On Aug. 21, a NASA-funded team that includes Northwestern faculty and students launched the “Micro-X” rocket from White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
The rocket spent 15 minutes in space — just enough time to snap a quick image of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, a star in the Cassiopeia constellation that exploded approximately 11,000 light-years away from Earth.
Then, the rocket parachuted back to Earth, landing in the desert — about 45 miles from the launchpad — where the researchers helicoptered in to recover the payload.
By studying the supernova remnant, which is 10 light-years across, Enectali Figueroa-Feliciano, who leads the project, and his students hope to learn more about life on Earth — and inside our bodies.
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Credit: Tali Figueroa-Feliciano