Space fans had plenty to celebrate in 2018, including the launch of three new NASA missions and the debut of SpaceX’s giant Falcon Heavy rocket. In case you missed any of the action, here are particularly noteworthy space stories, according to NBC News MACH.
NASA’s InSight lander arrived at Mars on Nov. 26 after a six-month journey of more than 300 million miles. The dramatic landing was NASA’s first on Mars since 2012.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached the asteroid Bennu on Dec. 3 and will spend about a year surveying and mapping the 1,600-foot-wide asteroid. The spacecraft had already detected water on the space rock — a discovery that lends support to the idea that asteroids and comets could have brought water to Earth.
SpaceX’s massive Falcon Heavy booster nailed its maiden flight on Feb. 6. The rocket, which is designed to carry astronauts to the moon and Mars, can lift a heavier payload than any American rocket since NASA’s Saturn V, the behemoth booster that ferried Apollo astronauts to the moon half a century ago.