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October 16, 2019

Elon Musk outlines plans for vehicle he expects to take humans to Mars

The goal is to make “space travel like air travel”, Musk said, during a highly technical presentation from the company’s Boca Chica test site near Brownsville, Texas

Elon Musk gave space fans an outline of plans for ‘Starship’, the next-generation vehicle his Space Exploration Technologies expects to use to eventually take humans to Mars.

The goal is to make “space travel like air travel”, Musk said, during a highly technical presentation from the company’s Boca Chica test site near Brownsville, Texas. “We’re really right on the cusp of what’s physically possible.” Closely-held SpaceX currently flies its workhorse Falcon 9 and more [...]

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October 16, 2019

NASA launches satellite to explore the region where air meets space

NASA launched a satellite on Thursday night to explore the mysterious, dynamic region where air meets space.

The satellite called Icon, short for Ionospheric Connection Explorer rocketed into orbit following a two-year delay. It was dropped from a plane flying over the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

Five seconds after the satellite’s release, the attached Pegasus rocket ignited, sending Icon on its way.

The ionosphere is the charged part of the upper atmosphere extending several hundred miles (kilometers) up. It’s in constant flux as space weather bombards it from above and Earth weather from below, sometimes disrupting radio [...]

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May 23, 2018

NASA astronauts spacewalk outside International Space Station

A pair of NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station embarked on a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk today to upgrade and repair the orbiting outpost.

The spacewalk began at 8:39 a.m. EDT, and lasted 6 hours and 31 minutes.

Astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, both veteran spacewalkers, swapped out a leaky cooling component with a replacement on the station’s port-side truss. The unit is designed to keep batteries in the space station’s external systems cool. The spacewalkers also installed a camera system on the exterior of the “Destiny” laboratory, which will be used when future commercial [...]

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May 22, 2018

NASA sends InSight lander to Mars for first geological survey

NASA launched the InSight Lander spacecraft on a six-month journey to Mars to study the Red Planet. InSight is scheduled to land on the Red Planet around 3 p.m. EST (noon PST) Nov. 26, where it will conduct science operations until Nov. 24, 2020, which equates to one year and 40 days on Mars, or nearly two Earth years.

Launched: May 5, 2018 (4:05 a.m. PDT/7:05 a.m. EDT) Launch Vehicle: Atlas V-401 Launch Location: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California Landing: Nov. 26, 2018 Landing Site: Elysium Planitia, Mars Mission Duration: A little over 1 Mars year (~2 Earth years); 708 Sols (Mars days), or 728 Earth days
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