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Inside Space (Aug 23rd, 2019)

1. All the major elements that make up NASA's Mars 2020 rover have been assembled. Technicians recently added the carousel – a mechanism containing drilling instruments to extract samples – to the front of the rover. And, in recent weeks, they attached the wheels, mast, science instruments and inserted the Mars Helicopter. Technicians will be testing the rover for the rest of the year at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and, in December, they will send it to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Once there, engineers will install a nuclear generator – the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermal Generator (MMRTG) – that will supply the spacecraft with 110 watts of electricity. Mars 2020 is on track to be launched next summer. – PLANETARY SOCIETY

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2. The Trump administration has approved a new policy to support the launch of spacecraft with nuclear power systems. Kelvin Droegemeier, the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, said the policy will ensure that the U.S. develops the technologies needed to provide space nuclear systems that are ready to propel as well as power future American spacecraft." The policy establishes a three-tier system for approving the transportation of payloads carrying nuclear power systems. NASA and the Department of Energy are working on a small nuclear fission reactor called Kilopower that could one day provide power for moon and Mars missions. – SPACE NEWS

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3. Follow Friday: I don't know about you but I never get tired of looking at pictures of rocket launches. The only problem is that the images that the rocket companies and photojournalists post online can seem a bit repetitive and flat because they are taken from similar angles.

In comes John Kraus, who describes himself as a "full-time spaceflight photographer capturing Earth’s out-of-this-world moments." (And, full disclosure, he is also a teenager.)

Kraus placed seven cameras to record the launch of a Delta IV Medium rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday.

"My cameras are sound-triggered and must take images without human intervention, as humans can be severely injured or even killed at the same distances from which my cameras operate," he writes in his website.

But what makes Kraus stand out is that he often sets up cameras further away, allowing viewers to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery the Space Coast has to offer. 

Thanks to this strategic camera set-up, Kraus was able to capture Wednesday's wondrous launch from different angles. He later put together an album that feels truly immersive, thanks in part to this video that beautifully captured the extreme force of the liftoff.

Kraus is able to work as a full-time rocket launch photographer thanks to the contributions of members of the public. In return, he gives his patrons behind-the-scenes content and digital downloads of his photos.

You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Kraus is on our List of the 100 Most Essential Twitter Accounts in Space. Who else should feature on this list? Hit reply to send us your recommendations!

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4. Pictures taken by a lander dropped by the Hayabusa 2 spacecraft reveal insights about the surface of asteroid Ryugu, a new study says. Like meteorites found on Earth called carbonaceous chondrites, the surface of Ryugu seems to have bluish and reddish inclusions. "What we have from these images is really knowing how the rocks and material is distributed on the surface of this asteroid, what the weathering history of this stuff is, and the geologic context," Ralf Jaumann, a planetary geologist at the German Aerospace Center and the study's lead author. Hayabusa 2 has collected surface and subsurface samples from Ryugu and will bring them to Earth in December 2020. – GIZMODO

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5. Elon Musk said that a presentation to update the public on the Starship vehicle won't take place until mid-September. Although the presentation was slated for August 24, on Tuesday, Musk said that it would make more sense to give the update once a new prototype for the Starship named MK1 "has 3 Raptors, moving body fins & landing gear installed." He said the presentation will take place at the company's facilities in Boca Chica, Texas. – TESLARATI

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6. A new study reveals how storms create disturbances that affect the flow and even change the color of Jupiter's clouds. Using six ground-based optical and radio telescopes and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, scientists have been able to track the effects of these storms, which are visible as bright plumes above the planet’s ammonia ice clouds. These observations allowed the team to see how the plumes form, how they interact with other plumes and how, over the course of months, they can affect the layer cake-like bands visible on the surface. The analysis of the plumes supports the theory that they originate about 80 kilometers below the cloud tops, the researchers said in a statement. – SCIENCE DAILY

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7. NASA has named a Martian rock after the Roling Stones. The announcement was made by actor Robert Downey Jr. during a Rolling Stones concert at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California. The rock in question is a golf-ball-size rock that rolled about 3 feet (1 meter) when NASA's Insight Probe touched down on the red planet on Nov. 26, 2018. "It's the farthest NASA has seen a rock roll while landing a spacecraft on another planet," NASA said in a statement. – NASA

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8. Japanese startup ispace has issued a new timeline for its moon plans. The company does no longer plan to send a lunar orbiter to test in-flight technology but it still plans to send a moon lander in 2021 and a rover in 2023. "The decision to adjust the mission schedule is primarily in response to the dramatic market acceleration and increasing demand for lunar exploration around the world," ispace said in a statement. ispace has teamed up with Draper, a U.S. nonprofit selected by NASA to bid for contracts worth $2.6 billion to carry scientific instruments to the lunar surface. – SPACE

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9. Check out this animation showing radio wave images of Jupiter captured by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and in visible light with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The HST images show the upper clouds that form the distinctive brown belts and white zones seen from Earth, while the ALMA images show the distribution of ammonia gas below those clouds. – SCITECHDAILY

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10. Image of the Day: Here is a GIF of Skybot F850, also known as Fedor, a humanoid robot that is on its way to the International Space Station. A Soyuz rocket blasted off from Kazakhstan on Thursday morning with Fedor onboard. 

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Written and curated by Eduardo Garcia in New York. Eduardo is a graduate of the Columbia Journalism School M.A. Science program and writes regularly for the New York Times Climate Fwd: newsletter. In one of his previous lives, Eduardo worked as a Reuters correspondent in Latin America for nearly a decade. 

Editor:  David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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