Connect with us

Science

Astronauts arrive for NASA's 1st home launch in decade – CTV News

Published

 on


CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. —
The two astronauts who will end a nine-year launch drought for NASA arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, exactly one week before their historic SpaceX flight.

It will be the first time a private company, rather than a national government, sends astronauts into orbit.

NASA test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew to Florida from their home base in Houston aboard one of the space agency’s jets.

“It’s an incredible time for NASA and the space program, once again launching U.S. crews from Florida and hopefully in just a week from about right now,” Hurley told reporters minutes after arriving.

Hurley was one of the four astronauts who arrived at Kennedy on July 4, 2011, for the final space shuttle flight, “so it’s incredibly humbling to be here to start out the next launch from the United States.”

“We feel it as an opportunity but also a responsibility for the American people, for the SpaceX team, for all of NASA,” Behnken added.

The two are scheduled to blast off next Wednesday afternoon atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, bound for the International Space Station. They’ll soar from the same pad where Atlantis closed out the shuttle program in 2011, the last home launch for NASA astronauts.

Since then, the only way to the space station for astronauts has been on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan.

Hurley and Behnken still don’t know how long they’ll spend at the space station: anywhere between one and four months. Only one American is up there right now — astronaut Chris Cassidy — and could use a hand. Hurley said he got an email from Cassidy on Tuesday night in which he wrote that “he’s looking forward to seeing our ugly mugs on board.”

Greeting the astronauts at Kennedy’s former shuttle landing strip were the centre’s director, former shuttle commander Robert Cabana, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“You really are a bright light for all of America right now,” Bridenstine told them.

The welcoming committee was reduced drastically in size because of the coronavirus pandemic. There were no handshakes for the astronauts, who did not wear masks but kept their distance at separate microphones. Cabana and Bridenstine wore masks except while addressing the crowd; so did the approximately 20 journalists standing more than 20 feet (6 metres) away.

During these tough times, Bridenstine said, “this is a moment when we can all look and be inspired as to what the future holds.”

NASA’s commercial crew program has been years in the making. Boeing, the competing company, isn’t expected to launch its first astronauts until next year.

As the trailblazers, Hurley and Behnken are establishing new prelaunch traditions. They shared two at Bridenstine’s request Wednesday.

Hurley, a former Marine and fighter pilot, followed military tradition and put a mission sticker on the SpaceX flight simulator in Houston on Tuesday, after completing training. Behnken, an Air Force colonel, followed Russian custom and planted a tree. He had help back home from his wife, who’s also an astronaut, and their 6-year-old son.

“My son will always have that lemon tree that he was a part of planting,” Behnken said. “Hopefully, it makes it through Houston’s hot summer this year and becomes a tradition for some other folks as well.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

China's Chang'e-5 probe completes second orbital correction – ecns

Published

 on




China’s lunar probe Chang’e-5 successfully carried out its second orbital correction Wednesday night, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The probe conducted the orbital correction at 10:06 p.m. (Beijing Time), when its two 150N engines were operational for about six seconds.

Prior to the orbital correction, the lunar probe had traveled for roughly 41 hours in orbit, and was about 270,000 km away from Earth. All of the probe’s systems were in good condition.

The CNSA said that the tracking of the probe by ground monitoring and communication centers and stations is going smoothly.

China launched the lunar probe Tuesday to collect and return samples from the moon. It is the country’s first attempt to retrieve samples from an extraterrestrial body.


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

This rocks! Western University student spots never-before-seen asteroid – Belleville Intelligencer

Published

 on


A Western University astronomy student from Chatham, who’s been stargazing since he was a kid, has discovered an asteroid through remote access to a telescope in Spain.

Graduate student Cole Gregg, 22, was using a telescope based at an observatory known as Astrocamp to troll the night sky when he spotted the small, fast-moving, flashing object.

