It is "Star Wars" Week here on our tiny little mote of a planet, and while notions of a "galaxy far, far away" are omnipresent, our local space is quite busy. The Expedition 46 crew were hurled into low earth orbit atop a Soyuz rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan this week.
On Mars, the Curiosity rover reached the sand dunes on the side of Mount Sharp.
In Saturn's orbit, the Cassini probe continues to observe Saturn's many moons and rings, including another flyby of Enceladus coming soon.
This week: Browse through sci-fi movies before you see "Star Wars," see why it might not be NASA going back to the moon, and learn why some water drops bounce better than others.
Before you keep reading ...
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The confirmation of ice on the Moon opened up the real possibility of space mining. Water can be split to create hydrogen for fuel and oxygen to breathe, providing an easier stepping stone out of low Earth orbit.
via Ars Technica
A look at science fiction film landscape around the time of "Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope."
via The Kernel
MPR News' Nancy Yang explores how "Star Wars" has gone multi-generational and is bridging the interests of parents and their children. via MPR News
Not all water drop bounces are equal, and a pair of Swiss researchers are exploring why.
via New York Times
A look back across the history of trailers and how they have evolved, and affected the movie going experience.
via The Verge
Bonus space opera
In an audacious move a new space opera series is launching the same week as the new Star Wars movie. "The Expanse," set in a future with asteroid mining, colonized Ceres and Mars and working fusion drives, the series is an adaptation of the books by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck, written under the pen name James S. A. Corey.