Voyager 2 enters interstellar space + China's far side mission re-ignites space race

Voyager 2 breaks through to interstellar space

INTRO: The Voyager 2 spacecraft may have finally taken the plunge into interstellar space, according to a new NASA announcement. At a distance of a little over 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from Earth, the probe is now thought to have passed beyond the heliosphere – the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields emanating from our star that envelopes the planets of our solar system...

Here’s why China’s launch to the far side of the Moon is a big deal

INTRO: Late last week, China launched an ambitious mission that will send a lander and rover to the far side of the Moon. This Chang'e-4 spacecraft represents a significant achievement for China, as no other nation has ever softly landed a rover on the side of the Moon facing away from Earth. If successful, this mission will carry out several lines of important scientific research on the still somewhat unknown far side of the Moon. However, the launch and landing of Chang'e-4 also helps to reveal the full scope of China's spaceflight ambitions and how the space program furthers the country's ambitious geopolitical goals. In this post, we try to unpack some of the implications....

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