Although there were many obstacles in the way of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Artemis I mission launching — Hurricane Ian, liquid hydrogen leaks and more — the Orion rocket launched on Nov. 16 and returned back to Earth on Dec. 11.
On July 12 NASA revealed stunning first images taken by its James Webb Space Telescope. For scientists, the release of these images will lead to a better understanding of the history and formation of the universe and the potential discovery of life outside of Earth. JWST is aninfrared telescope projected to be the primary observatory for numerous astronomers in the next decade. Unlike the Hubble telescope, JWST can view a larger range of infrared wavelengths, which are longer than visible light wavelengths. As objects farther apart in space emit light with longer wavelengths like infrared, JWST is necessary to observe these objects.
Prof. Lisa Kaltenegger,astronomy, is the director of the Carl Sagan Institute and explainedthat because JWST is bigger than Hubble, it can collect more light.
A student team at Cornell is working to create a spacecraft that will test cutting-edge hologram and light sail technology in low earth orbit and expects to launch the craft within the year via a NASA program.
In this ambitious and novel project, NASA is awarding launch opportunities to a small fraction of competing schools and organizations. Along with other researchers, undergraduate mechanical engineer Sruti Vutukury ’21 is working on one of the sponsored projects at Cornell.
Cornell will lose a giant this week. In only a few days, Steve Squyres ’78, Ph.D. ’81, James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences, will depart from the helm of the astronomy department to assume the role of chief scientist at Blue Origin, a space exploration company. Having led NASA’s Mars exploration efforts, Squyres continued to teach at Cornell for over 40 years. His classes garnered acclaim among students, with Arts & Sciences Dean Ray Jayawardhana said, “He brought Mars to campus and gave us all a chance to see another world close-up. His infectious enthusiasm for exploration will continue to stimulate planetary scientists at Cornell for years to come.” Squyres’ years of service to the University and his dedication to the dual pursuits of discovery and its emotional conveyance have made Cornell history.
By using powerful space telescopes, they have already made — and continue to make — progress in spotting and learning more about such exoplanets. These researchers are specifically focusing on studying rocky planets that orbit relatively closer stars to Earth.