An emerging golden age of probes may reimagine the origin story of our galactic neighborhood.
By Joe Pappalardo Dec 5, 2018
“Alien conspiracy theorists have certainly ruined the word “probe.” But there’s really only one kind of extraterrestrial probing happening in our solar system, and it’s us Earthlings who are doing it.
On Monday an intrepid spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx officially rendezvoused with a 500-meter-wide asteroid. The spacecraft will spend months at the asteroid, then descend to gather samples and return them to Earth.
Humanity witnessed another casual miracle of engineering just the week before—the landing of InSight on Mars. This probe will measure seismic Marsquakes and drill into the surface measure the thermal flux under the surface. This is a geology mission, one meant to gather never-before-seen data on the internal structure of the Red Planet…”
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