Two new papers problem the invention of phosphine in Venus’ ambiance. The unique announcement of the detection of phosphine—a chemical related to life—got here in September 2020. Since then, different scientists have challenged the findings. One in all the new papers argues that sulfur dioxide might be producing the phosphine sign. New observations of Venus are deliberate within the coming weeks and months. Pictured: Venus’ higher clouds imaged in infrared by JAXA’s Akatsuki spacecraft. Picture credit score: JAXA/DARTS/ISAS.
The primary 2 of three new Mars missions arrive subsequent week. The United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft enters orbit on Tuesday, and China’s Tianwen-1 enters orbit Wednesday. Each launched in mid-2020. Tianwen-1 features a rover; the rover will stay connected for now with a touchdown deliberate for Might. For the newest information, see our Mars 2021 Missions Arrival Guide.
SpaceX plans to launch Four non-public astronauts into orbit on a 4-day mission in late 2021. Tech entrepreneur Jared Isaacman purchased the flight at an undisclosed worth. His fellow passengers will likely be a healthcare employee, the winner of a charity raffle, and a contest winner from a pool of people that use his firm’s software program to launch an internet retailer.
SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket flew once more, however didn’t stick its touchdown. The corporate, which plans to make use of Starship to ship people to Mars, is conducting high-altitude take a look at flights in Texas. This one ended the way in which the primary did, with a spectacular crash-landing. One other take a look at automobile is already ready within the wings. Learn the way NASA and SpaceX rely on one another for success.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover accomplished a second spacewalk outdoors the Worldwide House Station. The crew members, who arrived on the ISS through SpaceX’s second astronaut flight in November, wrapped up battery alternative work that started in 2017 and put in a brand new high-definition digital camera.
The House Launch System will conduct a second test-firing of its engines. NASA says a defective wire harness and overly conservative take a look at parameters stopped the primary take a look at of the large rocket. The second take a look at is scheduled for the week of 21 February.