SpaceX was prepping its latest Starship prototype vehicle, called Serial No. 4 or SN4, for a static fire test in Texas. When it started, the Raptor engine fired nominally for a couple of seconds at 1:47pm local time and then shut down, but approximately 1-minute later, an uncontrolled gaseous leak caused the spacecraft to explode. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA and SpaceX have determined that the weather is permittable to launch two astronauts to the International Space Station, marking the first crewed mission for Elon Musk’s company as well as the first launch of NASA astronauts – Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – from American soil since the retirement of the space shuttle program in 2011. Read more for the livestream and additional information.
NASA has just cleared the SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, for launch to the International Space Station on May 27 at 4:33 p.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is going to be SpaceX’s final test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, providing data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking and landing operations. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is designed to conduct unprecedented large surveys of the infrared universe to explore everything from our solar system to the edge of the observable universe, including planets throughout our galaxy as well as the nature of dark energy. It will also search for planets outside our solar system toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy, where most stars are. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA scientists have allegedly discovered evidence of a parallel universe located right next to ours, where all the rules of physics seem to be operating in reverse. This finding came about when the team used NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) to conduct an experiment in Antarctica, and found particles that might be from outside our own universe. Read more for two videos and additional information.
NASA’s RASSOR (Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot), pronounced “Razor”, is a lunar robot capable of autonomously excavating soil when it is near completion. Featuring a small tank-like chassis, complete with a drum excavator and side mounted arms that can help it climb over obstacles that may be in its way. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: Sci News
Boeing’s mysterious X-37B spaceplane has been successfully launched into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Unfortunately, the live video feed was cut after seeing the Atlas V lifting off into space and the separation of the rocket’s first stage from the Centaur upper stage. The reason cited was because it’s a classified mission, especially details about the vehicle itself. Read more for a replay video and additional information.
Researchers used the Gemini North telescope on Hawaii’s Maunakea to capture a stunning infrared image of Jupiter using a technique known as “lucky imaging”. These Gemini images, when combined with NASA’s Hubble as well as Juno observations, reveal that lightning strikes, and some of the largest storm systems that create them, are formed around large convective cells over deep clouds of water ice and liquid. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Edward Witten, the founder of M-theory, claims that a fleet of futuristic laser-launched spacecraft could find the mysterious Planet 9 with relative ease. With a velocity of order [0.1 percent of the speed of light], this type of spacecraft can reach the celestial object roughly a decade after launch and can discover it if they can report timing measurements accurate to 5-10 seconds back to Earth. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Photo credit: AliveUniverse
Two talented designers, Aristotelis and Sorensen, from Denmark have unveiled LUNARK, an origami-inspired moon habitat that could one day be used by astronauts from NASA’s Artemis missions. This compact portable structure that can quickly and easily be expanded or folded, and the exterior boasts a strong aluminum frame covered with solar cells, while the interior features a toilet as well as living quarters, complete with study space for two. Read more for a video and additional information.