People versus cosmos

Personally, I believe that the next boom of exploration and exploration of the cosmos is fast approaching. Thanks to private capital joined to the cosmic race, and the entry barrier is lowered, we can expect a major change in the next decade or two.

I am convinced that at the end of this road is the construction of a manned interplanetary vessel and long-term unmanned missions outside the Solar System. Let's look at the development of space exploration in the past year. Here are some, in my opinion, important events in 2018.

Successful mission of the Insight probe on Mars (with a Polish accent)

The mission of the Insight probe prepared for several years was also interesting for us because of the penetrator of the ground, unofficially called Kret , prepared by the Polish company Astronika in cooperation with the Space Research Center of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The Insight mission provides up-to-date information and photographs on the official website of the project .

Spectacular Falcon Heavy tests

The heaviest of the rockets currently in operation, namely Falcon Heavy in February, successfully passed the test of raising the car with a manikin that imitates the driver to the heliocentric orbit. The whole action was calculated by SpaceX to show itself to the press and the media, but it is difficult to refuse to show it.

We are exploring the first objects from outside the Solar System

Although Oumuamua appeared near the Solar System in 2017, all of 2018 had the opportunity to wonder what it actually is. By the way, we once again realized how large distances in the Space prevent the exact recognition of many properties of observed objects.

'Oumuamua was not the only object of interstellar origin that astronomers observed in 2018. It is worth mentioning the exo-asteroid 2015 BZ509, captured 4.5 billion years ago by the gravity of Jupiter, but observed from Earth only in May.

Another, more and more mysterious radio flares

The so-called fast radio burst, or FRB, is an extragalactic short radio signal (often lasting only a few milliseconds). We observe them with the use of radio telescopes from time to time, but we still do not know their sources and the way they are created.

In 2018, three more observed FRBs appeared. Each of them was unique in its own way.

The first of them, from March, had the highest signal to noise ratio observed so far (411). The second in turn was recorded on the frequency "unused" by the FRB (580 MHz). The third (October report) consisted of 19 non-recurring segments.

Organic matter on Mars

The Curiosity rover found particles of organic matter on Mars - means based on coal, including traces of methane. Thanks to the Martian soil research, we also have evidence that the methane level was subject to seasonal fluctuations.

Organic compounds are often the product of known forms of life on Earth - but this does not have to be the case with the Red Planet. Nevertheless, NASA considers this as a clue to continue looking for traces of life there - this is the best trail we have outside Earth.

Parker Solar Probe will "touch" the Sun.

In the past year, the Parker Solar Probe has also begun its mission, the task of which will be orbiting the Sun so close that it will pass through the so-called. the solar corona or outer layers of the atmosphere of the nearest star to us.

The measurements taken by Parker will allow us to learn more about how energy and temperature changes in the solar corona and how the solar wind is created.

People versus cosmos


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