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SpaceX aborts liftoff of GPS satellite, continuing streak of launch scrubs – Spaceflight Now



A Falcon 9 rocket aborted its launch just 2 seconds prior to liftoff Friday night. Credit: SpaceX

For the fourth time this week, a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral was stopped with seconds remaining in the countdown Friday night, when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket automatically aborted its liftoff with a new GPS navigation satellite during the engine startup sequence.

The Falcon 9 rocket was just two seconds from launching the U.S. Space Force’s next GPS satellite at 9:43 p.m. EDT Friday (0143 GMT Saturday) when an automated abort halted the countdown.

“Five, four, three,” a member of SpaceX’s launch team called out on the countdown audio net. “And we have an abort. All agencies stand by.”

John Insprucker, a veteran SpaceX engineer providing commentary on the company’s launch webcast, confirmed the team scrubbed the launch attempt Friday night because there was not enough time in the 15-minute window to identify and resolve the problem.

“We got down to about T-minus 2 seconds approximately,” Insprucker said on SpaceX’s launch webcast. “We were just starting the engine ignition sequence when we had a hold. We then began safing (the rocket). We did not get into lighting all nine of the Merlin rocket engines.”

While it did not appear the engines fired, a flash of green light from the base of the rocket suggested the engines’ TEA-TEB ignitor source briefly activated before computers stopped the countdown at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad.

“Right now the vehicle is being safed,” Insprucker said before signing off on the webcast. “There don’t appear to be any issues on the launch pad, but that does end our launch opportunity for tonight.”

While engineers started probing the cause of the hold Friday night, the launch team kicked off steps to drain the Falcon 9 rocket of its kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants.

SpaceX had a backup launch opportunity reserved Saturday night at 9:39 p.m. EDT (0139 GMT Sunday) on the military-run Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral. But SpaceX did not confirm if teams would prepare for another launch attempt Saturday, or if the problem might cause a longer delay.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, tweeted that the Falcon 9 launch was aborted after an “unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator,” referring to equipment used on the rocket’s Merlin main engines.

In any event, forecasters at Cape Canaveral were predicting stormy weather Saturday night. In an outlook issued earlier Friday, they expected an 80 percent chance of unfavorable weather for a launch attempt Saturday night.

A Lockheed Martin-built GPS navigation satellite was ready for liftoff on top of the Falcon 9 rocket Friday night. It is the fourth in a new generation of GPS satellites with longer lifetimes, higher power, and more accurate navigation signals.

The GPS 3 SV04 spacecraft is set to join 31 operational GPS satellites in orbit 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) above Earth.

Friday’s launch attempt was the first for the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS 3 SV04 satellite, but the abort echoed similar last-minute holds encountered by other launchers earlier in the week.

A Falcon 9 rocket with a brand new first stage booster is set to launch the U.S. Space Force’s fourth GPS 3-series navigation satellite from Cape Canaveral. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX fueled a different Falcon 9 rocket two times this week on nearby pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, aiming to send the launcher into space with 60 more satellites for the company’s Starlink internet work.

But SpaceX scrubbed a launch attempt Monday morning just 31 seconds prior to liftoff due to poor weather. The Falcon 9 rocket was again fueled for launch Thursday morning on pad 39A, but SpaceX called off the mission with 18 seconds left in the countdown after detecting unexpected data from a ground sensor.

The same Starlink launch was initially planned for launch Sept. 17. But SpaceX delayed the mission to wait for improved sea conditions in the Falcon 9’s offshore recovery zone, where a drone ship is positioned in the Atlantic Ocean for landing of the the rocket’s first stage booster.

SpaceX aims to try again to launch the Falcon 9 rocket with the 60 Starlink satellites Monday at 7:51 a.m. EDT (1151 GMT).

Musk tweeted early Saturday that SpaceX is beginning a “broad review of launch site, propulsion, structures, avionics, range & regulatory constraints this weekend” in a bid to improve launch availability.

“I will also be at the Cape next week to review hardware in person,” Musk tweeted.

A Delta 4-Heavy rocket from United Launch Alliance, a rival of SpaceX in the U.S. launch services market, was also supposed to blast off from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday night. Its launch was also aborted in the final minute, when the computer-run countdown sequencer stopped the clock seven seconds before liftoff, a moment before the Delta 4-Heavy’s three main engines were programmed to ignite.

ULA has not announced a new launch date for the Delta 4-Heavy rocket, which is set to loft a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance, owner of the U.S. government’s fleet of intelligence-gathering spy satellites.

