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An Atlas V rocket may launch a military space plane Saturday morning – Ars Technica

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8:30am ET Update: Due to poor weather at Cape Canaveral in Florida this morning, the launch time has been reset to 10:13am ET (14:13 UTC). The rocket remains fueled with liquid oxygen and kerosene, and ready to fly.

Original post: Engineers and technicians with United Launch Alliance were preparing an Atlas V rocket for launch on Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The rocket has an approximately 150-minute launch window that opens at 8:24am ET (12:24 UTC). Before sunrise, the command was issued to begin loading the Atlas V rocket with cryogenic fuels for launch.

However, there were concerns about weather. On-and-off during the early morning hours, conditions at the launch range went into “red” for cumulus clouds, and ground level winds were just above acceptable limits. Forecasters have estimated about a 40 percent chance of “go” conditions for a launch on Saturday. If this mission flies, a Falcon 9 rocket may launch just 20 hours later from the Cape, early on Sunday.

This mission will carry the X-37B space plane into orbit for the Space Force. There are two operational copies of this uncrewed vehicle, which were built by Boeing, and which measure 8.9 meters long and resemble a miniature space shuttle orbiter. The fleet has previously launched four times on the Atlas V rocket and, most recently, once on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in September, 2017. The X-37B has remained in orbit for as long as 779 days before returning to Earth. It lands on a runway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“The ability to test new systems in space and return them to Earth is unique to the X-37B program and enables the U.S. to more efficiently and effectively develop space capabilities necessary to maintain superiority in the space domain,” the Air Force said earlier this month.

U.S. military officials have spoken a little more openly about this sixth flight of the secretive space plane in advance of its launch. According to the Air Force, this is the first time the X-37B will fly with a service module on the aft end of the vehicle, which will allow for expanded research and experimentation. One of this mission’s experiments will attempt to transform solar radiation into radio frequency microwave energy, with the intent of studying the potential for beaming solar power back to Earth. This vehicle will also release the FalconSat 8 spacecraft, which was developed by Air Force Academy cadets.

Assuming the weather allows for United Launch Alliance to press ahead with an attempt on Saturday, the company will begin a webcast about 20 minutes before liftoff.

USSF-7 mission.

Listing image by ULA

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In Space No One Can Hear You Campaign: Trump Team Pulls Ad – NDTV

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Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has pulled a video featuring the SpaceX launch and astronauts

Washington:

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has pulled a video featuring the SpaceX launch and astronauts which appeared to violate NASA’s media regulations, reports said.

The “Make Space Great Again” YouTube ad posted on YouTube showed footage from the Apollo program, as well as video of the landmark SpaceX Demo-2 mission and NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, the SpaceNews.com website said.

YouTube shows the video was removed by the uploader.

NASA generally allows use of its images and video but prohibits the use of its insignia and photographs of its astronauts in advertisements.

“As a government agency, NASA will not promote or endorse or appear to promote or endorse a commercial product, service or activity. Therefore, there are strict limits placed on the use of any of the NASA identities and emblem imagery in advertisements,” the space agency’s advertising regulations say.

“Astronauts or employees who are currently employed by NASA cannot have their names, likenesses or other personality traits displayed in any advertisements or marketing material.”

Hurley’s wife Karen Nyberg, a retired astronaut, and their young son were also reportedly shown in the clip.

“I find it disturbing that a video image of me and my son is being used in political propaganda without my knowledge or consent. That is wrong,” Nyberg tweeted.

A Change.org petition to “Stop Donald Trump politicizing SpaceX and NASA accomplishments” has attracted more than 6,000 signatures so far.

The New York Times described the video as “the latest effort by the president to parlay his stewardship of American space policy into an upbeat campaign issue.”

The SpaceX mission, which blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on May 30, was the first crewed US spacecraft in nearly a decade.

Trump, who witnessed the liftoff, has relaunched the race to re-conquer the Moon and to journey onwards to the Red Planet.

But the deadlines — 2024 and 2033 respectively — appear unrealistic and have caused turbulence within the space agency.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Donald Trumps campaign team pulls ad featuring NASA astronauts after backlash – Republic World – Republic World

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US President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign pulled a video featuring the historic Dragon Crew launch after backlash from astronauts and NASA officials. Trump has been trying to project the success of NASA and SpaceX as an achievement of his administration and the latest video appeared to be in violation of the space agency’s policy.

Advertisement video posted on YouTube reportedly showed the footage of the Apollo program, and the Demo-2 mission, which resurrected the human spaceflight capability of the United States. NASA prohibits the use of any of the NASA identities and emblem imagery in advertisements. NASA’s advertising regulations say that the space agency will not promote or endorse or appear to promote or endorse a commercial product, service or activity.

“Astronauts or employees who are currently employed by NASA cannot have their names, likenesses or other personality traits displayed in any advertisements or marketing material,” the regulations read.

Retired NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, the wife of Doug Hurley who flew in the Dragon Crew spacecraft along with Bob Behnken, raised strong objection to the used of her photograph in the advertisement. Taking to Twitter, Nyberg said that she finds it “disturbing” that the video image was used without her consent. 

Read: NASA Astronauts Explain Difference Between SpaceX Dragon Crew’s Ride And Space Shuttle

Online petition

A Change.org petition was initiated to stop Trump from politicising accomplishments of SpaceX and NASA and has attracted nearly 7,000 signatures so far. The petition argued that the NASA Commercial Crew Program has been around in its current form since the Obama Administration, and its roots go back to the Bush Administration. 

It said that NASA and the space industry as a whole have long tried to stay out of politics, and, until this Administration, that goal was at least partially attained. The petition further added that implying any one person was responsible for the SpaceX-NASA Crew Demo-2 launch is an “insult to the work of the teams” that meaningfully contributed to its success.

Read: Newest NASA Arrivals Address Briefing LIVE From ISS; Toy Dragon & Earth Bauble In Tow

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A Strawberry Moon rises along with a partial eclipse on Friday – CTV News

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TORONTO —
A Strawberry Moon will rise on Friday and will pass through part of the shadow of the Earth in what is called a partial penumbral eclipse of the moon.

But don’t expect a red-hued moon resembling a “blood moon,” which occurs when there is a total lunar eclipse.

Rather, the Strawberry Moon gets its name for the time of year the full moon appears, according to NASA.

The space agency said the Algonquin tribes named the Strawberry Moon as such because it occurs during the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the north-eastern United States.

In Europe, NASA said the full moon has been called the Mead Moon or the Honey Moon after the fermented drink.

In appearance, the Old Farmer’s Almanac said the Strawberry Moon will appear large and golden-hued when it rises above the horizon. NASA said the moon will appear full for about three days, from early Thursday morning into early Sunday morning.

While the full moon will be a sight in and of itself, celestial watchers will be treated to an accompanying partial eclipse of the moon on Friday, depending on where they live.

Unfortunately for those in North America, the penumbral lunar eclipse won’t be visible because the moon becomes full during daylight hours when it’s below the horizon.

For observers in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, however, the moon will appear ever-so-slightly darker than normal as it passes through the outer edge of Earth’s shadow (the penumbra). The dimming effect won’t be as a dramatic as a total eclipse and will be difficult to detect for the casual watcher staring up at the sky.

The partial penumbral eclipse of the moon will occur on Friday afternoon at 3:12 p.m. Eastern.

Although moon-gazers in North America won’t be able to witness the partial eclipse in person, they can still livestream the lunar event thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project, which will stream the view above Rome’s skyline in Italy beginning at 3 p.m. Eastern.  

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