The Downlink: Station Crew Home, Hayabusa2 Deploys Rover
Planetary exploration news for busy people
NASA / Bill Ingalls
The First Emirati Astronaut
Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, is carried to a medical tent after he and Expedition 60 crewmembers Alexey Ovchinin and Nick Hague returned to Earth in their Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft on 3 October 2019.
Welcome to The Downlink, a new planetary exploration news roundup from The Planetary Society! Here’s everything that crossed our radar this week.
Three astronauts returned to Earth from the International Space Station. NASA’s Nick Hague and Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin wrapped up a 203-day mission, while Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, the first astronaut from the United Arab Emirates, completed a 9-day spaceflight under an agreement between Russia and the UAE. Learn more about the International Space Station.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft completed a 10.5-hour thruster burn to avoid what would have been a 12-hour trip through Jupiter’s shadow. The lengthy eclipse would have drained the solar-powered spacecraft’s batteries, and without heaters to keep it warm, it likely would have succumbed to the cold. Juno’s original trajectory would never have carried it through Jupiter’s shadow for so long, but a main engine problem in 2016 left the spacecraft in a different orbit. See pretty pictures of Jupiter in our image library.