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Space Odyssey: Voyage To The Planets
This two-part science fiction docu-drama examines the possibilities of a dangerous, manned space mission to explore the inner and outer planets of the Solar system.
Five astronauts pilot the nuclear thermal rocket powered Pegasus spacecraft on a tour of the solar system. Their mission is a collaboration of the NASA, CSA, ESA and РКА space agencies and takes the crew to Venus, Mars, a close flyby of the Sun, Jupiter's moon Io and Europa, Saturn, Pluto, and the fictional Comet Yano-Moore. Most of the planetary destinations the crew reaches are followed by a manned landing there.
Prior to the mission large tanks of hydrogen were deposited in stable orbits around the planets to allow the crew to refuel to have sufficient delta-v for the multi-year mission.
The crew encounter many hardships and disappointments along the way. A Venus EVA that almost ends in disaster when the lander Orpheus encounters launch delays, the near-loss of the shield during the aerobrake in Jupiter's upper atmosphere (according to the first part of the miniseries) and the loss of samples from Jupiter's moon Io all test the crew's resolve.
The most devastating blow comes when the ship's medical officer dies of solar radiation-induced lymphoma in Saturn orbit, forcing the crew to decide whether to continue the mission to Pluto, or abort and return to Earth. In the original British release, the crew decides to press on to Pluto, making history.
Aurora are colorful lights in the night time sky primarily appearing in Earth's polar regions. But what causes them? The culprit behind aurora is our own Sun and the solar plasma that is ejected during a magnetic event like a flare or a coronal mass ejection. This plasma travels outward along with the solar wind and when it encounters Earth's magnetic field, it travels down the field lines that connect at the poles. Atoms in the plasma interacts with atoms in Earth's upper atmosphere.