Mars Dust Storm and the Stalwart Opportunity

Mars Dust Storm 6/6/2018
(Image Credit: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)

Owing to the major differences between ostensibly similar planets of Earth and Mars, the red planet is now experiencing a massive dust storm the size of North America. Right in the midst of this maelstrom is the little Opportunity rover, hunkered down as best as it can against the fury of the bringer of war.

What is truly amazing, however, is that the rover is expected to weather the storm with little difficulty, only experiencing a brief suspension of it’s ongoing mission objectives.

The large concerns in a situation like this, of course, are that the solar panels may become covered with too much dust to properly funciton, or that the sun is obscured for too long causing a sharp decline in temperature of the rover. Neither eventuality is expected to slow down the scrappy piece of tech, and NASA appears to be in good shape to claim yet another of the ongoing victories in their rover program.

Reference: cnet

Last Minute News – Falcon 9 to Launch 12:45am EDT 6/4/2018

Official SpaceX SES Mission Patch
(Image Credit: SpaceX)

Well Gazetteers, it’s last minute, but here’s an update that all of us night owls will (probably) get to see the next Falcon 9 launch at 12:45am Eastern, from Cape Canaveral. This mission is to establish the new SES communication satellite in orbit, providing a high level of broadband availability to Asian-Pacific and Middle East regions.

Unfortunately, as reported previously, this is a Block 4 booster, so recovery will not be attempted with this launch. Pretty soon, everything will be Block 5 and we can count on a smooth touchdown on the droneship or mainland pad every time.

Watch the launch here.

Lego Ideas – SpaceX Ultimate Collection

Lego Ideas: SpaceX Set
(Image Credit: Lego)

Here at the Mars Gazette, we are fans of Lego – as are most sentient beings. It is therefore with great delight that we direct your attention to the Lego Ideas line (sets driven by ideas from the fan community) which is currently voting on a tremendous SpaceX set! It comes not only with a Falcon 9, a Falcon heavy and a Dragon Capsule, but also a Roadster and mini-Starman.

Bop on over to the Lego site and cast your free, no obligation vote of support for this set. If they hit 10,000 then there’s a good chance they will produce it!