JPL’s MarCO Wins the ‘Oscar’ for Tiny Spacecraft

Mars as seen from the MarCO-B satellite. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — The first briefcase-size CubeSats to journey to another planet have been honored for their role in NASA InSight’s successful Mars landing. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) bestowed their Small Satellite Mission of the Year award to Mars Cube One, or MarCO, Aug. 8, 2019, at the annual Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.


Reviews: Chimps Monkey Around, Wall-E Cleans Up, Shadow Inspires

A brief roundup of the latest space-related entertainment news:

The animated movie Space Chimp opens up this weekend to a virtual gamma ray burst of bad press. The website rates the comedy – about three astro-chimps with the “wrong stuff” – as 38 percent fresh based on its aggregation of critics’ reviews. “Chimps could have made a better movie,” says Sean Means of the Salt Lake Tribune. This will likely means this effort will disappear into the same black hole that the monkeys fall into in the movie.

Meanwhile, Wall-E – which Rotten Tomatoes rates as 96 percent fresh – is still going strong. The Pixar release has pulled in nearly $175 million since its release three weeks ago, according to Box Office Mojo. All but $3 million has been from its domestic box office receipts, indicating that the film is still not in wide release overseas. The movie’s production budget was $180 million.

On a more personal note, I finally had a chance to watch In the Shadow of the Moon the other evening. It’s quite an inspiring film. David Sington manages to tell a well-known story in a fresh and compelling manner, with candid and moving reminiscences from the Apollo who made those epic journeys. It’s well worth putting into your Netflix queue.