S27E74: Water Frost on Olympus Mons, Europe's Solar Probe, and Virgin Galactic's Pause
SpaceTime with Stuart Gary June 19, 2024x
00:28:0825.81 MB

S27E74: Water Frost on Olympus Mons, Europe's Solar Probe, and Virgin Galactic's Pause

Join us for SpaceTime Series 27 Episode 74, where we explore the latest cosmic discoveries and advancements in space exploration.
First, astronomers have discovered water frost on the solar system's tallest volcanoes, including Olympus Mons on Mars. This groundbreaking find challenges existing ideas about the red planet's climate dynamics and suggests the presence of water frost near the Martian equator for the first time. The study, led by Domus Valentinus, reveals that this frost is incredibly thin, likely only 100th of a millimeter thick, and consists of at least 150,000 tons of water that cycles between the surface and the atmosphere during the cold seasons.
Next, we delve into the European Space Agency's Proba-3 mission, which aims to study the sun's outer atmosphere or corona. This innovative mission involves two spacecraft flying in formation to create an artificial solar eclipse, allowing for sustained study of the sun's faint coronal atmosphere. The mission will launch aboard an Indian PSLV rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre and will demonstrate the precise positioning of two orbiting platforms.
Finally, Virgin Galactic has successfully completed its final space tourism flight before a two-year pause to upgrade its fleet. The Galactic 7 mission carried two pilots and two passengers to the edge of space, marking the end of operations for VSS Unity. The company will now focus on developing its next-generation Delta-class space planes, which are expected to enter commercial operations in 2026.
Follow our cosmic conversations on X @stuartgary, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of the universe, one episode at a time.
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