Dec 11, 18 / Cap 09, 02 17:43 UTC

General News: Dec 11  

Ever since a massive dust storm took place on Mars this past summer, NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has been silent since June 10, leading to a halt of the rover's operations at Perseverance Valley.

However, those in charge of Oppy haven't given up on the golf-cart-size robot yet, which landed on Mars in January 2004.

In the coming weeks, winds could increase where Opportunity is located on Mars, and this could result in dust being blown off the rover's solar panels allowing the six-wheeled robot to work again finally.

In other news, Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-Fla.) political career is coming to an end and so is the current Congress but Nelson said he’s continuing to fight to keep operations of the International Space Station running through the end of the next decade.

During a speech on the Senate floor, which will be one of his last in the Senate, Nelson explained that he and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Senate space subcommittee, were working on getting an extension of the authorization of ISS operations passed before 2018 comes to an end.

Nelson and Cruz are firmly against any effort to end ISS operations in 2025. Instead, they want to extend station operations through the 2020s. The station’s international partners would also have to support such an extension, something they said earlier this fall that they were thinking about.

Lastly, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe arrived at Bennu last week and has already discovered hydrated minerals on the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) near-Earth asteroid,  according to an announcement made by mission team members.

The finding suggests that liquid water once abounded in the interior of Bennu's parent body, which scientists believe was an approximately 62-mile-wide (100 kilometres) rock in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. (It is likely that Bennu is a pile of rubble that fused after a massive impact shattered that larger object hundreds of millions of years ago.)

Do you think its a good idea to expand the ISS operations until 2030? Why? 

Let us know in the comments below!

Dec 11, 18 / Cap 09, 02 18:24 UTC

I would like to see a spinning part on the ISS to test gravity in space.

Grtz, Dirk.