James Webb Space Telescope Launching Today

The James Webb Space Telescope is finally launching today, at 7:20 AM Eastern Standard Time or 12:20 UTC. 30 years in the making, NASA has a video feed that starts very soon of the European Space Agency’s Ariane 5 rocket that will carry the new telescope to space where it’ll take a good trip to the other side of the moon, and then spend a month unfolding the delicate internals.

For more on why you should care about the James Webb Space Telescope I highly recommend this video from an astronomer and scientist working on the telescope, Kevin Hainline:

You can also find out more about the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s site.

Watch the Perseverance Rover’s Landing Process From Its Perspective & Hear the Surface of Mars

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has several cameras that record high resolution footage to give us these never before seen views of our neighbor Mars and the landing process it takes to get there.

NASA and JPL also released this amazing audio giving us an opportunity to hear what standing on Mars sounds like with the noise of the rover filtered out:

and including the noise from the rover:

NASA/JPL’s Perseverance Rover Safely Landed on Mars Today

NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory put out a statement after the successful landing:

The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).

Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover mission marks an ambitious first step in the effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.

Perseverance Lands on Mars Today

Ars has a guide to what’s going on with the new exploring metal guy today, the automated navigation system that will guide the rover to a safe landing, and a little bit about the first-of-it’s kind drone that will launch from Perseverance.

You can tune in to watch the status of the mission via NASA TV and elsewhere starting at 2:15PM/1415 EST.

49 Years Since The First, 46 Years Since The Last

On July 20th, 1969, humans first stepped onto the Moon with Apollo 11’s mission. That was 49 years ago and it’s been 46 years since Apollo 17’s final landing. We haven’t been back since.

Today, the US space program is in shambles. Much of it has been given over to private entrepreneurs. It’s a global embarrassment that humans haven’t been back, and 2019 will be the 50th anniversary of that first Moon landing.

There’s some hope that if people can work together across borders, we might see another manned mission to the moon by 2029 or 2030.