SpaceX and NASA originally planned the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday morning on a short, but necessary, flight to prove the company’s Crew Dragon astronaut ferry ship can quickly propel a crew to safety in the event of a catastrophic booster failure. Unfortunately, the Falcon 9 rocket, featuring a thrice-flown first stage and a fueled but engine-less second stage, is expected to be destroyed during the event, which has been delayed to Sunday morning due to poor weather.
Photo credit: NASA
NASA’s SLS rocket was built to safely transport American astronauts and maximum payloads to the Moon as well as deep space destinations. Yesterday, the agency rolled out the completed core stage from NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility for a trip to the Stennis Space Center to undergo further testing. The 1.3-mile trip from the Michoud factory to the barge’s dock is just the beginning of the SLS flight hardware’s journey, as Pegasus will then ferry the SLS core stage from Michoud to Stennis, where it will be lifted and placed into the historic B-2 Test Stand for the core stage Green Run test campaign set to start later this year.
A pilot first discovered a strange 2.2-mile-long geoglyph in 1998, etched directly into a South Australian plateau. Called Marree Man, the artwork shows a hunter with what appears to be a stick or boomerang in his hand. This design made from earthen materials is so large that it can only be viewed in its entirety from above, similar to the Nazca Lines in Peru.
Around forty years ago, a Voyager spacecraft captured the first closeup images of Europa, one of Jupiter’s 79 moons, revealing brownish cracks slicing the moon’s icy surface, which give it the look of a veiny eyeball. Missions in the decades since have gathered enough additional data about Europa to make it a high-priority target of investigation in NASA’s search for life. What sets this moon apart from the others is the possibility that it may possess all of the ingredients necessary for life.
SpaceX announced that it has now successfully completed 13 consecutive successful tests of their Mark 3 parachute design, developed in cooperation with Airborne System, for the Crew Dragon spacecraft after fixing a few initial problems. This parachute system is crucial because it’s the same one that will be eventually responsible for bringing astronauts safely back down to Earth.