August 18, 2020 - Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 58 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband internet network and three SkySat earth-imaging satellites launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 18, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

August 18, 2020 - Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 58 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband internet network and three SkySat earth-imaging satellites launches at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 18, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Photo by: NurPhoto/Getty

NurPhoto/Getty

September: What's New In Space Exploration This Month?

Below are some exciting space exploration highlights!

August 31, 2020

1. NASA's Artemis Mission will launch via a SpaceX rocket

It was just announced that SpaceX's rocket will launch a lunar lander bound for the moon's South Pole in late 2022.

SHELTON, WA - AUGUST 29: The moon rises over the Skyline Drive In on August 29, 2020 in Shelton, WA . Due to ongoing coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the one-night drive-in Metallica concert event at over 300 drive-ins throughout the country is broadcasting two separate performances on large LCD screens with sound played through car radios. (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images)

SHELTON, WA - AUGUST 29: The moon rises over the Skyline Drive In on August 29, 2020 in Shelton, WA . Due to ongoing coronavirus social distancing restrictions, the one-night drive-in Metallica concert event at over 300 drive-ins throughout the country is broadcasting two separate performances on large LCD screens with sound played through car radios. (Photo by Jim Bennett/Getty Images)

Photo by: Jim Bennett/Getty

Jim Bennett/Getty

2. NASA astronaut, Jeanette Epps, has been assigned to next year's Boeing Starliner launch

Boeing's first operational crewed flight, known as Starliner 1, will launch NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, Sunita Williams, and Josh Cassada to the International Space Station in 2021.

NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps Will Make History with Her Next Mission

It was announced this week that Astronaut Jeanette Epps will be added to NASA's Boeing Starliner-1 mission to the international Space Station. She will be the first Black astronaut to live on the ISS.

3. SpaceX fired up their SN6 Starship rocket prototype in preparation for a hop test

SpaceX is developing a reusable transportation system for spaceflight to the Moon, Mars, and beyond our wildest space dreams. According to SpaceX, SN6's hop test will be happening this month and similar to SN5's.

Photo by: SpaceX

SpaceX

4. SpaceX's recent onshore landing of a Falcon 9 rocket was a success

SpaceX landed its Falcon 9 rocket on Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last night, August 30, instead of a drone ship after a successful launch of a SAOCOM 1B mission.

5. SpaceX is preparing to launch its 12th batch of Starlink satellites this week

SpaceX is scheduled to launch another batch of Starlink satellites this week followed by two additional batches towards the end of the month. When you go outside, look up and you just might see the "largest satellite fleet" in space pass by!

VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA - APRIL 27, 2020: 60 of the Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk's SpaceX private spaceflight company seen in the night sky. On April 22, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on the Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The Starlink project is aimed at providing low-cost internet to remote locations; SpaceX is planning to launch into orbit about 30,000 satellites. Following the launch of the first batch of the Starlink satellites, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) expressed concerns about the satellites being too bright and forming a 'megaconstellation' and thus causing serious problems for astronomers.  Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)

VLADIVOSTOK, RUSSIA - APRIL 27, 2020: 60 of the Starlink Internet communication satellites of Elon Musk's SpaceX private spaceflight company seen in the night sky. On April 22, 2020, SpaceX successfully launched 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on the Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The Starlink project is aimed at providing low-cost internet to remote locations; SpaceX is planning to launch into orbit about 30,000 satellites. Following the launch of the first batch of the Starlink satellites, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the US National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) expressed concerns about the satellites being too bright and forming a 'megaconstellation' and thus causing serious problems for astronomers. Yuri Smityuk/TASS (Photo by Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)

Photo by: Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty

Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Getty

Next Up

6 Months in Space Permanently Ages Bones by 10 Years

Astronauts on long-term space missions can experience bone loss equivalent to two decades of aging. New research suggests more weight-bearing exercises in space could help offset that decline.

The James Webb Space Telescope Launches!

Finally! It was initially proposed way back in 1998 and named the James Webb Space Telescope in 2002. After a decade of delays and over 10 billion dollars past its original budget, NASA’s next great observatory finally launched from the European Space Agency’s Guiana Space Centre in South America.

Here Comes Artemis I (Rescheduled, again)

NASA's long-awaited Artemis 1 uncrewed moon mission and next generation of spacecraft has been delayed for a second time. The rocket was initially scheduled to launch on Aug. 29, 2022, at 8:33 AM ET, but was delayed due to an issue with the engine bleed. Watch Space Launch Live: Artemis-1 on Science Channel to see the moment of liftoff. (Launch Date Pending) (Updated Sept 7, 11:00AM)

Quiz: Test Your Space Exploration Knowledge

Ahead of the historic May 27th NASA and SpaceX crewed space launch, test your space exploration knowledge!

How Exoplanets Became the Next Big Thing in Astronomy

To date, we know of over 5,000 planets outside the solar system. And astronomers suspect that there may be *checks notes* around a trillion more in our galaxy alone. The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy, with expensive telescopes and giant collaborations all searching for the holy grail of the 21st century: an Earth 2.0, a habitable world like our own.

South Korea Joins Space Race by Sending its First Spacecraft to the Moon

South Korea is launching its first lunar probe to the moon on August 4th. The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) or Danuri, developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is being launched to study moon carters, magnetic fields, and surface weathering.

How Astronomers Use a Trick of Gravity to See the Most Distant Objects in the Universe

Let’s say you’re an astronomer (work with me here) and you want to take a picture of something incredibly, deeply far away. You know, the typical business of astronomy.

Chinese Space Debris is Heading for a Crash Landing on Earth

Debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to fall into Earth in an uncontrollable re-entry this weekend. Although the probability of the debris landing in a populated area is low, questions are now being raised about the responsibility of different countries to correctly dispose of their space junk.

A Guide to this August’s Best Astronomy Attractions

Learn more about the exciting things happening in the night sky this month! From the rings of Saturn to the most popular meteor shower of the year, August 2022 has us stargazing all month.

What We’ve Already Learned From James Webb? (Hint: it’s a lot)

That was worth the wait. Just a quick handful of months since its historic launch on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope has flown to its observing position, unfolded its delicate instruments and ultra-sized mirror, and run through a suite of checks and alignments and calibrations. The team at NASA behind the telescopes released their first batch of images from the science runs, and besides being gorgeous, they're powerful.

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