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SpaceX Crew-1 mission: Everything you need to know about the historic launch – CNET

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Inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They constitute the crew of NASA’s Crew-1 mission.  


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Despite a global pandemic, a record hurricane season and having to swap out problematic rocket engines, NASA and SpaceX remain determined to get the historic Crew-1 mission off the ground from Florida on Saturday. The flight of four astronauts to the International Space Station in a Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket follows the success of the Demo-2 mission and its historic splashdown and will set a few key spaceflight milestones. 

Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about the mission. 

Wait, what was that about the engines?

The targeted launch date for Crew-1 was pushed back from late October after NASA and SpaceX noticed some unexpected behavior from a few Falcon 9 engines that were set to be used for an unrelated mission to launch a military GPS satellite. That mission was scrubbed with just two seconds left on the countdown and an investigation later revealed a stray bit of lacquer had clogged a tiny relief valve line. The clog caused two of the rocket’s engines to try and fire early, potentially damaging the engines had liftoff not been automatically aborted. 

SpaceX found that engines in the rocket to be used for Crew-1 had the “same tendencies.” Launch date was moved to November, the engines were swapped out and now NASA and SpaceX are both satisfied that it’s go time.  

OK, so why is Crew-1 a big deal?

Crew-1 is part of the culmination of NASA’s Commercial Crew program that’s been years in the works. For decades, NASA has typically developed its own rockets and spacecraft internally with the help of contractors, but the Commercial Crew program works more like chartering a flight. Companies like SpaceX and Boeing have vehicles designed to be used by other customers, and NASA can hitch a ride on them. 

It’s also a huge step in bringing spaceflight back to US soil. From the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011 up until the Demo-2 mission that sent two NASA astronauts to the ISS aboard a Crew Dragon earlier this year, NASA has relied on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to shuttle its astronauts to orbit. 


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Demo-2 was considered a successful demonstration of Crew Dragon and NASA looks at Crew-1 as the first official crew rotation mission from US shores since the retirement of the Shuttle. 

“It’s exciting, especially with Crew-1 being the first time we’ve ever put four people on a space capsule ever, as humans, like that’s pretty cool,” explained NASA’s Anthony Vareha, the lead flight director for the mission. “It’s also the longest mission of a crewed US capsule ever.”

Who is flying in the Crew Dragon?

Along for the historic flight will be NASA’s Crew Dragon Commander Michael Hopkins, Pilot Victor Glover, and Mission Specialist Shannon Walker, joined by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Mission Specialist Soichi Noguchi to the space station. 

Up until now, three people in a Soyuz capsule amounted to a cramped ride, but Crew Dragon can accommodate up to seven (for comparison, the Space Shuttle flew crews of up to eight), making the trip for these four spacefarers seem relatively spacious.

How long is the trip?

The members of Crew-1 are embarking on a six-month science mission, which is exciting for people involved in the orbital and space science world because four crew members making the trip amounts to more hands available on the station to do more experiments in microgravity.

“It’s going to be exciting to be able to see how much work we can get done while we’re there,” Hopkins said Monday. 

But first, of course, the astronauts will have to get there. The actual trip to the ISS takes just about eight-and-a-half hours from launch Saturday evening to docking with the station early Sunday morning.  

How do I watch?

Right here. NASA and SpaceX will stream the launch, currently set for 4:49 p.m. PT (7:49 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Nov. 14, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. 

NASA TV will broadcast the launch and the docking Sunday, and we’re also carrying a livestream, which you can catch below.

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Footage shows catastrophic collapse of iconic Puerto Rico telescope – cjoy.com

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Dramatic video from Puerto Rico captures the moment when a 816-tonne platform came crashing down on the Arecibo Observatory, shattering one of the world’s largest telescopes and striking a crushing blow to the global scientific community.

The catastrophic collapse happened on Dec. 1, less than two weeks after the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) warned that such a disaster was imminent. The NSF had already shuttered operations at the facility after a suspension cable snapped and slashed a hole in the dish last month.

Read more:
Massive Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses after cables snap

The telescope was the largest of its kind when it opened in 1963, and it has contributed to all manner of astronomical discoveries over the years, from asteroids to planets to mysterious radio signals in space. It also won a place in pop culture as the set for such films as Contact and GoldenEye, the first James Bond movie starring Pierce Brosnan.

The observatory’s telescope consisted of a 816-tonne reflector dish platform suspended 137 metres above a massive, bowl-like dish, which measured 305 metres across.

