There’s some pretty interesting human activity going on in outer space during this period. For example, NASA recently launched InSight^, yet another probe heading for Mars (yes, I do believe we’ve spending a bit too much on Mars). Along with that, they also launched two cubesats^, the world’s first interplanetary such (cheaper) satellites^. “MarCO-A and MarCO-B are demonstrating a number of cubesat technologies during their nearly 7-month cruise to Mars, including a folding high-gain antenna and a cold-gas propulsion system.”
Then there’s this highly “visual” mission that saw a NASA rocket spew color clouds in the atmosphere, as part of a study on the magnetic field. “The vapor tracers that are released are made of barium, lithium, and trimethylaluminum, the same ingredients you might find in fireworks”:
And last but not least, here are some findings about how spaceflight has caused changes in the gene expression of an astronaut twin. In order to make the analysis possible, NASA kept one brother on Earth and the another spent one year on the International Space Station:
Say what you will about the USA, but their space program still kicks some major ass.