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Highs and Lows of United States Space Agency in 2019  

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Preparations for the NASA’s Commercial crew program reached the final stage with both the SpaceX’s crew dragon as well as Boeing’s Starliner launching the first test flights. The NASA’s office of the Inspector General but warned that the ongoing delays in program had been expected to lead to the minor space station crews for a minimum of first half of the year 2020. The NASA agency has been working to send the space explorers safely back to 

moon in the year 2024 after vice president Pence announced the 4-year acceleration of previous deadline. 

But, critics say that the new timeline may not be realistic. NASA was also able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on 20th July, marking the occasion with the various events. In the space, the space explorers started the tricky on the dark matter detector by the name Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The NASA agency has classified this mission’s most challenging spacewalk task since Hubble Space Telescope upgraded conducted in the year 2009. The NASA astronauts were able to perform a first all-woman spacewalk, as well as the agency was able to announce that the crewmember named Christiana Koch would stay in space three extra months, putting her on track to be able to make second-longest spaceflight in the NASA history. 

NASA, as well as other government agencies, started the year during what would become the longest ever government shut down, prompting the agency concerns about long term effects on Astronomy. Also, in January, New Horizons spacecraft flew by the Kuiper Belt asteroid2014 MU69, making the space rock most distant object that has been explored. This object has been formally known as the Arrokoth. New Horizons team started to consider yet another distant destination visit later in its various mission.   

Mars was prominent in agency’s year. Opportunity mission ended formally in February after rover stopped responding to the commands in the year 2018, following the dust storm. InSight lander was able to deploy its instruments on Mars; seismometer has been able to send home some intriguing results even as the lander’s heat probe find it’s hard  to be able to dig into Martian surface. The NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to mark 60,000 laps of Red Planet; Orbiter’s observation has helped with the spacecraft landings as well as for observing the change on Martian Surface. And the agency has continued to launch the preparation for its advanced Mars rover yet, the Mars 2020, to be able to search out the habitable environments. 

Bob Melanian

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By Bob Melanian

Bob was Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Denver from 2011-2018 and now works as a practicing psychiatrist. As a passionate scientist, he founded the website www.melaniannews.net in early 2019 with the goal of delivering accurate and useful scientific reporting, and has since built it up as a valuable publication. While his field is in psychology, Bob also has a strong general understanding of many other fields in health, astronomy and applied science, and is able to write in a way that is easily understandable to the layman.

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