The Delta 4-Heavy rocket had also run into a series delays before the countdown abort Wednesday night. ULA announced Aug. 26 as the original launch date for the Delta 4-Heavy rocket and its NRO spy cargo, but the mission has been grounded repeatedly, primarily by problems with the Delta 4 launch pad at Cape Canaveral.

A countdown Aug. 29 stopped at T-minus 3 seconds, after one of the Delta 4-Heavy’s three main engines had ignited. ULA traced that problem to a pressure regulator on the launch pad.

Engineers refurbished the launch pad’s pressure regulators before setting a new target launch date Sept. 26. But the flight was again delayed to assess a potential issue with the launch pad’s swing arms designed to retract from the Delta 4-Heavy rocket at liftoff.

ULA teams contended with stormy weather during a pair of launch attempts Monday and Tuesday. After storms cleared from the spaceport Tuesday afternoon, technicians discovered a hydraulic leak on the ground system that rolls the launch pad’s mobile gantry into position for liftoff, forcing another canceled launch attempt before Wednesday night’s countdown ended in the final seconds.

Amid the string of scrubs at Cape Canaveral, another U.S. launcher was set to fire into orbit from Wallops Island, Virginia, with a cargo ship bound for the International Space Station.

Northrop Grumman scrubbed the Antares rocket’s launch attempt Thursday in Virginia less than three minutes before takeoff. Officials later attributed the scrub to an issue with ground software, and a second countdown Friday culminated in a successful launch to begin a mission to deliver nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the space station.

The Antares rocket blasted off at 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT), just 27 minutes before the Falcon 9’s abort Friday night.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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What you need to know about the rare Halloween full moon – Global News



This will be the first time a full moon has fallen on Halloween since 1974 and it won’t happen again until 2039, but there are a few other reasons why this October full moon will be extra spooky.

“You could call it a Boo-Blue-Super Mini-Hunter Full Moon,” said Rick Stankiewicz, publicity director for the Peterborough Astronomical Association.

READ MORE: Full Hunter’s Blue Moon to rise on Halloween before clocks fall back

Here is why Stankiewicz might say that: 

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  • Boo: Full moon falls on Halloween
  • Blue: Second full moon in the month.
  • Super Mini: Furthest from Earth and appearing as the smallest full moon of 2020. The apogee — that is, when the moon’s orbit takes it furthest from Earth — technically occurs on Oct. 30, when the Moon will be 406,394 km away.
  • Hunter Moon: The full moon that follows the Harvest Moon (Oct. 1, 2020), which is always the first Full Moon closest to the Fall Equinox. The Hunter Full Moon will usually be in October or November.

Stankiewicz said the blue moon part of the name is a bit deceiving. “It won’t look blue,” he said. “At moonrise, 6:24 p.m., it might look yellowish or orange if we are lucky.”

Click to play video 'A rare blue moon will light up the sky on Halloween'

A rare blue moon will light up the sky on Halloween

A rare blue moon will light up the sky on Halloween

He said the best time to see the Moon is shortly after moonrise, low in the eastern sky. That’s because it will be closer to the horizon. “The Moon will look a little bigger then,” he said. “The odds of having a hint of colour is always better when it is near the horizon because of the atmosphere it has to shine through.”

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If you miss the view this time around, you’ll have to wait until 2039 to see it again.

“It is not the rarest celestial event because it does repeat itself every 19 years,” Stankiewicz said. “But let’s face it, there are lots of ‘stars aligning’ for all these moon-types to be coming together on a Halloween night.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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NASA plans to send a mission to an asteroid that is… – AlKhaleej Today



NASA is planning a mission to a massive metallic asteroid valued at 7,700 quadrillion pounds ($ 10,000 quadrillion). The diameter of the asteroid, called 16 Psyche, About 140 miles, and it’s one of the most massive objects in the main asteroid belt orbiting between Mars and Jupiter.

Dr. Tracy Baker, planetary researcher at the Southwest Research Institute, said, “We have seen meteorites, most of them metal, but 16 Psyche It might be unique in that it is an asteroid made entirely of iron and nickel in that planet Earth is a metal core, cap, and crust and it is possible that during the formation of a first planet with one another object collided in our solar system and lost its mantle and shell.

Experts predict that iron alone accounts for 16% Psyche It could be worth $ 10,000 quadrillion – if it could be brought to earth for comparison, the global economy was valued at $ 80,934,771,028,340 (£ 62,388,972,921,051.02) in 2017.

