The launch of Crew-2, the 2nd flight of this particular Crew Dragon, is now scheduled for Friday (April 23). The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will blast off at 5:49 a.m EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. How to catch the action.
Preparations continue for the Crew-2 mission. Here a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft atop stands on the launch pad on April 20, 2021, at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image via NASA
/ Joel Kowsky.
On April 17, 2021, the New Horizons spacecraft passed 50 astronomical units – 50 times Earth’s distance from the sun – while speeding toward interstellar space. It also captured an image of another earthly spacecraft, even farther out.
Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft as it journeys past Pluto. Image via NASA
During 2.4 million years of existence, a total of 2.5 billion Tyrannosaurus rex lived on Earth, and 20,000 individual animals would have been alive at any moment, according to new calculations.
For Earth Day 2021 (April 22), NASA highlights science and technology that is helping us live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes. Here’s how to participate.
Is Lunar X a sign of an alien visitation? No. It’s an example of how lighting and topography can combine to produce a pattern that seems familiar to the human eye.
View at EarthSky Community Photos
. | Kannan A
in Singapore wrote on April 19, 2021: "Upon a close look at the moon tonight, I realized that the Lunar X and V were clearly visible. These are transient lunar that is visible on the lunar surface for about 4 hours, once a month. They are caused by sunlight illuminating the edge of craters. The X is caused by light illuminating the rims of craters Blanchinus, La Caille and Purback. The V is caused by light illuminating crater Ukert, along with several smaller craters. They are most striking when they are visible on the shadow side of the terminator, but they will remain visible against the lunar surface even after the terminator has moved because they are brighter than the surrounding area." Thank you, Kannan!
The Lyrids are an Earth Day meteor shower, peaking on the morning of April 22. Also, try the next morning, April 23. The moon is waxing – staying out longer after dark each night – so you’ll want to watch the time of moonset carefully.
Lyrids and others via NASA/MSFC/D. Moser
Here are the dates of all solar and lunar eclipses in the year 2021. Is there one you can see? The next one is a total lunar eclipse, coming up in May.
The Mars helicopter – named Ingenuity – successfully flew in the thin air of Mars early in the day on Monday, April 19. Images here.
The Mars helicopter - Ingenuity - hovering above the surface of Mars on April 19, 2021. This successful first flight is a technology demonstration for powered flight on Mars. The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover, arriving on Mars on February 18, 2021.
Northrop Grumman said last week that its Mission Extension Vehicle 2 – a robot spacecraft designed to help prolong the life of satellites in space – successfully docked to a commercial communications satellite. “We are now the only provider of life extension services for satellites,” a company spokesperson said.
This view from Northrop Grumman's Mission Extension Vehicle 2 spacecraft shows the Intelsat 10-02 satellite shortly before docking. Image via Northrop Grumman