This Week in Space

Feb 23rd 2024

This Week in Space 99

Moonshots, Falling Satellites & Starships!

Hosted by Rod Pyle, Tariq Malik

Odysseus Lands, New Glenn Rollout, JWST Discovery

New episodes posted every Friday.
Category: News

What a year it's been so far! This week, Tariq and Rod look at some of the top headlines for 2024. So far, we've had a partially successful private lunar landing--the first for the United States since 1972--massive satellites hurtling out of orbit, more news on SpaceX's upcoming Starship activity, what's up with Blue Origin and New Glenn, the weirdest quasar story ever, and there's gold in them stars, says the James Webb Space Telescope. And we're just getting 2024 started! Join us for our deep dive into the headlines.

  • The top story is the successful landing of the Odysseus lunar lander by Intuitive Machines on the moon’s south pole, the first private spacecraft to do so. They discuss the mission’s payloads, the last-minute fix using NASA’s navigation system when their own failed, and the implications for future lunar operations.
  • They cover the uncontrolled reentry of the defunct European ERS-2 satellite over the Pacific Ocean and how dealing with space junk has evolved.
  • Varda Space Industries made history by successfully landing their private space capsule via parachute after seven months in orbit, a first and step towards autonomous in-space manufacturing.
  • Exciting updates on SpaceX’s Starship development - they may launch up to 9 missions in 2024 and are expanding infrastructure, targeting early to mid-March for the third launch of Starship.
  • Blue Origin rolled out their New Glenn rocket to the pad for fit checks, inching towards a test flight this year.
  • The farthest quasar yet has been discovered, called J0529-4351, with a brightness of 500 trillion Suns and a massive disk 7 light years wide. The discovery showcases the use of AI to analyze vast amounts of astronomical data.
  • Using James Webb, astronomers directly observed heavy elements like gold being created for the first time in merging neutron stars. Proves long-standing theories on cosmic origins of heavy metals.

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