This means the asteroid could be worth 123,556.29 times the economy Global news In 2017 she said Lindy Elkins-Tanton NASA mission senior scientist and director of the College of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University: “Even if we could take a big coin and move back here, what would you do?” Could you sit down and hide it and the Control global resources as diamonds are institutionally controlled – and protect your market? What if you decide to return it one more time and solve mankind’s mineral resource problems at any time? It is clear that this is wild speculation.

NASA plans to visit the asteroid in 2022 in hopes of understanding how terrestrial planets like Earth first formed.

The spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2022 before it reaches orbit Psyche In 2026, to orbit the asteroid for 21 months, map and study properties PsycheBefore they send their results back to Earth.

And NASA stated, “In the depths of the rocky and terrestrial planets – including the Earth – scientists infer the presence of metal cores, but these are far fetched under the rocky crusts of the planets and since we cannot see the heart of the planets Earth or measure it directly, Psyche It provides a unique window into the violent history of collisions and agglomerations that created the planets of the earth. ”

These were the details of the news NASA plans to send a mission to an asteroid estimated to be … for the day. We hope that we managed to give you all the details and information. To keep up with all of our news, you can subscribe to the notification system or one of our various systems to receive everything new.

It’s also worth noting that the original news has been published and is available at AlKhaleej Today’s editorial team has confirmed this and it has been changed and it may have been fully retransmitted or quoted and you can read it and follow this news from its main source.

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Arctic sea ice at record low October levels: Danish institute – Hurriyet Daily News



COPENHAGEN-Agence France-Presse

Arctic sea ice at record low October levels: Danish institute

Sea ice in the Arctic was at record lows for October, as unusually warm waters slowed the recovery of the ice, Danish researchers said on Oct. 28.    

Diminishing sea ice comes as a reminder about how the Arctic is hit particularly hard by global warming.    

Since the 1990s, warming has been twice as fast in the Arctic, compared to the rest of the world, as a phenomena dubbed “Arctic amplification,” causes air, ice and water to interact in a reinforcing manner.    

“The October Arctic sea ice extent is going to be the lowest on record and the sea ice growth rate is slower than normal,” Rasmus Tonboe, a scientist at the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI), told AFP, noting that the record was unequaled for at least 40 years.    

According to preliminary satellite data used by the institute, sea ice surface area was at 6.5 million square kilometers (2.5 million square miles) on 27 October.    

Every year, some of the ice formed in the Arctic waters melts in the summer.    

It usually reaches a low point of about five million square kilometers, but then re-forms to cover about 15 million square kilometers in winter. Warmer temperatures are now reducing both the summer and winter extent of the ice.    

Satellite data has been collected to monitor the ice precisely since 1979, and the trend towards a reduction is clear.

For the month of October, measurements show an 8.2 percent downward trend in ice over the last 10 years.

Already in September, researchers noted the second-lowest extent of sea ice recorded in the Arctic, though not quite hitting the low levels recorded in 2012.    

But warmer-than-normal seawater slowed the formation of new ice in October.        

Water temperatures in the eastern part of the Arctic, north of Siberia, were two to four degrees warmer than normal, and in Baffin Bay, it was one to two degrees warmer, DMI said in a statement.    

The institute said this was following a trend observed in recent years, which was described as a “vicious spiral.”

“It’s a trend we’ve been seeing the past years, with a longer open water season making the sun warm the sea for a longer time, resulting in shorter winters so the ice doesn’t grow as thick as it used to,” Tonboe said.    

Since the melting ice is already in the ocean it does not directly contribute to the rise in sea levels.    

But as the ice disappears sunlight “gets absorbed in the ocean, helping to further warm the Earth,” Claire Parkinson, a climate scientist at NASA, told AFP in September.    

Thus, with less ice reflecting sunlight, oceans are heated directly.    

Over the last 40 years, the Arctic has also become more of a strategic interest to world powers.    

Less ice in certain areas opened up new maritime routes, which are destined to play a larger role in international trade, meaning a larger financial stake for Arctic state actors.    

The region is also estimated to house 13 percent of the world’s oil reserves and 30 percent of undiscovered natural gas deposits.    

Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) said on Oct. 27 that under current levels of atmospheric CO2 – roughly 400 parts per million – the melting of Arctic sea ice would raise global temperatures by 0.2C.    

That’s on top of the 1.5C of warming our current emissions levels have rendered all but inevitable, and the safer cap on global warming aimed for in the Paris climate accord. 

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