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1.  James Webb Space Telescope to launch into space on December 25, 2021

This Telescope has been completed and tested. It has travelled by sea from California through the Panama Canal to the Arianespace ELA-3 rocket launch site at the European Spaceport, which is located at Kourou, French Guiana. It arrived there on October 14. The launch date is set as December 25. The JWST will replace the Hubble Space Telescope.


    James Webb Space Telescope nominal deployment sequence for the first 29 days after launch:         Click   here

    The launch will be live-streamed on Christmas Day, December 25:

     The official NASA broadcast will begin at 9 pm Queensland time, although this may be an error due to misunderstanding of our non-use of Daylight Saving Time. If that is the case, then the broadcast may begin at 10 pm. The actual time of lift-off will be at 10:20 pm.   Click   here   to watch it.

    The JWST sunshield and telescope mirrors have been successfully deployed by January 9:

     Click   here   for a report. The JWST is now heading towards the Lagrange Point 2 where it will be stationed. It expected to arrive there on January 29.




2.  First space tourists orbit the Earth 44 times on September 16 - 18, 2021

The Inspiration4 was a human spaceflight mission in September 2021, operated by SpaceX on behalf of Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman. The mission launched the Crew Dragon Resilience on 16 September 2021 from Cape Canaveral, Florida with Mr Isaacman and three other civilians (two women and one man selected by him) on board. He is believed to have paid $US 140 million to SpaceX for the mission. They had prepared for the mission for six months and were the first 'space tourists'. None was a trained astronaut. They entered Earth orbit and completed 44 orbits before their capsule, Resilience,  splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after three days in space. For more, see Wikipedia or Google "SpaceX Crew Dragon" or "Inspiration4".




3.  News from Mars - October 6, 2021

Perseverance Rover has collected two core samples on Mars, and scientists are already gaining new insights into the regionís history of water and volcanic activity from the rocks it has drilled.  Full story and rover selfies

Take a 3D Spin on Mars and Track NASA's Perseverance Rover - click  here

NASA's Mars Fleet Lies Low with Sun Between Earth and Red Planet - click  here

Mars helicopter spins up for new season: after 13 successful flights, the Ingenuity Helicopter team is testing higher spin rates for its blades, since seasonal changes are affecting the already-thin Martian atmosphere - click  here 




4.  Australia to build lunar rover for our first mission to the Moon - October 13, 2021

An Australian-made rover will be launched into space to collect samples from the Moon within five years - click  here  for a video report.  




5.  Parkes Radio Telescope turns 60 years old today - October 31, 2021

To find out how the great Parkes 'Dish' came to be constructed,  who built it and the work that it does, click  here  (pdf file).



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