Space

Science • Space
2020-05-31T14:34:30+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule docked with space station at 14:16(UTC)
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule docked with space station at 14:16(UTC)
Credit: SpaceX (Reproduction)

The Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station at 14:16(UTC), slightly ahead of schedule, 422km above the border between northern China and Mongolia. The completion of the docking procedure happened at 14:30(UTC).

Science • Space
2020-05-31T11:17:55+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 capsule set to dock with space station at 14:30(UTC)
Astrounauts Bob Behnken (far) and Doug Hurley (near)
Astrounauts Bob Behnken (far) and Doug Hurley (near) Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

The Dragon capsule launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral will dock to the International Space Station at 14:30(UTC). Although astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are on board, the docking procedure should be fully automated.

Science • Space
2020-05-30T19:39:41+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch successful
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch Credit: NASA via YouTube Livestream

The SpaceX Demo-2 mission launch was successful. The Falcon 9 rocket landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship.
NASA Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken on board the Crew Dragon is on a 19-hour flight to the International Space Station and are expected to dock with ISS on Sunday.
The astronauts will be staying for several months to perform duties and conduct experiments.

Science • Space
2020-05-30T11:02:30+00:00
SpaceX's 'Demo-2' mission to attempt to launch today
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will make another attempt to launch two NASA astronauts to the space station today at 19:22(UTC). If the launch attempt is delayed once again due to the weather — there's currently a 50% chance of unfavourable launch weather — the next available launch window will be on Sunday, May 31, 19:00(UTC).
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Douglas Hurley are expected to dock Crew Dragon with the ISS about 19 hours after liftoff.

Science • Space
2020-05-27T20:21:55+00:00
Update: NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch aborted

NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch has been aborted due to bad weather conditions. The launch can not be postponed today as it was instantaneous. The mission will be resumed on Saturday.

Science • Space
2020-05-27T20:04:11+00:00
Update NASA's SpaceX Demo-2: Crew access arm has been retracted
Retracting of the crew access arm
Retracting of the crew access arm Credit: NASA Livestream (Public Domain)

The crew access has been retracted and the emergency escape system is armed. The weather at Kennedy Space Center had been an issue earlier and will be tracked  “all the way down to launch".  At 3:56 p.m., SpaceX has begun fueling the Falcon 9 rocket.

Science • Space
2020-05-27T19:45:38+00:00
Update: NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 prepares for launch
Sunrise from Launch Complex 39A
Sunrise from Launch Complex 39A Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 is set to launch in just 45 minutes. At 2:35 p.m. EDT, the Crew Dragon hatch has been closed, just 15 minutes before the Air Force One carrying Donald Trump flew over the launchpad 39A.

Science • Space
2020-05-27T14:26:56+00:00
Everyday Astronaut to livestream NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch
Screenshot of Everyday Astronaut's livestream footage
Screenshot of Everyday Astronaut's livestream footage Credit: Everyday Astronaut via YouTube

Everyday Astronaut's Tim Dodd is providing a livestream of NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 launch on his YouTube channel. Dodd is stationed about 3 miles away from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to capture the launch of the first private spacecraft to transport astronauts into low-Earth orbit. The launch will be at 4:33 p.m. EDT.

Science • Space
2020-05-27T09:45:48+00:00
NASA and SpaceX are set for launch of SpaceX Demo-2
The Crew Dragon spacecraft and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A. Credit: Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls (Public Domain)

NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission is set to launch on May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station to provide "critical data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft, and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, and landing operations".

Science • Space
2020-05-26T21:02:43+00:00
SpaceX raises $346 million a day before of debut astronaut mission
Crew Dragon
Crew Dragon Credit: NASA

SpaceX on Tuesday announced it raised an additional $346.2 million to its current round of financing, totalling $567 million. The closing of this round happens a day before the company launches two American astronauts to the International Space Station.
Valued at around $36 billion, SpaceX remains one of the most valuable non-listed companies in the world.

Science • Space
2020-05-26T13:26:55+00:00
Virgin Orbit’s fails on first orbital test flight
Cosmic Girl releases LauncherOne mid-air for the first time during a July 2019 drop test
Cosmic Girl releases LauncherOne mid-air for the first time during a July 2019 drop test Credit: Virgin Orbit

Virgin Orbit has failed in its test launch of a LauncherOne rocket carried by a Boeing 747. The launch was the first attempt to an end-to-end system test, but the test ended shortly after LauncherOne was released from the 'Cosmic Girl' Boeing 747.
“Our team performed their prelaunch and flight operations with incredible skill today. Test flights are instrumented to yield data and we now have a treasure trove of that. We accomplished many of the goals we set for ourselves, though not as many as we would have liked,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “Nevertheless, we took a big step forward today. Our engineers are already poring through the data. Our next rocket is waiting. We will learn, adjust, and begin preparing for our next test, which is coming up soon.”

