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Forbes

MIT researchers have proposed a conceptual hovering rover that would use the moon’s static charge to stay airborne, reports Elizabeth Howell for Forbes. “We think a future [moon] mission could send out small hovering rovers to explore the surface of the moon and other asteroids,” says graduate student Oliver Jia-Richards.

Popular Science

MIT researchers have tested the concept for a hovering rover, a spacecraft that could use the moon’s electric field to levitate over its surface, reports Tatyana Woodall for Popular Science. Graduate student Oliver Jia-Richards explains that the team’s idea for a disc-like rover “potentially provides a much more precise and easier way of maneuvering on these rough terrain and low gravity environments.”

Gizmodo

MIT researchers have proposed testing a concept for a levitating rover that could operate by using the moon’s electric field, reports Andrew Liszewski for Gizmodo. Liszewski writes that “the researchers believe a levitating rover powered this way could potentially float even higher, or potentially be built heavier with additional scientific instrumentation on board.”

New York Times

Prof. Sara Seager speaks with New York Times reporter Dennis Overybye about the James Webb Telescope. Seager is part of a team that is planning to use the telescope to observe an exoplanet named Trappist-1e to determine if the planet has an atmosphere.

CNN

CNN reporter Ashley Strickland writes that NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an MIT-led mission, has discovered an exoplanet approximately the size of Mars where a year lasts for about eight hours. “Astronomers are eager to learn more about these small planets that quickly spin around their stars in less than 24 hours because they are not sure how they form and end up in such an extreme orbit,” writes Strickland.


 

Newsweek

A team of astronomers, including MIT researchers, has discovered an ultrahot Jupiter that orbits its star in just 16 hours, reports Robert Lea for Newsweek. “Ultrahot Jupiters such as TOI-2109b constitute the most extreme subclass of exoplanet,” explains former MIT postdoc Ian Wong. “We have only just started to understand some of the unique physical and chemical processes that occur in their atmospheres – processes that have no analogs in our own solar system.” 

Wired

Prof. Danielle Wood and her team are developing new techniques to use satellite data to monitor and manage environmental problems in remote areas, including an invasive weed growing in parts of Africa, to help inform local decision making, reports Ramin Skibba for Wired. “Our goal is to make it an affordable and operationally feasible thing for them to have this ongoing view, with data from space, data from the air, and data from the water,” says Wood.

The Washington Post

Writing for The Washington Post, Prof. Erik Lin-Greenberg and Theo Milonopoulos of the University of Pennsylvania explore the challenges posed by governments no longer controlling sensitive security information. “As commercial imagery satellites proliferate in orbit, policymakers around the world will increasingly need to grapple with the ways the technology can reveal national security secrets,” they write.

Bloomberg TV

Prof. Danielle Wood speaks with Andrew Browne of Bloomberg TV about her work focused on using space technologies as a way to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Wood emphasizes how space “is a platform for serving the broad public. We use satellites to observe the environment and the climate, we use satellites to connect people across different parts of the Earth, and they give us information about our positions and our weather. All of these are broad public goods that really can serve people across the world all at once.”

Quartz

Alumnus Mike Cassidy S.B. ’85, S.M. ’86 founded a company called Apollo Fusion, which makes electrical propulsion systems for small satellites, reports Tim Fernholz for Quartz. Apollo Fusion’s thruster were set to be deployed in space for the first time on June 29 by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The Boston Globe

A coalition of students, faculty and alumni have come together to raise the funds necessary to replace the radome that sits atop the Building 54, reports Hiawatha Bray for The Boston Globe. “Once the overhaul is complete, MIT’s radio buffs, astronomers, and satellite researchers will have a tool that will serve them for decades,” writes Bray. “And they’ll have also preserved one of the school’s most famous landmarks.”

Gizmodo

Gizmodo reporter George Dvorsky writes about how researchers from MIT and other institutions have detected the corona of a supermassive black hole disappearing and then reappearing. Dvorsky writes that their findings suggest this “strange episode was caused by a runaway star.”

Economist

The Economist explores how the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), an MIT-led NASA mission, has identified a number of new exoplanets and, in the process, helped astronomers and scientists unearth new details about our universe. This latest discovery, according to The Economist, “will help answer some of the biggest questions in the rapidly growing science of exoplanetology.”

US News & World Report

Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder writes for US News & World Report about the planet hunting satellite TESS, which has recently discovered three new exoplanets. "The pace and productivity of TESS in its first year of operations has far exceeded our most optimistic hopes for the mission," said Senior Research Scientist George Ricker, TESS's principal investigator.

The Boston Globe

Martin Finucane reports for The Boston Globe on the latest findings of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, “a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center,” which hunts for exoplanets. TESS recently discovered a rocky super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes in a system known as TOI-270.