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SpaceX rocket accident leaves the company's Starlink satellites in the wrong orbit

SpaceX rocket in wrong orbitA SpaceX rocket has failed for the first time in nearly a decade, leaving the company’s internet satellites in an orbit so low that they're doomed to fall through the atmosphere and burn up.

The Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from California on Thursday night, carrying 20 Starlink satellites. Several minutes into the flight, the upper stage engine malfunctioned. SpaceX on Friday blamed a liquid oxygen leak.

The company said flight controllers managed to make contact with half of the satellites and attempted to boost them to a higher orbit using onboard ion thrusters. But with the low end of their orbit only 84 miles (135 kilometers) above Earth — less than half what was intended — “our maximum available thrust is unlikely to be enough to successfully raise the satellites,” the company said via X.

SpaceX said the satellites will reenter the atmosphere and burn up. There was no mention of when they might come down. More than 6,000 orbiting Starlinks currently provide internet service to customers in some of the most remote corners of the world.


2 galaxies, the Penguin and the Egg, get a family portrait thanks to Webb Telescope

Two galaxies: the Penguin and the Egg

Like a protective parent, one galaxy looms high over the other, seemingly peering down at its neighbor. The two galaxies are designated NGC 2936 and NGC 2937 — but more famously, they’re known as the Penguin and the Egg.

The team behind the James Webb Space Telescope unveiled the new image of the pair on Friday, showing the two galaxies in more clarity than ever — and marking two years since the first image using the advanced telescope's infrared instruments was released.

“Webb is providing insights into longstanding mysteries about the early universe and ushering in a new era of studying distant worlds,” said Mark Clampin, director of NASA's astrophysics division, “while returning images that inspire people around the world and posing exciting new questions to answer.”


Volunteers who lived in a NASA-created Mars replica for over a year have emerged

NASA vollnteers emerge from year on 'Mars'

Four volunteers who spent more than a year living in a 1,700-square-foot space created by NASA to simulate the environment on Mars have emerged.

The members of the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog mission — or CHAPEA — walked through the door of their habitat at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Saturday to a round of applause.

“Hello. It’s actually just so wonderful to be able to say hello to you all,” CHAPEA commander Kelly Haston said to the assembled crowd.


Astronauts take cover as defunct Russian satellite splits into nearly 200 pieces

Astronauts take coverA defunct Russian satellite has broken up into more than 100 pieces of debris in orbit, forcing astronauts on the International Space Station to take shelter for about an hour and adding to the mass of space junk already in orbit, US space agencies said.

There were no immediate details on what caused the breakup of the Resurs-P1 Russian Earth observation satellite, which Russia declared dead in 2022.

US Space Command, tracking the debris swarm, said there was no immediate threat to other satellites.

The event took place at around 10am mountain time (1600 GMT) on Wednesday, Space Command said. It occurred in an orbit near the space station, prompting US astronauts onboard to shelter in their spacecraft for roughly an hour, Nasa’s Space Station office said.

Russian space agency Roscosmos, which operated the satellite, did not respond to a request for comment or publicly acknowledge the event on its social media channels.



Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders, who took 'Earthrise' photo, dead in plane crash

William Anders, Apollo 8 astonautRetired astronaut William Anders, who was one of the first three humans to orbit the moon, capturing the famed "Earthrise" photo during NASA's Apollo 8 mission in 1968, died on Friday in the crash of a small airplane in Washington state. He was 90.

NASA chief Bill Nelson paid tribute to Anders on social media with a post of the iconic image of Earth rising over the lunar horizon, saying the former Air Force pilot "offered to humanity among the deepest of gifts an astronaut can give."
The Heritage Flight Museum near Burlington, Washington, which he co-founded, confirmed that Anders was killed in an aircraft accident.
Anders was piloting the plane alone when it went down off the coast of Jones Island, part of the San Juan Islands archipelago north of Seattle, between Washington and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, The Seattle Times reported, citing his son, Greg.
According to television station KCPQ-TV, a Fox affiliate in Tacoma, Anders, a resident of San Juan County, was at the controls of a vintage Air Force single-engine T-34 Mentor that he owned.

Bolivian scientists to track glacial changes at high speed with new equipment

Bolivian glaciersScientists in Bolivia are hoping to track glacial changes at lightning speed.

New scientific equipment being installed at the country's Huayna Potosi mountain peak will provide real-time measurements of glaciers' mass compared to much slower older methods.
Edson Ramirez, a glaciologist at Bolivia's Higher University of San Andres, said the equipment could make hourly measurements of glacial mass compared to classic glacialogy methods capable of monthly or yearly readings.
"This time we are doing it in a very short time and in real time," Ramirez said.
The measurements could help measure melting rates or how much life is still left for a glacier, he added.

The launch of Boeing’s crewed Starliner space capsule is called off yet again

Star;iner launch aborted again

A launch of Boeing's Starliner space capsule was scrubbed on Saturday just minutes ahead of its scheduled liftoff time.

With 3:50 left in the countdown, the rocket’s computer initiated a hold. The next launch attempt won’t happen until at least Wednesday, NASA said.

An issue with one of the three redundant computer systems at the base of the launch pad that are responsible for initiating the launch sequence prompted the automatic halt, said Tory Bruno, the head of United Launch Alliance, the government contractor trying to launch the Starliner.

“We do require all three systems to be running — triple redundancy,” ULA President and CEO Bruno said at a Saturday afternoon press briefing. “Those three big computers do a health check. … Two came up normally. The third one came up, but it was slow to come up, and that tripped a red line that created an automatic hold."


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