Science • Space
2020-05-24T20:01:08+00:00
NASA astronauts have completed last rehearsal for Wednesday's flight to ISS

With the first crewed space flight from American soil in nine years scheduled for Wednesday, Dough Hurley and Bob Behnken have completed their dress rehearsal. The two astronauts will be the first ones to fly in a SpaceX Falcon rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. The liftoff is scheduled for Wednesday 16:33 EDT (20:33 GMT / 21:33 BST).

Science • Space
2020-05-22T10:12:54+00:00
Ariane 6 maiden flight likely delayed to 2021
Artistic view of Ariane 6 rocket with four boosters
Artistic view of Ariane 6 rocket with four boosters Credit: ESA

Arianespace and the European Space Agency (ESA) say that their plans for the debut flight of the Ariane 6 launch rocket have been delayed into 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that slowed or halted work on development projects related to the rocket.
Ariane 6 is the long-awaited replacement for the reliable Ariane 5 rocket and planned to be a valid financial competitor to SpaceX.

Science • Space
2020-05-20T10:54:09+00:00
Abrupt Resignation of Doug Loverro, Head of HEO at NASA

The resignation of Doug Loverro as associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations at came just days before the launch of Commercial Crew Demo-2. His departure was abrupt and rather unexpected.

In a note sent to his colleagues, he wrote: "The risks we take, whether technical, political, or personal, all have potential consequences if we judge them incorrectly. I took such a risk earlier in the year because I judged it necessary to fulfil our mission. Now, over the balance of time, it is clear that I made a mistake in that choice for which I alone must bear the consequences." It's unknown what mistake he is referring to.

Science • Space
2020-05-15T07:59:40+00:00
Discovery of Rare Super-Earth at End of Galaxy

A discovery made by University of Canterbury astronomers shows a rare Super-Earth planet near the end of our galaxy. The planet was discovered using gravitational microlensing, a technique that detects planets regardless of the amount of light they emit. The planet's mass and orbit are both similar to that of Earth.

Science • Space
2020-05-10T11:13:28+00:00
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 to begin on May 27
Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley have been working and training on SpaceX's next-generation human space vehicle. The two astronauts will lift off on a Falcon 9 rocket on May 27 from the Launch Complex 39A in Florida that will take them to the International Space Station for an extended stay for the Demo-2 mission. NASA calls this mission a "new era of human spaceflight" and believe it will "not only renew American capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil" but it will also "expand the number of crew members on board the station".

Science • Space
2020-05-07T19:19:06+00:00
Entire Surface of the Moon mapped for the first time
Orthographic projections of the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon showing the geology of the Moon’s near side (left) and far side (right
Orthographic projections of the Unified Geologic Map of the Moon showing the geology of the Moon’s near side (left) and far side (right Credit: NASA/GSFC/USGS (Public Domain)

Scientists from the USGS Astrogeology Science Center have released the first-ever comprehensive geologic map of the moon. The map called “Unified Geologic Map of the Moon” completely shows the entire surface of the moon which will serve as a blueprint for future missions. The information came from six Apollo-era maps and recent satellite missions.

Science • Space
2020-05-04T09:26:55+00:00
NASA turned image of space into sound
NASA turned image of space into sound
Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/potw1833a

NASA 'sonified' an image taken by the Hubble Space telescope and transformed into a musical composition. The NASA team explained that time flows from left to right, while the sound changes depending on the location of the objects.
"Objects near the bottom of the image produce lower notes, while those near the top produce higher ones. [...] Stars and compact galaxies create short, clear tones, while sprawling spiral galaxies emit longer notes that change pitch", read the description of the uploaded sound video on YouTube .

Science • Space
2020-05-01T13:19:06+00:00
Nasa has selected three companies to determine which lunar landers will be used

With the Nasa program, named Artemis having the goal to land on the moon by 2024, the space agency has awarded three contracts to private firms in order to determine over the next ten months which solution will be used to close the distance between lunar orbit and the surface. SpaceX has been awarded $135m, Blue Origin $579m and Dynetics $253m.

Science • Space
2020-04-29T21:01:46+00:00
Piece of a lunar meteorite is under auction for projected $250,000

A piece of the Northwest Africa 5000 lunar meteorite, that was discovered in the Western Sahara Desert in 2007, is under auction and projected to be sold for $250,000. The slice of the meteorite used to be part of a bigger rock that was cut several times and contains metal that is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.

Science • Space
2020-04-09T21:02:43+00:00
Astronauts arrive at ISS for a six-month mission

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, along with American astronaut Christopher Cassidy arrived today at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission in space. Before the takeoff, that took place in the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the three men spent a month in quarantine to keep them safe from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.