Mars is becoming a popular destination spot

Published 11:01 pm Friday, July 24, 2020

Mars is getting to be a popular destination.

There are three countries planning to have a space craft arrive at Mars in February 2021 — USA, United Arab Emirates and China.

The latest one that I have heard about was the Chinese mission, which had a successful launch of their rocket with a Mars rover on Thursday. They will be using their rocket named The Long March 5.

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This rocket has been used for several space missions. It is able to loft a payload of 55,000 pounds which is similar in capacity to our Delta IV Heavy or Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy, although their intent is to arrive in February 2021, the space craft will orbit Mars two to three months before they will land their rover, named Tianwen-1, in the northeastern part of Mars.

Russia used their Soyuz Rocket to take 2.8 tons of supplies to the international Space Station (ISS) on Thursday.

The cargo ship arrived at the ISS in just three and half hours after liftoff.

I have been wondering about the most dangerous portion of the trip of the astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley’s space flight, which is the fiery return to earth. The earliest tentative return date is Aug. 2. They plan to splash down in the Gulf of Mexico. During this past week, Behnken participated in the 300th spacewalk by an

American astronaut to finish the job of replacing the old NiCad batteries with new Lithium ion batteries.

The scientists are still at work with the samples bought back from the moon by the Apollo astronauts.
Japanese scientists have a theory about an asteroid shower that hit the moon and the earth some 800 million years ago and triggered an ice age that covered the world.

The moon has no erosion and craters are preserved forever, the largest one is 57 miles in diameter.

They have studied the pictures of the cratered surface taken by their space craft and having studied the crater debris samples from the Apollo missions, they theorize that the huge asteroid shower also hit the earth.

They believe that the earth received an estimated 40 to 50 trillion tons of asteroids which destroyed almost all of whatever life there was at that time.

That is 60 times the weight of the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs and most of the animal and plant life 66 million years ago. They will be receiving samples from their mission to the Asteroid Ryugu in December. They are very excited about this.

They hope to that the age of this asteroid will be the same as those that hit the moon 800 million years ago. If you work with spacecraft, you should have patience of the Biblical Job.

Their Hayabaya2 started for the asteroid in June 2018 and after it grabbed a sample of the asteroid, started back to earth in November 2019. It is expected back in December this year.

If they are lucky, it will have a few grams of Ryugu aboard.

Don Lee, a pilot flying out of Lawrence County Airport since 1970, has been in charge of equipment and grounds maintenance for the last several years. He can be reached at