Europe and Japan's BepiColombo spacecraft, which launched in 2018, will fly by Earth on 10 April and use our planet's gravity to swing towards the inner solar system. Learn more about this mission and why we study Mercury.
The Planetary Society is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 13, which launched on 11 April 1970. Disaster struck on 13 April, prompting the crew's infamous "Houston, we've had a problem" call for help. Learn what happened, and how NASA got the astronauts home safely on 17 April.
Apollo 13 was the 3rd attempt to land humans on the Moon and the 1st to fail. Fifty-six hours into the mission, an explosion forced the crew to abort their Moon landing and take shelter in the Lunar Module. The crew ultimately returned to Earth safely.
If we were to listen to radio transmissions from space, we should be able to hear the dying gasps of black holes. As it turns out, we are listening, or at least the SETI@home receiver is. Perched above the giant Arecibo dish, it is systematically surveying a large portion of the sky, listening to the signals coming from space.
I just wanted to express my appreciation again to The Planetary Society for the Shoemaker Grant. Apogee Instruments delivered the AP6Ep purchased with the grant on 9 March 2001. Critical mass on all of the other components associated with implementing the proposal was reached last week.
From the Editor: Mars has definitely been the planet in the news these past two months, and two events have triggered larger-than-normal reverberations in the Society. First, on November 22, Gerald Soffen died. Then, on December 4, while we were wrapping up this issue, Mike Malin and Ken Edgett announced their latest news-making discovery -- this time of sedimentary layers on the Martian surface.
Apollo gave us our money's worth. The Apollo lunar samples, totaling 381 kilograms (838 pounds), along with thousands of photographs and other data, are still yielding clues to the world that has been our Rosetta stone for deciphering planetary evolution.