The Downlink: Spitzer Says So Long, Voyager 2 Recovering after Glitch
The Orion Nebula by Hubble and Spitzer
This image of the Orion nebula was created using data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes. Hubble sees in ultraviolet and visible light, while Spitzer sees in infrared light. When combined, these views produce a richer view of the nebula than what human eyes can see.
Welcome to The Downlink, a planetary exploration news roundup from The Planetary Society! Here's everything that crossed our radar this week.
Astronauts Andrew Morgan and Luca Parmitano completed the fourth and final spacewalk outside the International Space Station to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a science instrument that helps astronomers hunt for dark matter. Meanwhile, a Cygnus cargo spacecraft stuffed with trash departed today. It will eventually be sent into the atmosphere to burn up.
NASA marked its annual Day of Remembrance to honor astronauts who have perished in spaceflight over the years. The day is timed to coincide with several tragic space anniversaries: the Apollo 1 fire on 27 January 1967, the Challenger disaster on 28 January 1986, and the loss of Columbia on 1 February 2003.
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is unlikely to meet its March 2021 launch date, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The successor to the Hubble Space Telescope will serve a broad range of astronomers and planetary scientists by studying some of the most distant objects in the universe and directly imaging exoplanets. But first, it has to get off the ground; the telescope is severely behind schedule and over budget.