NASA and SpaceX Make History with Successful Crew Dragon Launch!

NASA and SpaceX made history today with the launch of second demonstration flight of the Crew Dragon (Demo-2), which signalled the restoration of the US' domestic launch capability! The post NASA and SpaceX Make History with Successful Crew Dragon Launch! appeared first on Universe Today.
2020-05-30 17:00:02 preview's
Tunguska Meteor That Blasted Millions of Trees in 1908 Might Have Returned To Space

schwit1 quotes A new explanation for a massive blast over a remote Siberian forest in 1908 is even stranger than the mysterious incident itself. Known as the Tunguska event, the blast flattened more than 80 million trees in seconds, over an area spanning nearly 800 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) — but left no crater. A meteor that exploded before hitting the ground was thought by many to be the culprit. However, a comet or asteroid would likely have left behind rocky fragments after blowing up, and no "smoking gun" remnants of a cosmic visitor have ever been found. Now, a team of researchers has proposed a solution to this long-standing puzzle: A large iron meteor hurtled toward Earth and came just close enough to generate a tremendous shock wave. But the meteor then curved away from our planet without breaking up, its mass and momentum carrying it onward in its journey through space. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 16:00:03 preview's
SpaceX Launched Two Astronauts—Changing Spaceflight Forever

The test mission will clear the way for regular crewed launches from the United States for the first time in nearly a decade.
2020-05-30 15:30:02 preview's
Watch Live: SpaceX Launches NASA Astronauts to ISS

"Crew Dragon's hatch is closed, securing @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug in the spacecraft ahead of liftoff," SpaceX tweeted an hour ago. Livestreaming of the launch has already begun, with liftoff scheduled in about 41 minutes. GeekWire reports: If liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida occurs today at 3:22 p.m. ET (12:22 p.m. PT), it'll be a feat that America hasn't been able to perform since NASA retired its space shuttles, nearly nine years ago. "We are going to launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared during a launch-eve briefing at the space center's countdown clock. But even Bridenstine acknowledged that's not a sure bet for today. "Weather challenges remain with a 50% chance of cancellation," he tweeted this morning. A drenching rainstorm swept over Florida's Space Coast overnight, but the skies cleared up this morning... The launch can be scrubbed at any time, all the way down to the last second, if the weather doesn't cooperate or if a technical glitch arises. If the gumdrop-shaped Crew Dragon doesn't lift off today, Sunday is an option. The chances of acceptable weather are expected to improve to 60%. The weather outlook is even better for a June 2 backup opportunity... Hurley and Behnken, who are both experienced shuttle astronauts, are scheduled to rendezvous with the space station on Sunday and move in alongside its current occupants, NASA's Chris Cassidy and Russia's Anatoly Ivanishin. NASA hasn't yet decided how long the Dragon riders will spend in orbit. Their stay could be as short as six weeks, or as long as 16 weeks, depending on how the test mission proceeds. For the return trip, Hurley and Behnken will strap themselves back inside the Dragon and descend to an Atlantic splashdown. This whole flight serves as an initial demonstration of the Crew Dragon's capabilities with an actual crew aboard. If the mission is successful, yet another Crew Dragon will carry four different astronauts to the space station weeks after Hurley and Behnken return. Reuters reporter Joey Roulette also spotted NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman by the side of the road as his fellow astronauts drove by. He was holding a sign that said "Take me with you." And GeekWire notes that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine sees this event as historic. "I really think, when we look into the future, we're going to see these models of doing business with public-private partnerships apply not just to low Earth orbit... but we're taking this model to the moon and even on to Mars." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-30 14:45:01 preview's
Turns Out 4 ‘Blank’ Dead Sea Scrolls Actually Have Text

A new analysis revealed what scientists believe is a passage from the book of Ezekiel.
2020-05-30 10:15:02 preview's
Today’s the day— weather permitting, America is returning to space

"This space program that we have in this country unites people, period."
2020-05-30 08:45:02 preview's
The Quest to Purge New Zealand of Invasive Predators

Rats, weasels, and other imported mammals have destroyed native bird populations. Local group Predator Free Wellington wants to turn the tables.
2020-05-30 08:15:02 preview's
What Do the Quark Oddities at the Large Hadron Collider Mean?

Measurements of particles called B mesons deviate from predictions. Alone, each anomaly looks like a fluke, but their collective drift is more suggestive.
2020-05-30 08:15:02 preview's
Whoooaaa duuuuude: Why we stretch words in tweets and texts

When you elongate words, you're actually loading them with a whooooole lot of meaning.
2020-05-30 06:45:03 preview's
EU's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue To Fall As Coal Ditched

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Greenhouse gas emissions in the EU continued their fall in 2018, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available, according to a new report from Europe's environment watchdog. Emissions fell by 2.1% compared with 2017, to a level 23% lower than in 1990, the baseline for the bloc's emission cuts under the UN's climate agreements. If the UK is excluded, the decline since 1990 was smaller, standing at 20.7%. The continuing fall, revealed in a report by the European Environment Agency, came as the result of EU-wide and country-specific policies, with energy generation showing the biggest decline in emissions as coal was phased out further and renewable power increased. Carbon dioxide emissions from transport flattened off in 2018, after rising for the previous four years, giving hope that this major source of emissions may be brought under control. However, emissions must be brought down much further and faster to satisfy the EU's obligations under the Paris agreement, campaigners said. Annual falls of about 7% are estimated to be needed to keep global heating within the Paris upper limit of 2C above pre-industrial levels. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-05-29 23:45:02