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10 of the Most Exciting Space Explorations to Look Forward to in 2018

Will this year’s space explorations give us a much better understanding of the universe?

2017 was a blast. And with another year, there is a lot of things people are hoping to see. Such is actually true in the field of space missions, from highly-anticipated launched to deep space explorations. Indeed, this year is a going to be as exciting as ever.

We here at Elite Readers compiled a list of exciting space missions to look forward to this 2018. This year is definitely expected to be more thrilling. Well, without further ado, here they are!

#1. January

Source: electrek

This month will feature the inaugural launch of SpaceX’s long-awaited Falcon Heavy rocket. Although the company has yet to announce an official date, it is expected to launch between late January and early February.

It is worth noting that this launching is set to be the most powerful rocket in operation today. More importantly, it will be taking Elon Musk’s very own Tesla car to the orbital path of Mars.

#2. February

Russia is all set to send a so-called Progress cargo spacecraft to ISS (International Space Station) for three hours. In comparison, it is shorter than a normal flight from New York to Los Angeles. However, it is half the quickest time humanity has ever sent anything to the ISS.

#3. March

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), which is NASA’s newest planet hunter, is scheduled to launch no earlier than the middle of March. It aims to find more than 30,000 planets outside the Solar System, including Earth-sized worlds.

#4. April

Source: Wikipedia

SpaceX is expected to perform an unmanned test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft for the very first time, though there is also a planned crewed flight later this year. China, on the other hand, will have its Tiangong-1 space station re-enter the atmosphere.

#5. May

Source: SciNews

Delayed from a few years back, the InSight Lander will finally be launched on a mission to the Red Planet. As soon as it lands in Mars, it will attempt to study the planet’s interior using seismology.

#6. June

China will soon launch its Chang’e-4 relay satellite directly to the Moon, as it is intended to the very orbital component of a planned lunar lander. The latter is expected to set foot on the far side of the Moon later this year.

#7. July

Source: NASA

The Parker Solar Probe of NASA will be launched in a goal to study the Sun. Interestingly, it will be set at a much closer distance than any spacecraft has ever managed to do. It is believed to be 17 times farther than the width of the Sun itself.

#8. August

Source: NASA

Boeing is set to perform an uncrewed test of its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. It also plans to launch humans sometime in November this year. SpaceX is also expected to conduct a crewed test of its Crew Dragon.

#9. October

Source: SGF

The joint mission involving Europe and Japanese – called BepiColombo – will be launched to Mercury. The mission is composed of two orbiters, though it will not really arrive into orbit around the said planet until December of 2025.

#10. December

The launch of one of the final modules of the ISS is expected this month. It is none other than the Russian-built Nauka module, which was actually delayed a couple of years ago.

Sci/Tech

Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads

Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.

The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.

A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils.

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Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions

What better way to start a particularly hot summer?

There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.

The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home.

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NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past

The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.

Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.

The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet.

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