The Downlink: Starliner Preps for Test Flight, InSight's Mole Digs Again
NASA / Cory Huston
Starliner Meets its Atlas V Rocket
The first Boeing Starliner spacecraft is guided into position above its Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral, Florida, ahead of a test mission to the International Space Station scheduled for 17 December 2019. Providing that the flight goes well, Starliner could carry astronauts to the station next year.
Welcome to issue 8 of The Downlink, a planetary exploration news roundup from The Planetary Society! Here's everything that crossed our radar this week.
Scientists have recorded a bizarre orbital dance between two of Neptune’s inner moons, Naiad and Thalassa. The moons share a similar orbit, with Thalassa moving in a straight line while Naiad, the quicker-orbiting of the two, travels up and down in a wave pattern. The moons never come any closer than 3,540 kilometers. If you were standing on Thalassa, you’d see Naiad pass twice above you and twice below before the cycle repeated.