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Blue Origin successfully launches and lands New Shepard, with a first-ever external booster payload – Yahoo Movies UK

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched its first mission of 2020 today, flying a New Shepard sub-orbital rocket from its West Texas testing facility. This particular rocket has flown a total of seven times (including today), and this is now the 13th flight of a New Shepard vehicle overall. Today’s launch included a test of NASA’s active landing sensor system, which will be used to build an autonomous, precise and flexible landing system for future moon landing vehicles.” data-reactid=”12″>Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched its first mission of 2020 today, flying a New Shepard sub-orbital rocket from its West Texas testing facility. This particular rocket has flown a total of seven times (including today), and this is now the 13th flight of a New Shepard vehicle overall. Today’s launch included a test of NASA’s active landing sensor system, which will be used to build an autonomous, precise and flexible landing system for future moon landing vehicles.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The NASA landing system test also marks a first for Blue Origin — the first time it has tested flying a payload on the outside of New Shepard. To date, all New Shepard payloads have traveled inside the capsule atop the booster, but the external test here was necessary in order to perform measurements of the instruments that will be used to provide repeatable, precision landing capabilities to future spacecraft.” data-reactid=”13″>The NASA landing system test also marks a first for Blue Origin — the first time it has tested flying a payload on the outside of New Shepard. To date, all New Shepard payloads have traveled inside the capsule atop the booster, but the external test here was necessary in order to perform measurements of the instruments that will be used to provide repeatable, precision landing capabilities to future spacecraft.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” data-reactid=”15″>https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="While NASA was obviously previously able to land on the surface of the moon, it's looking to upgrade the technology it uses to do so in order to be able to handle the challenging task with full automation, and with much higher precision for hitting very specific targets on the lunar surface — and providing spacecraft the ability to do so over and over again, reliably, since NASA's goal with its Artemis generation of moon missions is to establish a more permanent human research presence on our large natural satellite.” data-reactid=”16″>While NASA was obviously previously able to land on the surface of the moon, it’s looking to upgrade the technology it uses to do so in order to be able to handle the challenging task with full automation, and with much higher precision for hitting very specific targets on the lunar surface — and providing spacecraft the ability to do so over and over again, reliably, since NASA’s goal with its Artemis generation of moon missions is to establish a more permanent human research presence on our large natural satellite.

A number of experiments are also on board that capsule, which returned to Earth with a soft, parachute-aided landing. This launch also included a new heat shield used on the rocket as part of testing for future New Glenn flights, the next generation of Blue Origin spacecraft that will be able to handle orbital payload launches, adding to Blue Origin’s current suborbital capabilities with New Shepard.

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NASA probe leaking asteroid samples due to jammed door – Al Jazeera English

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Images beamed back to ground control revealed it caught more material than scientists anticipated and was spewing excess of flaky asteroid rocks into space.

A US probe that collected a sample from an asteroid earlier this week retrieved so much material that a rock is wedged in the container door, allowing rocks to spill back out into space.

On Tuesday, the robotic arm of the probe, OSIRIS-REx, kicked up a debris cloud of rocks on Bennu, a skyscraper-sized asteroid some 320 million kilometres (200 million miles) from Earth and trapped the material in a collection device for the return to Earth.

But images of the spacecraft’s collection head beamed back to ground control revealed it had caught more material than scientists anticipated and was spewing an excess of flaky asteroid rocks into space.

The leakage had the OSIRIS-REx mission team scrambling to stow the collection device to prevent additional spillage.

“Time is of the essence,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s associate administrator for science, told reporters on Friday.

Zurbuchen said mission teams will skip their chance to measure how much material they collected as originally planned and proceed to the stow phase, a fragile process of tucking the sample collection container in a safe position within the spacecraft without jostling out more valuable material.

NASA will not know how much material it collected until the sample capsule returns in 2023.

The troubleshooting also led mission leaders to forgo any more chances of redoing a collection attempt and instead commit to begin next March the spacecraft’s return to Earth.

“Quite honestly, we could not have performed a better collection experiment,” OSIRIS-REx’s principal investigator Dante Lauretta said.

