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FAA to oversee investigation of SpaceX Starship's 3rd test flight – Space.com

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For the third time in 11 months, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a flight of SpaceX’s Starship megarocket.

Starship launched for the third time ever on Thursday (March 14), roaring into the skies from SpaceX‘s Starbase site in South Texas. The company aimed to bring both of Starship’s elements — its first-stage Super Heavy booster and its Starship upper stage — down to Earth for ocean landings, but both vehicles ended up breaking apart in the atmosphere.

The test flight therefore qualifies as a mishap, and the FAA wants to know what happened. The agency announced this morning (March 15) that it will oversee a SpaceX-led investigation into Thursday’s events.

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Related: Relive SpaceX Starship’s 3rd flight test in breathtaking photos

The 400-foot-tall (122 meters) Starship, which SpaceX is developing to carry people and cargo to the moon and Mars, flew for the first time in April 2023, on a test flight that lasted just four minutes.

It took to the skies again in November, notching several important milestones, including a successful stage separation. But that second trial mission ended after just eight minutes.

The FAA oversaw SpaceX investigations into both of those flights. The first probe identified 63 corrective actions that the company needed to take before launching again, and the second found 17 required fixes.

The number will likely be lower still for flight number three, given how much progress Starship made. For example, Super Heavy aced its “boostback” burn after separating from the upper stage, though the giant booster failed to execute its landing burn properly and broke apart about 1,515 feet (462 meters) above the Gulf of Mexico.

The Starship upper stage reached orbital velocity and hit its proper “coast” trajectory, on its way to a planned splashdown in the Indian Ocean. The vehicle was rolling a bit as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, however, and broke apart about 50 minutes after launch.

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It’s unclear when the fourth Starship test flight will take place; the FAA will not consider granting a launch license until the current mishap investigation is over and SpaceX has implemented the required corrective actions, whatever those end up being. But it’s safe to assume that SpaceX will be ready to fly when it gets the green light.

“Today, we do have four ships and four Super Heavy boosters built, with more coming off the production line as our star factory continues to grow,” Siva Bharadvaj, a space operations engineer at SpaceX, said during a webcast of Thursday’s launch. 

“These vehicles are slated for future flight tests just like today’s,” he added. “In fact, just this week, we static-fired our next ship that’s planning to fly and expect to test the booster as soon as the launch mount is free from today’s flight test.”

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Walmart sold out of glasses days before eclipse! – Southeast Missourian

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Valerie Wondrick, Cape Walmart Supercenter associate, joined associates in the lot behind the store to view the eclipse. She’s wearing a Cape Girardeau Eclipse tee shirt and eclipse safety glasses which Walmart had sold out days before the eclipse. Last minute shoppers were left to search for the correct glasses!

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‘I don’t want to go blind’: People scared of eye injuries post solar eclipse – WION

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Looking directly at the sun during a solar eclipse can cause serious damage to eyes. Staring at the sun can damage the retina and also result in permanent vision loss or impairment.

To safely view a solar eclipse, one must always use proper eye protection, such as solar viewing glasses that are specifically designed for this purpose. These glasses have special filters that block out harmful ultraviolet and infrared radiation and allow one to safely observe the eclipse. 

However, on the day of the total solar eclipse on April 8, many did not take any precautionary measures in New York City, as per reports. Reports of eye-related issues soared at a medical facility in New York City. Search of individuals seeking information online about experiencing eye discomfort also soared.

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Dr Janette Nesheiwat, a double board-certified doctor in New York City reportedly recounted treating numerous patients alarmed by their potential loss of vision. 

“I had several patients come in panicking saying ‘I don’t want to go blind,’” Nesheiwat told a western media outlet. “I couldn’t believe it, people actually looked at the eclipse without protection.”

It is also crucial to remember that regular sunglasses are not sufficient for viewing a solar eclipse. They do not provide adequate protection against the intense brightness of the sun during an eclipse, and looking at the sun through them can still cause eye damage. Hence, it is essential to use proper eye protection. 

Dr Nesheiwat pointed out that the potential consequences could include the sun’s rays causing retinal burns and harming the macula, the crucial part of the retina responsible for central vision. It is worth noting that the national statistics on eye injuries post-eclipse is not available even as Dr Nesheiwat attended to a considerable number of cases in the City. 

Watch | Researchers find high quantities of cancer causing ‘forever chemicals’ in New Mexico water

“The damage can be irreversible if the retina is severely damaged by looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection,” Dr Nesheiwat cautioned.

Notably, keywords like “hurt eyes” and “why do my eyes hurt after the eclipse” were trending on Google search engine after the eclipse.

(With inputs from agencies)

Heena Sharma

Heena Sharma is a digital journalist who writes mostly on current geopolitical developments. @HeenaSharma0819

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Google celebrates the 2024 total solar eclipse with new 'Doodle', animation – Yahoo News Canada

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Google celebrates the 2024 total solar eclipse with new ‘Doodle’, animation

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Canada’s most anticipated solar event of 2024 is finally happening, and all eyes will be (safely, we ask) on the skies! A solar eclipse will be visible over North America, with the coveted path of totality falling over parts of Eastern Canada.

DON’T MISS: Everything you need to know for April’s spectacular and rare solar eclipse

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HubPage - Solar Eclipse - Timetable1HubPage - Solar Eclipse - Timetable1

HubPage – Solar Eclipse – Timetable1

The last time a solar eclipse swept over North America was in August of 2017; however, any Canadians who wanted to view the spectacle had to travel south of the border to do so. The most recent solar eclipse over Canada was in 2008, with only some folks in Nunavut getting to see the event.

Now, sixteen years later, American and Canadian skies will once again see the Moon and Sun align, and to celebrate the occasion, Google has released a special new ‘Doodle’ and animation.

Each letter in the word ‘GOOGLE’ can be seen looking up at the sky while wearing protective eclipse glasses, except for ‘E’, who is sleeping.

Clicking on the Doodle will take users to an automatic search result for “Total Eclipse 2024” and feature an animation of the Moon passing in front of the Sun.

WATCH: April 8, 2024 solar eclipse Google Doodle animation

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Folks who miss this eclipse will have to wait another twenty years before Canada sees another total eclipse, but it won’t be Eastern Canada plunged into the shadow. In fact, another total solar eclipse won’t travel over Eastern Canada again until 2079.

Stay with The Weather Network for everything eclipse-related and share your eclipse photos with us, here, or use the hashtag #ShareYourWeather on social media.

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