NASA's moon megarocket moves back to the launch pad, a tiny moon rover gets rolling, and a solar sail prepares for a lunar mission. These are some of the top images this week from Space.com.
Artemis 1 makes an epic journey to the launch pad
NASA's Artemis 1 made a 9.5-hour-long crawl to its launch pad overnight Tuesday (Aug. 16) at the Kennedy Space Center ahead of a historic test. The mission, set to blast off for the moon on Aug. 29, will be an uncrewed test flight of the huge Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and its Orion spacecraft.
A tiny moon rover gets crawling on Earth
Cute photos show a prototype moon rover flexing its skills on Earth. Students at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands created the Lunar Zebro prototype, which is a small and light rover designed for use on the the moon.
Solar sail gets ready for a unique moon mission
A solar sail will fly to an asteroid as a part of the Artemis 1 moon mission. The Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission — a joint project between two NASA centers — will see a cubesat image the asteroid in detail.
Deep-space biology experiment gets a moon mission lift
A deep-space biology experiment will ride into space alongside Artemis 1. The experiment is mounted on a cubesat and called BioSentinel. It will carry yeast cells into an orbit around the sun similar to that of Earth's, allowing scientists to study space radiation on living creatures beyond the Earth-moon system.
VIPER rover crawls on moon-like regolith
A future NASA moon rover clambered among moon-like regolith inside of a testing facility. NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER), currently scheduled to land on the moon in late 2024, completed a series of mobility tests in preparation for its search for water ice.
Hawai'ian cloud looks like a flying saucer
A flying saucer-shaped cloud was spotted over Hawai'i recently but the origin was anything but alien. The Gemini Observatory on the Big Island of Hawai'i photographed a lenticular cloud over its telescopes, showing a phenomenon common in mountainous areas.
Hubble Space Telescope spots colorful outflows in deep space
A swirly Hubble Space Telescope photo portrays the Orion Nebula as a dynamic place to be. It zooms in on a region known as the Herbig-Haro object HH 505 and shows off the outflows from that area in colorful tones.
Supermassive black holes are in a frenetic dance
Fresh imagery of a distant galaxy shows two supermassive black holes swirling into collision. The billion-year-long crash in NGC 7727 will eventually see the huge objects colliding and merging into an even more massive supermassive black hole.
Boom Supersonic gets an order from American Airlines
Boom Supersonic got an order from American Airlines for 20 passenger jets. Once ready, the new airliners should carry passengers at twice the speeds of the usual passenger aircraft. The top speed of the Overture aircraft is Mach 1.7, or roughly 1,227 mph (1,975 kph); Mach 1 is the speed of sound.
Black hole scrutiny may point to dark matter
New investigation of black holes may point us to understanding dark matter along with extreme physics. Physicists realize now that black holes can affect their environments through processes like superradiance, during which a black hole speeds up nearby light waves to super-intense energy levels.
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