Beresheet2 to launch on the Moon in 2024. The mission will be based on lessons learned from Beresheet1, which fell on the Moon in 2019. Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL says the mission will include two probes and an orbiter, and that children, students and scientists around the world will be able to communicate with the orbiter and conduct experiments. In the photo: the Beresheet1 landing module returned this photo of the Moon from an altitude of 22 kilometers before its unfortunate landing failure. Image credit: SpaceIL.
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars 2016 mission has yet to find methane on Mars. the evidence come from data collected by the Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft between 2018 and 2019 and support previous preliminary results. Methane is produced naturally by vital and non-vital processes and has been detected by other space missions. How much Martian methane exists and where it comes from is an area of active study.
A supply spacecraft Northrop Grumman Cygnus left the International Space Station on Wednesday. The vehicle arrived in October and is named after Kalpana Chawla, the first female astronaut of Indian descent. After departure, Cygnus will conduct experiments in orbit autonomously before re-entering the atmosphere for destruction.
As part of a wave of last-minute Trump administration space policies, the White House released a report on planetary protection. The report identifies the work to be done with commercial companies to develop guidelines for private missions in places like Mars. NASA has its own set of planetary protection guidelines that do not cover missions not associated with the agency.