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SpaceX’s Successful Blast-Off Signals New Era of Human Space Exploration

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With a flash of light, billowing smoke, and a thunderous roar, American astronauts on Saturday afternoon blasted into space aboard an American spacecraft for the first time since NASA decommissioned the aging, unsafe Space Shuttle fleet in 2011. The first manned flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft not only restores the United States’ ability to launch people into orbit, it also signals a possible new era of space exploration. Thousands of people tuned into livestreams of the historic launch from NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center near Orlando. SpaceX founder Elon Musk, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and President Donald Trump flew in to see off astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley and observe the launch. “This is going to be like the World Series, the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup all rolled into one,” Zeb Scoville, NASA’s flight director, told reporters in the weeks leading up to the launch.Mission-controllers canceled a previous launch attempt on Wednesday owing to bad weather. As late as Saturday morning, SpaceX tweeted that there was a 50 percent chance of a storm interfering with the day’s lift-off. But the weather remained clear and the spacecraft lifted off just before 3:25 p.m. …

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After the manned launch, what is next for space exploration?

after the manned launch, what is next for space exploration?

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article (Photo by NASA/Getty Images) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA and SpaceX could successfully launched two astronauts into space on Saturday if the weather cooperates, completing the first manned launch since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. But what comes next for the Demo-2 mission and the rest of space exploration? From here, the astronauts on board, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit and to the International Space Station. There, they will spend an undetermined amount of time. NASA said the length of the Demo-2 mission will be based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. With the Dragon Crew spacecraft, they can spend about 110 days in orbit.  When it is time to return home and end the mission, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will reportedly undock with the two veteran astronauts on board. It will depart the International Space Station and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, splashing down just off of Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The SpaceX Navigator recovery vessel will pick Hurley and Behnken up at sea and bring them back to Cape Canaveral.MORE NEWS: If this mission is successful, NASA said that the SpaceX Dragon …

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SpaceX, NASA to try again for landmark launch of two astronauts from Florida

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX was set for a repeat attempt at launching two Americans into orbit on Saturday from Florida for a mission that would mark the first spaceflight of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years. FILE PHOTO: The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, atop a Falcon 9 booster rocket, is connected to the crew access arm and launch tower on Pad39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Steve NesiusThe mission’s first launch try on Wednesday was called off with less than 17 minutes remaining on the countdown clock due to stormy weather around the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The forecast for Saturday was likewise precarious. Mission managers plan to make an earlier decision on weather hazards in a bid to avoid unnecessarily wearing out the crew with another suit-up and full day of launch preparations. “Back-to-back wet dress rehearsals” disrupt the astronauts’ sleep cycles, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine told a Friday news conference. Barring weather or other unforeseen problems, the 24-story-tall SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is due to lift off at 3:22 p.m. EDT, propelling astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken …

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NASA researcher provides overview of science on the ISS

nasa researcher provides overview of science on the iss

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Laurel Kornfeld May 29th, 2020
ISS as photographed by Expedition 56 astronauts from a Soyuz capsule. Image Credit: NASA
Research conducted on board the International Space Station (ISS) encompasses numerous science fields, such as biology and biotechnology, human research, the physical sciences, technological demonstrations, Earth and space science, and public education, noted Brandon Redell of NASA’s ISS Integration Office at the Johnson Space Center.
Redell discussed scientific research currently being conducted on the ISS in a NASA Night Sky Network Webinar livestreamed on Wednesday, May 27, titled “International Space Station Research and Technology 101.”
The Night Sky Network is a national group of amateur astronomy clubs whose purpose is to inspire the public about NASA’s missions and the science and technology that go into them.
“The ISS is an orbiting laboratory. It’s a space station that’s been going around the Earth. It’s been a continuous presence with humans for at least 20 years now. We conduct research to aid space exploration and for human benefits here on Earth as well as developing new technologies,” Redell said.
Research on the ISS has helped scientists learn about a wide range of subjects, from human health to black holes, he added. Scientific discoveries …

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Virtual Fun Roundup: 9 sites for kids to dive into space exploration

virtual fun roundup: 9 sites for kids to dive into space exploration

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By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall, Go Ask Mom editorAmerican astronauts were scheduled to launch into space on Wednesday aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launch was scrubbed because of weather, but it hasn’t been canceled. It was rescheduled for Saturday. So, for this week’s look across the internet for virtual activities for kids, we’ve got a space theme. Here are 9 sites where kids can learn more about what’s beyond Earth.

