Our Astronomy crew is back, with insight into the latest development speculating about icy plumes of water on Jupiter's moon, Europa. And, eyes on Mars: NASA's Insight Mars Lander just launched a mission to study the planet's interior. In 2020, NASA will attempt to fly a tiny helicopter drone in the thin Martian atmosphere. SpaceX is on track to launch more rockets than any other country...and may soon begin testing short trips to Mars next year. Amid all this speculation: could the first man on Mars...be a woman?
- Mal Cameron - former astronomy and space educator at the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center and coordinator of its NASA Educator Resource Center.
- John Gianforte – co-founder of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England and astronomy instructor for Granite State College and UNH.
- Nicole Gugliucci -Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Saint Anselm College.
The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration that will travel to the Red Planet with the Mars 2020 rover. It will attempt controlled flight in Mars' thin atmosphere, which may enable more ambitious missions in the future.
In a two-year survey of the solar neighborhood, TESS will monitor more than 200,000 stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances.
The BBC speculated on whether the first person in space should be a woman.