Suspension cables holding up the platform snapped on Dec. 1, dropping the heavy platform on the dish with a tremendous crash.

Video captured by the Arecibo control tower shows one of the three major cables snapping, causing the platform to swing down on the remaining cables before snapping them, too.

The footage shows the reflector dish platform falling apart in mid-air, while dragging down several support towers behind it.

Drone footage captured from one of the support towers shows the moment when the first cable snapped. The cable snapped at the tower, then the whole structure came crashing down, pulling other towers with it and cracking the bowl of the telescope. Large clouds of dust rose from the bowl after the catastrophe.

Read more:
Mysterious radio signal from space traced to ‘zombie’ in our galaxy

Jonathan Friedman, who worked for 26 years at the facility and still lives nearby, described the awful sound of the collapse in an interview with the Associated Press.

“It sounded like a rumble. I knew exactly what it was,” he said. “I was screaming. Personally, I was out of control. … I don’t have words to express it. It’s a very deep, terrible feeling.”

Many scientists, Puerto Rico residents and other public figures mourned the telescope’s loss after it was closed, and again after it collapsed.

Ángel Vázquez, the telescope’s director of operations, said it was no surprise when the telescope fell apart early Tuesday.

“It was a snowball effect,” he said. “There was no way to stop it. … It was too much for the old girl to take.”

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

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Footage shows catastrophic collapse of iconic Puerto Rico telescope – Global News

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Dramatic video from Puerto Rico captures the moment when a 816-tonne platform came crashing down on the Arecibo Observatory, shattering one of the world’s largest telescopes and striking a crushing blow to the global scientific community.

The catastrophic collapse happened on Dec. 1, less than two weeks after the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) warned that such a disaster was imminent. The NSF had already shuttered operations at the facility after a suspension cable snapped and slashed a hole in the dish last month.

Read more:
Massive Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses after cables snap

The telescope was the largest of its kind when it opened in 1963, and it has contributed to all manner of astronomical discoveries over the years, from asteroids to planets to mysterious radio signals in space. It also won a place in pop culture as the set for such films as Contact and GoldenEye, the first James Bond movie starring Pierce Brosnan.

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The observatory’s telescope consisted of a 816-tonne reflector dish platform suspended 137 metres above a massive, bowl-like dish, which measured 305 metres across.

Suspension cables holding up the platform snapped on Dec. 1, dropping the heavy platform on the dish with a tremendous crash.






0:43
Aerial footage shows damage caused by Arecibo radio telescope collapse


Aerial footage shows damage caused by Arecibo radio telescope collapse

Video captured by the Arecibo control tower shows one of the three major cables snapping, causing the platform to swing down on the remaining cables before snapping them, too.

The footage shows the reflector dish platform falling apart in mid-air, while dragging down several support towers behind it.

Drone footage captured from one of the support towers shows the moment when the first cable snapped. The cable snapped at the tower, then the whole structure came crashing down, pulling other towers with it and cracking the bowl of the telescope. Large clouds of dust rose from the bowl after the catastrophe.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Mysterious radio signal from space traced to ‘zombie’ in our galaxy

Jonathan Friedman, who worked for 26 years at the facility and still lives nearby, described the awful sound of the collapse in an interview with the Associated Press.

“It sounded like a rumble. I knew exactly what it was,” he said. “I was screaming. Personally, I was out of control. … I don’t have words to express it. It’s a very deep, terrible feeling.”

Many scientists, Puerto Rico residents and other public figures mourned the telescope’s loss after it was closed, and again after it collapsed.

Ángel Vázquez, the telescope’s director of operations, said it was no surprise when the telescope fell apart early Tuesday.

“It was a snowball effect,” he said. “There was no way to stop it. … It was too much for the old girl to take.”

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

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Telescope Collapse – SaultOnline.com

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PUERTO RICO, USA – The Arecibo Observatory collapsed on December 1, 2020.

The telescope was the biggest of it’s kind in the world until China built a bigger one in 2016.

Its 305-meter main dish was on the ground while the suspended platform weighing in at 150 tons carried antennas and other equipment suspended over it.

One of the main cables supporting the platform broke in August and then the rest let go Tuesday.

During its lifespan, it made numerous discoveries and was used as a radar to ping near-earth asteroids. It would document size, spin, orbit, and rotation. Without this telescope, there is not another one in the world with the precision capability to do so.

There have been calls on social media to rebuild however no plans for the future of the telescope have been completed.

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