NASA Kids’ Club

NASA’s website offers up all kinds of at-home activities, games and stories like this one.

Air and Space Anywhere

The National Air and Space Museum has an Air and Space Anywhere page with online programs, stories, videos, activities and virtual tours.

Kennedy Space Center

The Florida destination has a variety of virtual learning resources for what it calls an “out-of-this-world learning experience” from home.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The New York destination offers up lessons on history, science and ingenuity each week for kids and families. Advanced registration is required for these.

California Science Center

The museum includes virtual tours inside space shuttle Endeavour, interviews with astronauts and more.

Space Center Houston

The Space Center offers up everything from a virtual campout to videos on how space …

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A space launch ‘saved’ 1968. If only it could do the same for 2020

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In 1968, the pioneering Apollo 8 lunar orbit mission lifted America’s morale in a bitter year of political assassinations, race and anti-war riots, the fading presidency of Lyndon Johnson and a hardening Cold War. On Wednesday, US astronauts are again due to lift off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida in another landmark for US space exploration. Now, as then, the US is mired in gloom, amid a pandemic that will likely claim its 100,000th victim this week and the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.The marvel of spaceflight and the courage of astronauts flying for the first time as part of NASA’s delayed private crew launch partnership might offer a moment of diversion. A return to American manned spaceflight after nine years will also ease US blushes over relying on Russia to ferry crew members to the International Space Station.But it’s unlikely to resonate like the first trip around the moon, when astronaut William Anders snapped the iconic Earthrise photograph and gave humanity a view of itself from the threshold of another world.

For all its technological advances, the new mission will seem a step back. US astronauts are using a vehicle, the reusable SpaceX Falcon 9, that will look …

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Space Coast hopes manned SpaceX launch will help jump-start economy

space coast hopes manned spacex launch will help jump-start economy

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CAPE CANAVRAL


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For the first time since 2011, American astronauts will blast off from U.S. soil. Florida’s Space Coast company is officially ready for liftoff.
After falling on some hard times, Space Coast is looking to restart the economy and revitalize Florida by welcoming back tourists and visitors. “We certainly saw an economic downturn after 2011 when the shuttle program left because a lot of people connected to the space program became unemployed or they relocated,” said Peter Cranis, Space coast Office of Tourism Executive Director.
But now’s the time to bring people back to witness history unfold while exploring the beautiful duality that is Florida. Cranis said, “It’s an exciting time to be here. Where else can you go to have beautiful beaches and watch a launch at the same time?”
In this Thursday, March 19, 2020 photo made available by SpaceX, astronauts Doug Hurley, foreground, and Bob Behnken work in SpaceX’s flight simulator at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., as SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at Kennedy Space Center and the company’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, Calif., along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, run a full simulation of launch …

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There’s a lot riding on Wednesday’s SpaceX launch

there’s a lot riding on wednesday’s spacex launch

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Elon Musk is about to send humans into space. The billionaire’s rocket ship company SpaceX is scheduled to launch its first manned spaceflight on Wednesday. If all goes as planned, Crew Dragon Demo-2 will be the first time humans have taken off for space from American soil since the NASA Space Shuttle program’s final mission in 2011. It will also be the first manned spaceflight from a private company, ever.
The stakes are high. A successful mission may begin a new era of space exploration, taking it out of the hands of governments and the public sector and into the hands of private businesses. If Demo-2 fails, it could be a long time before manned spaceflights return to the United States.

Using $100 million of his PayPal payout, Musk founded SpaceX back in 2002, predating his Tesla car company by more than a year. As the story goes, Musk wanted to put plants on Mars, but it was too expensive to acquire the rockets to do so. So he started his own company, SpaceX, to see if he couldn’t get those costs down. In early years, the venture seemed destined for failure: Between 2006 and 2008, the first three launches of its …

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