Space

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2020 Strawberry Moon lunar eclipse occurs today
Full moon, so called "Strawberry moon" viewed  from Tochigi prefecture, eastern Japan.
Full moon, so called "Strawberry moon" viewed from Tochigi prefecture, eastern Japan. Credit: On-chan (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Today's lunar eclipse that begins at 17:45(UTC) and lasts until 21:04(UTC) will be a "penumbral eclipse," which occurs when the outer ring of Earth's shadow just grazes the moon.

This subtle lunar eclipse will be entirely visible for observers in eastern Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and Australia. It will start at moonrise for those on the eastern coast of South America, western Africa and Europe, and at moonset for skywatchers in Japan and New Zealand.

The full moon in June is called a Strawberry Moon because it coincides with the strawberry harvest. In Europe, an old name for this full Moon is the Mead Moon or the Honey Moon.

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SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites
SpaceX Logo
SpaceX Logo Credit: YouTube (Reproduction)

SpaceX has launched on Wednesday another 60 internet-beaming satellites, bringing the company's constellation to around 480.

One of the 60 Starlink satellites has a visor system installed to block the sun from reflecting off of its communication antenna surfaces. If the system works, it should greatly reduce sunlight reflected off of the satellite back to Earth, one of the major criticisms from astronomers.

Also, this was the fifth launch of the Falcon 9 rocket, achieving a new record in booster reusability for the company.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.