Jupiter imaged in November 2020 by the Juno spacecraft on its 30th perijove. Processed by Kevin Gill.

2020 Was a Great Year for Things Trying to Leave this Planet. (Medium)

While things were pretty rough here on Earth in 2020, it was an amazing year for space exploration. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and remind ourselves of some of the truly awesome things humans are capable of…

Read more: https://tanyaofmars.medium.com/2020-was-a-great-year-for-things-trying-to-leave-this-planet-30dea1689dfa

Call Me Doctor (Medium)

This week, The Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Joseph Epstein that the institution with which he is (or now perhaps “was”) honorarily affiliated, Northwestern University, themselves called “misogynistic.” I’m not even going to link to the piece here because it doesn’t deserve the internet traffic, but Google it if you wish to read more. Epstein opens with…

Read more: https://medium.com/an-injustice/call-me-doctor-7884b56c7024

Back to School with Planet, Week 4 | Mars or Earth? (Medium)

Mars: The Red Planet. Sometimes our nearest neighbor beyond the Moon (switching off with Venus depending on the time of the year). A cold, desolate desert of a planet — currently the only planet in our Solar System inhabited solely by robots.

What could this red world possibly have in common with Earth?

It turns out, quite a lot!

Read more: https://medium.com/planet-stories/back-to-school-with-planet-week-4-mars-or-earth-858123465958

Academia is a Pyramid Scheme (Medium)

Space has been my career goal since I was a child. As a teenager, I began looking in earnest into what exactly that would entail, reaching out to local space advocacy groups and folks working in aerospace for guidance. From this I formulated my 5-step plan…

Read more: https://tanyaofmars.medium.com/academia-is-a-pyramid-scheme-bfac519fa05e

After Working on Mars, I’ll Never See Earth the Same Way (Medium)

For over a decade, I went to work on Mars.

There was a routine to each day: Come into the office. Make a cup of Earl Grey. Sit down at my computer and delve into the images sent to Earth from Mars overnight. In those moments, I was no longer on Earth. A watchful robotic eye orbiting 175 miles above the surface of the red planet acted as my proxy in the harshness of space.

Alas, I wasn’t wearing an awesome spacesuit to make the journey — although I would like to think that my collection of space-themed T-shirts was at least somewhat as cool…

Read more: https://humanparts.medium.com/a-martian-perspective-on-earth-27f29f72b41

Monitoring Martian Weather, Part 1: On the Ground (Medium)

NASA’s InSight lander has been making a splash in the news thanks to its capable weather station—but it’s not the first robotic meteorologist we’ve had on Mars.

Last week, NASA unveiled the first weather data from its InSight lander, which arrived on Mars in late November of last year. With a primary goal of collecting seismic and heat flow data to help us learn about the interior structure of the Red Planet, InSight also requires extremely sensitive information about martian weather. This is because it needs to be able to distinguish possible “marsquakes” and underground temperature swings from other disturbances, such as gusts of wind. The Auxiliary Payload Subsystem (APSS) measures…

Read more: Monitoring Martian Weather, Part 1: On the Ground (Medium)

After Oppy, an opportunity for NASA to work with SpaceX (The Houston Chronicle)

Last week, NASA officially said goodbye to the Opportunity rover after 15 years on Mars. Contact was lost last June after the strongest dust storm ever observed on the Red Planet engulfed the rover, blocking sunlight from reaching her solar panels. Even after the dust storm subsided, attempts to regain contact with “Oppy” (as she is often lovingly referred to) were unsuccessful. Her mission, however, was by far a success, and now…

Read more: After Oppy, an opportunity for NASA to work with SpaceX (The Houston Chronicle)