Earlier this month it was announced that an entrepreneur would like to launch an “artificial star” into orbit, adding to the mass of space junk. Chris North and Edward Gomez give their views on the matter, and how missions such as RemoveDEBRIS might help. Further afield, there’s more water on Mars – or in this case beneath its surface – and ice near the poles of the Moon. While these seem like perennial stories, are these any different? And what’s so impressive about discovering aluminium in space?
On 12 August NASA launched the Parker Solar Probe, a mission to explore the Sun’s corona, or atmosphere. Professor Lucie Green, from MSSL, explains how the mission will explore how the Solar System’s central engine drives the solar wind, and puts it in context with our broader understanding of the Sun’s effect on its surroundings.