This past week in Mars news was jam packed with a little bit of everything: NASA and ESA signed a letter of intent to conduct a sample return mission
, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter returned its first pictures
from its new orbit, a heat shield for NASA’s 2020 Mars spacecraft cracked
: replacement being built, will not affect testing/launch schedule) and there’s new doubts
that NASA has any real active plan (or rather: budget) to get humans to Mars. Plus a few new Mars science studies
All that, and the InSight’s Mars lander is set to launch next weekend. Check out the official launch press kit
in the mean time.
I’ve begun to put together a small twitter list
of InSight team members as a great source to find out more about the mission in the days and weeks to come.
NASA finally has a new, permanent administrator, after Jim Brisdenstine (now on Twitter
) received Senate confirmation. This quickly received congratulations from the space industry, including The Mars Society’s Robert Zubrin
. The Mars Society president has been a supporter in the past
, saying ’The fracas over Bridenstine’s nomination for NASA administrator is unfortunate and unnecessary. Bridenstine is actually a very good choice for administrator’.
PS: Very cool, to see the kind of Mars exploration pride Lompoc Valley is showing, by having two public viewing platforms
for the InSight launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.