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Artist's illustration of the Gateway. Photo: NASA

Two experiments designed to monitor the space environment will eventually orbit the Moon on NASA's small Gateway space station.

Why it matters: The experiments will keep an eye on the radiation environment in lunar orbit in order to help scientists learn how to keep astronauts safe as they explore deep space.

  • “Our Sun and the environment around it is very dynamic. Not only will we learn more about our space environment, but we'll also learn how to improve forecasting space weather," Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, said in a statement.

Details: One of the instruments, built by the European Space Agency, will monitor radiation from the Gateway, giving people back on Earth a better sense of how much exposure astronauts might have in lunar orbit.

  • NASA's space weather Gateway experiment will keep an eye on solar particles and the solar wind to aid in predicting space weather that can harm people and satellites in orbit.

Yes, but: It's not yet clear when exactly the Gateway will be orbiting the Moon.

  • NASA's head of human spaceflight, Doug Loverro, told the space agency's Advisory Council that the Gateway has been taken off the "critical path" for NASA's first Artemis Moon mission in 2024, according to SpaceNews.
  • Instead, the agency will reportedly focus on getting the Gateway up and running by 2026 without using it for the first landing in 2024.
  • “By taking Gateway out of the critical path for the lunar landing in ’24, I believe what we have done is create a far better Gateway program,” Loverro said, per SpaceNews.

Go deeper: Speeding up spacecraft development

Go deeper

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC: Unvaccinated are over 11 times more likely to die from COVID

Expand chart
Reproduced from CDC; Note: Data represents 30% of Americans across 16 jurisdictions: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York City, Seattle/King County, Wash., Utah and Wisconsin; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The CDC recently published data evaluating Americans' rate of coronavirus cases and deaths by vaccine status, providing more data on which vaccines are working best and how much protection they offer relative to being unvaccinated.

What they found: As of August, unvaccinated people had a more than six times higher risk of testing positive for the coronavirus, and were more than 11 times more likely to die from the virus.