But with the door lodged open by a rock and the “concerning” images of sample spillage, “we’re almost the victim of our own success here”, he added.

The roughly $800m, minivan-sized OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, launched in 2016 to grab and return the first US sample of pristine asteroid materials.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago.

A sample could hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists say.

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Asteroid samples escaping from jammed NASA spacecraft – Phys.org

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In this image taken from video released by NASA, the Osiris-Rex spacecraft touches the surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (NASA via AP)

A NASA spacecraft is stuffed with so much asteroid rubble from this week’s grab that it’s jammed open and precious particles are drifting away in space, scientists said Friday.

Scientists announced the news three days after the named Osiris-Rex briefly touched asteroid Bennu, NASA’s first attempt at such a mission.

The mission’s lead scientist, Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona, said Tuesday’s operation 200 million miles away collected far more material than expected for return to Earth—in the hundreds of grams. The sample container on the end of the robot arm penetrated so deeply into the asteroid and with such force, however, that rocks got sucked in and became wedged around the rim of the lid.

Scientists estimate the sampler pressed as much as 19 inches (48 centimeters) into the rough, crumbly, black terrain.

“We’re almost a victim of our own success here,” Lauretta said at a hastily arranged news conference.

Lauretta said there is nothing can do to clear the obstructions and prevent more bits of Bennu from escaping, other than to get the samples into their as soon as possible.

So, the flight team was scrambling to put the sample container into the capsule as early as Tuesday—much sooner than originally planned—for the long trip home.

“Time is of the essence,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, chief of NASA’s science missions.

This is NASA’s first asteroid sample-return mission. Bennu was chosen because its carbon-rich material is believed to hold the preserved building blocks of our solar system. Getting pieces from this cosmic time capsule could help scientists better understand how the planets formed billions of years ago and how life originated on Earth.

Scientists were stunned—and then dismayed—on Thursday when they saw the pictures coming from Osiris-Rex following its wildly successful touch-and-go at Bennu two days earlier.

A cloud of asteroid particles could be seen swirling around the spacecraft as it backed away from Bennu. The situation appeared to stabilize, according to Lauretta, once the robot arm was locked into place. But it was impossible to know exactly how much had already been lost.

The requirement for the $800 million-plus mission was to bring back a minimum 2 ounces (60 grams).

Regardless of what’s on board, Osiris-Rex will still leave the vicinity of the asteroid in March—that’s the earliest possible departure given the relative locations of Earth and Bennu. The samples won’t make it back until 2023, seven years after the spacecraft rocketed away from Cape Canaveral.

Osiris-Rex will keep drifting away from Bennu and will not orbit it again, as it waits for its scheduled departure.

Because of the sudden turn of events, scientists won’t know how much the sample capsule holds until it’s back on Earth. They initially planned to spin the spacecraft to measure the contents, but that maneuver was canceled since it could spill even more debris.

“I think we’re going to have to wait until we get home to know precisely how much we have,” Lauretta told reporters. “As you can imagine, that’s hard. … But the good news is we see a lot of material.”

Japan, meanwhile, is awaiting its second batch of samples taken from a different asteroid, due back in December.


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NASA spacecraft sent asteroid rubble flying in sample grab


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Two flights into Abbotsford have had recent COVID-19 exposures – Maple Ridge News

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Two flights to Abbotsford have each had a recent COVID-19 exposure, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

The agency indicates on its website that the flights involved were WestJet flight 637 from Calgary to Abbotsford on Wednesday, Oct. 14 (rows nine to 15) and Swoop flight 107 from Hamilton to Abbotsford on Monday, Oct. 19 (rows 20 to 26).

The CDC advises that anyone who was on these flights should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

RELATED: Vancouver airport to pilot pre-flight COVID-19 tests for select WestJet passengers

Passengers on domestic flights are not required to self-isolate, but those who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.

Passengers seated on a plane with a case of COVID-19 that was later identified are no longer directly notified of their potential exposure. Instead, anyone who has travelled is asked to monitor the CDC website.

Passengers seated in the affected rows are considered to be at higher risk of exposure due to their proximity to the case.

RELATED: WestJet to offer full refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic



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