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Category: Space (Page 1 of 2)

For the second time in three months, a Russian spacecraft has knocked the International Space Station off-kilter

The Russian Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft is seen docked to Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module at the International Space Station. (Image » NASA)

Mike Wall , Space »

Unplanned thruster firings by a Russian spacecraft briefly knocked the International Space Station off-kilter today (Oct. 15), the second such incident in less than three months.

The spacecraft involved today was the Soyuz MS-18, which is scheduled to bring cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, film director Klim Shipenko and actor Yulia Peresild back to Earth early Sunday morning (Oct. 17). Russian flight controllers fired up the vehicle’s thrusters at 5:02 a.m. EDT (0902 GMT) in a planned pre-departure test.

“The thruster firing unexpectedly continued after the end of the test window, resulting in a loss of attitude control for the International Space Station at 5:13 a.m.,” NASA officials wrote in an update this afternoon.
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Updated » William Shatner and three other passengers launched into space today on the second crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket

Video from inside the New Shepard Mission NS-18: Apogee »

Update » Immediately after his trip to space, Shatner tells Jeff Bezos the following »

What you have given me is the most profound experience, I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.

You can see it for yourself in the video below. Start at about 2:44:00 to see the crew exit the capsule and greeted Bezos.

William Shatner will join Dr. Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries.

Live launch coverage begins at 12:30 UTC.

The crew of Blue Origin’s New Shepard NS-18 mission, from left: Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers, and Glen de Vries. (Source » Blue Origin)

Elsewhere »

  • Star Trek star William Shatner ready to boldly go into space » BBC
  • William Shatner is set to launch into space on Wednesday and, this time, it’s not the set of Star Trek — it’s real life. But did you know Shatner’s journey from infancy to outer space actually started in Montreal? » MTL Blog
  • William Shatner, the veteran actor who spent four decades playing the fearless commander of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, is set for a real-life leap into the stars on Wednesday on the next stage of billionaire Jeff Bezos’s quest to dominate the fledgling space tourism industry. » The Guardian
  • Shatner, 90, will become the oldest person to fly into space » NPR
  • Actor William Shatner counted down Wednesday to his wildest role yet: riding a rocket into space, courtesy of “Star Trek” fan Jeff Bezos. » CityNews Toronto

Video » European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon

European Space Agency via YouTube »

The European Space Agency is playing a vital role in humankind’s return to the Moon. In a few months NASA will launch Artemis I from the Kennedy Space Center. The uncrewed mission will carry NASA’s Orion spacecraft incorporating ESA’s European Service Module (ESM-1), built and tested by Airbus Bremen, in Germany, with the help of 10 European nations. ESM-1’s main engine and 32 thrusters will propel Orion into orbit around the Moon and return it to Earth.

As Artemis I prepares for launch, the second European Service Module (ESM-2) is about to ship to the US with ESM-3 also currently under construction. The second Artemis mission, however, has a crucial difference: it will carry four astronauts for a lunar flyby. ESM-2 will provide propulsion, power, oxygen, water and life support as well as controlling the temperature in the orbiting crew module. ESM-3 will go one step further and put the first person on the Moon for 50 years.

Do the Northern Lights make sounds that you can hear?

Fiona Amery, The Conversation »

  • Fiona Amery is a PhD Candidate in History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge

It’s a question that has puzzled observers for centuries: do the fantastic green and crimson light displays of the aurora borealis produce any discernible sound?

Conjured by the interaction of solar particles with gas molecules in Earth’s atmosphere, the aurora generally occurs near Earth’s poles, where the magnetic field is strongest. Reports of the aurora making a noise, however, are rare – and were historically dismissed by scientists.

But a Finnish study in 2016 claimed to have finally confirmed that the northern lights really do produce sound audible to the human ear. A recording made by one of the researchers involved in the study even claimed to have captured the sound made by the captivating lights 70 metres above ground level.

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William Shatner will fly to space aboard Blue Origin rocket next week

As reported earlier, Captain Kirk is rocketing into space next week — boldly going where no other actor has gone before.

Marcia Dunn, AP » 

Jeff Bezos’ space travel company, Blue Origin, announced Monday that “Star Trek” actor William Shatner will blast off from West Texas on Oct. 12.

“Yes, it’s true; I’m going to be a ‘rocket man!’” the 90-year-old tweeted. He added: “It’s never too late to experience new things.”

Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is a huge fan of the sci-fi series and even had a cameo as a high-ranking alien in the 2016 film “Star Trek Beyond.” His rocket company invited Shatner to fly as its guest.


Also » BBC / Gizmodo / The Register / NPR


Mercury looks stunning in this 1st flyby on October 1st

The joint  European Space Agency (ESA) – Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) BepiColombo spacecraft captured this view of Mercury on Oct. 1, 2021 during the first of six flybys on its voyage to orbit the planet in 2025. »

Two spacecraft built by Europe and Japan captured their first up-close look at the planet Mercury in a weekend flyby, revealing a rocky world covered with craters.

The two linked probes, known together as BepiColombo, snapped their first image of Mercury late Friday (Oct. 1) during a flyby that sent them zooming around the planet. The encounter marked the first of six Mercury flybys for BepiColombo, a joint effort by the space agencies of Europe and Japan, to slow itself enough to enter orbit around the planet in 2025.

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