We know that there are multitudes of exoplanets scattered throughout the universe, but to date the only planets that we have been able to take a picture of are in our own cozy solar system. That might be about to change with a new initiative launched today that aims to send a telescope into low Earth orbit to take a picture of the binary Alpha Centauri system, which houses the two closest sun-like stars to our solar system
It's still on Earth for the next two years, but the James Webb Space Telescope turned around to face the world this week, as it moved into position for preliminary optics testing. Once it's launched, JWST will study galaxy, star and planet formation in the universe using infrared wavelengths. For now, you can spy on the cleanroom at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland where JWST is hanging out for the next few months, via the Webb Cam, here.
The reusable rocket booster that made history has survived to see another day. Blue Origin's New Shepard booster, which became the first rocket to launch into suborbital space and then come back for a vertical landing in November 2015, was expected to explode in a test launch today. Instead, it made it to space and back again to nail its fifth vertical landing.