His find — an asteroid estimated to be about 50 to 100 metres long — came after months of seeing nothing notable during his studies. It was, to put it mildly, “unexpected,” Gregg said Wednesday.

“It was quite shocking. You are not really ready for it,” he said. “It takes you by surprise and it was very exciting.”

Using the telescope located on a Spanish mountaintop, Gregg said he observed the asteroid as it sped close to Earth, moving through near-space across Europe.

Gregg’s astronomy professor, Paul Wiegert, called it “a rare treat to be the first person to spot one of these visitors to our planet’s neighbourhood.”

Added Wiegert: “Astronomers around the globe are continuously monitoring near-Earth space for asteroids so this is certainly a feather in Cole’s cap.”


Western astronomy student Cole Gregg monitors the night skies. Gregg discovered the asteroid ALA2xH a week ago.

Gregg spotted the asteroid, given the temporary designation ALA2xH, on Nov. 18. Data collected about the asteroid was sent to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., to determine whether the observation was unique or not.

From there, it goes on their near-Earth object confirmation page.

Gregg used a website called Itelescope, which allows the public to access telescopes via the internet.

“A lot of people use them for the pretty astrophotography pictures, but they are quite capable of science as well,” Gregg said. “My project is proving that these small telescopes are quite capable of science.”

Despite their efforts, Gregg said they have not spotted the asteroid again “due to weather and unavailability of the telescopes.”

Gregg said he has been fascinated with space since he was camping as a boy and relished looking up at stars in the dark skies. “It sparked my interest.”

After completing his PhD in astronomy, he hopes to continue his research and teach.

“I’m interested in asteroids and comets and how they move, how they exist in the solar system and where they come from,” he said. “And how we can learn from our own solar system to understand . . . other solar systems in the galaxy.”

HRivers@postmedia.com


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

This rocks! Western University student spots never-before-seen asteroid – Kingston This Week

Published

 on


A Western University astronomy student from Chatham, who’s been stargazing since he was a kid, has discovered an asteroid through remote access to a telescope in Spain.

Graduate student Cole Gregg, 22, was using a telescope based at an observatory known as Astrocamp to troll the night sky when he spotted the small, fast-moving, flashing object.

His find — an asteroid estimated to be about 50 to 100 metres long — came after months of seeing nothing notable during his studies. It was, to put it mildly, “unexpected,” Gregg said Wednesday.

“It was quite shocking. You are not really ready for it,” he said. “It takes you by surprise and it was very exciting.”

Using the telescope located on a Spanish mountaintop, Gregg said he observed the asteroid as it sped close to Earth, moving through near-space across Europe.

Gregg’s astronomy professor, Paul Wiegert, called it “a rare treat to be the first person to spot one of these visitors to our planet’s neighbourhood.”

Added Wiegert: “Astronomers around the globe are continuously monitoring near-Earth space for asteroids so this is certainly a feather in Cole’s cap.”


Western astronomy student Cole Gregg monitors the night skies. Gregg discovered the asteroid ALA2xH a week ago.

Gregg spotted the asteroid, given the temporary designation ALA2xH, on Nov. 18. Data collected about the asteroid was sent to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., to determine whether the observation was unique or not.

From there, it goes on their near-Earth object confirmation page.

Gregg used a website called Itelescope, which allows the public to access telescopes via the internet.

“A lot of people use them for the pretty astrophotography pictures, but they are quite capable of science as well,” Gregg said. “My project is proving that these small telescopes are quite capable of science.”

Despite their efforts, Gregg said they have not spotted the asteroid again “due to weather and unavailability of the telescopes.”

Gregg said he has been fascinated with space since he was camping as a boy and relished looking up at stars in the dark skies. “It sparked my interest.”

After completing his PhD in astronomy, he hopes to continue his research and teach.

“I’m interested in asteroids and comets and how they move, how they exist in the solar system and where they come from,” he said. “And how we can learn from our own solar system to understand . . . other solar systems in the galaxy.”

HRivers@postmedia.com


Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending