA wants you along for the ride (virtually) on SpaceX's next astronaut mission.
SpaceX's first operational astronaut launch for NASA is just nine days away, and the agency is inviting the public to go along for the historic ride.
On November 15th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will send a Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts — NASA's Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi — to the International Space Station for a six-month stay
"Members of the public can attend the launch virtually, receiving mission updates and opportunities normally reserved for on-site guests," NASA officials wrote.
"NASA's virtual launch experience for Crew-1 includes curated launch resources, a digital boarding pass, notifications about NASA social interactions and the opportunity for a virtual launch passport stamp following a successful launch," the agency added.
You can download a Crew-1 "launch passport" here, sign up for emailed mission updates here and register for social media updates here.
The Skull Nebula On Halloween.
The Skull Nebula is seen here in an image taken by the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope. This nebula, also known as NGC 246, surrounds a strange triple-star system. The Skull Nebula is located about 1,600 light-years away from Earth, in the constellation Cetus, or The Whale.
Taurid Meteor shooting star.
Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes captured this photo of a Taurid meteor over Assateague Island, Maryland on November 5th. The Southern Taurid meteor shower, visible from the Southern Hemisphere, peaked in early November. The Northern Taurid meteor shower peaks overnight on Nov. 11-12 and is visible from the Northern Hemisphere. However, viewers in both hemispheres can still see meteors through late November, according to NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke.
Asteroid Bennu's samples are safe and sound en route for Earth.
Getting rock samples secured for a trip from their home asteroid to Earth was tricky, but NASA's OSIRIS-REx team was able to successfully close the flap of their capsule over their bulky sample from asteroid Bennu. Both of these images were captured by OSIRIS-REx’s StowCam camera. The left image shows OSIRIS-REx’s collector head hovering over the Sample Return Capsule (SRC) after the probe’s robotic arm moved it into the proper position for capture. The right image shows the collector head secured onto the capture ring in the SRC.
The ISS's "homemade" voting booth.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins did her part from 400km above Earth using her homemade voting booth on the International Space Station. Astronauts in space during an election have been able to vote from orbit since 1997, when NASA and the Texas election officials laid out a cosmic absentee ballot process for any American caught in space on voting day. Rubins, who launched into space on Oct. 14, cast her ballot on Oct. 22 and shared this view of her polling place.
The ISS has been occupied for 20 years
The International Space Station (ISS) has now been continuously occupied for 20 years, after the Expedition 1 reached the station on Nov. 2, 2020. NASA astronaut William Shepherd was the space station's first commander, paving the way for 20 years of humans living and working in low Earth orbit. Since that first historic mission, the orbiting lab has been continuously occupied by humans.
New study finds the cause of mysterious Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs).
FRBs were only discovered in 2007, and their origins have thus far been mysterious. FRBs are intense pulses of radio waves that last just a few thousandths of a second but somehow release an incredible amount of energy. A new study found that they may be caused by asteroids that are struck by the magnetic winds blasting off from neutron stars.
13 years of Cassini spacecraft data finds trace of organic chemical on Saturn's moon Titan.
Researchers used the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) in Chile to study Saturn's moon Titan. They found the signature of an organic chemical called cyclopropenylidene, which is made of carbon and hydrogen atoms. NASA plans to study Titan, which may be the most Earth-like space in the solar system, in its upcoming Dragonfly mission.
Thanks for joining us and keeping the positivity going.
Your contributions and support are greatly appreciated as we thrust Australia into the deep unknown.