The American space agency NASA has finally ended its Mars Cube One MarCO mission. The project involved two miniature satellites known as CubeSats named WALL-E and EVE. These traveled to Mars as a part of the InSight lander and were on the red planet. The first task of the pair of MarCO satellites was to relay back the perilous landing of InSight to scientists on Earth. It accomplished the task to perfection. Space quotes MarCO chief engineer Andy Klesh saying, "WALL-E and EVE performed just as we expected them to." These cubesats can be of immense help in future missions because they would provide engineers on ground continuous feedback during a landing.

However, on Feb. 2, NASA formally ended the mission. NASA will make public the data collected by the pair of CubeSats over the next year. That could be a great help to designers of future interplanetary CubeSats. They can take the cue from the success of MarCO.

Women astronauts of NASA

US President Donald Trump wants NASA to revisit the Moon and ensure that the first woman to land there is an American. After landing the first man on the moon in 1969, the space agency diverted its attention to other aspects of space research. The Moon took a back seat. However, the president wanted a revival of interest in the moon and it could happen in 2024. NASA is developing the Artemis program and searching for the first woman astronaut who will land on the Moon.

Space says CubeSats would be useful for the moon mission. In fact, it could find an important place in the Artemis program. There will be an unmanned flight orbiting the moon and the CubeSat on the moon will be the Lunar Flashlight. As the name suggests, it will focus its attention, like a flashlight, to locate a probable landing site for astronauts in 2024 - the second man and the first woman.

The flashlight will scout for ice in craters at the moon's South Pole where sunlight never reaches.

NASA is in search of ideas

According to Geo TV, NASA is in search of ideas. It has a team of talented individuals who are experts in their professions. They have had success and the American space agency is undoubtedly a leader in space research.

However, there are times when they want ideas from outsiders, revolutionary ideas. It, therefore, plans to reach out to everyone — including school students. It wants to ensure success for its missions to the Moon and Mars. NASA has programs of its own to train astronauts with an eye on future requirements.

Geo TV quotes a tech website that says NASA wants university students to come up with ideas related to the development of space-faring tech. It is a challenge that will involve various aspects of interplanetary activities like habitation, vehicles, robotic advance missions, etcetera. Obviously, the focus will be on the lunar Gateway with the help of robotics, artificial intelligence, and Renewable Energy.

Those students who clear the initial hurdles will receive monetary rewards based on the feasibility of their ideas. The website admits that this exercise may not produce any major breakthrough for NASA in its future expeditions but, in the past, such exercises have helped.

Mars is on the radar of NASA

There are a number of organizations in the world dedicated to space research and exploration. NASA stands tall among them. It has pioneered the space lab on the International Space Station ISS. This is a global platform where scientists work together on different subjects for a common cause that will be beneficial to man. The scientists conduct spacewalks, repair the ISS when required, and celebrate major festivals.

All of them are keen to unravel the mysteries of space and their eyes are set on colonization of other planets. Incidentally, NASA wants to send astronauts to Mars by 2033.

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