This Week in Space: Gravitational Waves, a New Space Telescope, and Starship Tweaks

Artist illustration of 'nanohertz' gravitational waves

Credit: NANOGrav

Hello, folks, and welcome back to This Week in Space. Virgin Galactic made its debut commercial flight, and the European Space Agency is prepping its Euclid Space Telescope for launch this weekend. But it seems like everything else is having problems, from sketchy booster stages to downed satellites, inadequate launchpads, and… well, more sketchy booster stages.However, this week also boasts a space artichoke new diptych of Mars, courtesy of the MAVEN orbiter, plus a new photospread of Saturn and an image of a colossal cosmic filament from Webb. So we’ve got that going for us, which is nice.

European Space Agency Prepares to Launch Euclid Telescope

Europe’s much-anticipated space telescope, Euclid, is slated to launch July 1 (this Saturday) from Canaveral. When it launches, Euclid will use six ‘Korsch configuration’ mirrors to map the 3D distribution of billions of galaxies, imaging about a third of the visible universe. The mirrors, the telescope itself, and its near-infrared instruments are all made from silicon carbide, which the ESA notes is “not glass, but a ceramic only found naturally in space.”

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