Connect with us

Science

SpaceX launch aborted in final second before liftoff – Spaceflight Now – Spaceflight Now

Published

on


A Falcon 9 rocket stands on pad 39A seconds after an aborted launch Sunday. Credit: SpaceX

The countdown for a planned launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida automatically aborted in the last second before liftoff Sunday after an on-board computer detected unexpected data during an engine power check.

The dramatic last-second abort occurred at 9:22 a.m. EDT (1322 GMT) Sunday, moments after the Falcon 9’s main engines ignited on launch pad 39A.

A member of launch team announced engine start and liftoff. A second later, she said: “Disregard. We have an abort.”

There was an instantaneous launch opportunity Sunday, so the abort meant SpaceX had to scrub the day’s launch attempt.

The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket was set to loft 60 more Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s planned Internet service, joining 300 Starlink stations launched by five previous rockets since last May. SpaceX is launching the satellites 60 at a time, aiming to deploy more than 1,500 of the quarter-ton spacecraft to provide near-global service by late 2021 or 2022.

SpaceX tweeted later Sunday morning that a “standard auto-abort triggered due to out of family data during engine power check.”

Last-second aborts after engine ignition during SpaceX countdowns are rare, but they have happened before on several occasions. On the Falcon 9’s inaugural launch in June 2010, SpaceX aborted the countdown just before engine start and tried again the same afternoon, resulting in a successful mission that reached orbit.

The company said it will announce a new target launch date once the schedule is confirmed with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, which runs the Eastern Range that oversees all launch activity at Cape Canaveral.

An updated launch weather forecast released by the 45th Space Wing on Sunday suggested the next launch opportunity for the Falcon 9 rocket might be Wednesday at 8:21 a.m. EDT (1221 GMT).

The weather forecast shows an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions for launch Wednesday morning with scattered clouds, light easterly winds, and a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The primary weather concern is with cumulus clouds.

The upcoming launch will mark the 83rd flight of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010, and the sixth SpaceX launch of 2020.

The Falcon 9 is programmed to deploy its 60 Starlink payloads into an elliptical, or egg-shaped orbit ranging between 130 miles (210 kilometers) and 227 miles (366 kilometers) above Earth. The target orbit is inclined 53 degrees to the equator.

The two-stage launcher will head northeast from Cape Canaveral to reach the intended orbit. The Falcon 9’s reused first stage booster — flying for the fifth time on this mission — will attempt to land on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites and achieves a reusability record for a Falcon 9 booster – TechCrunch

Published

on


SpaceX launched its second Falcon 9 rocket in the span of just four days on Wednesday at 9:25 PM EDT (6:25 PM PDT). This one was carrying 60 more satellites for its Starlink constellation, which will bring the total currently in operation on orbit to 480. The launch took off from Florida, where SpaceX launched astronauts for the first time ever on Saturday for the final demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon to fulfill the requirements of NASA’s Commercial Crew human-rating process.

Today’s launch didn’t include any human passengers, but it did fly that next big batch of Starlink broadband internet satellites, as mentioned. Those will join the other Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, forming part of a network that will eventually serve to provide high-bandwidth, reliable internet connectivity, particularly in underserved areas where terrestrial networks either aren’t present or don’t offer high-speed connections.

This launch included a test of a new system that SpaceX designed in order to hopefully improve an issue its satellites have had with nighttime visibility from Earth. The test Starlink satellite, one of the 60, has a visor system installed that it can deploy post-launch in order to block the sun from reflecting off of its communication antenna surfaces. If it works as designed, it should greatly reduce sunlight reflected off of the satellite back to Earth, and SpaceX will then look to make it a standard part of its Starlink satellite design going forward.

Part of this launch included landing the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used for the launch, which has already flown previously four times and been recovered – that makes this a rocket that has now flown five missions, and today it touched down safely once again on SpaceX’s drone landing barge in the ocean so it can potentially be used again.

SpaceX will also be attempting to recover the two fairing halves that form the protective nose cone used during launch at the top of the rocket to protect the payload being carried by the Falcon 9. We’ll provide an update about how that attempt goes once SpaceX provides details.

Tomorrow, June 4, actually marks the 10-year anniversary of the first flight of a Falcon 9 rocket – between this reusability record, and the much more historic first human spaceflight mission earlier this week, that’s quite the decade.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

SpaceX Set To Launch Eighth Starlink Mission, Read The Instructions With East Coast Droneship Debut – NASASpaceflight.com

Published

on


SpaceX Set To Launch Eighth Starlink Mission, Read The Instructions With East Coast Droneship Debut – NASASpaceFlight.com

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Science

Brandon University researchers examine dinosaur’s last meal in historic study – Globalnews.ca

Published

on


A team from Brandon University have become the first researchers in the world to study the actual stomach contents of a dinosaur, more than 100 million years after it ate its last meal.

And apparently the nodosaur dug up in northern Alberta was a bit of a picky eater.


READ MORE:
Rare dinosaur stomach fossil unearthed at Alberta oilsands site opens door to ancient world

The researchers, including Brandon University biology professor Dr. David Greenwood, research associate Cathy Greenwood, and BU science student Jessica Kalyniuk, say that pretty well all they found in the dinosaur’s belly were leaves from one particular fern plant.

“The vast majority of what we found in its stomach was fern leaves, along with a few stems and twigs,” said Greenwood in a release from the university.

Story continues below advertisement


An illustration of an nodosaur by artist Julius Csotonyi.


Brandon University/Royal Tyrrell Museum

“We also found charcoal in the stomach indicating that it was grazing in a freshly burned area, where ferns are some of the first plants that emerge, giving us insight into the way the nodosaur lived.”

The 1,300-kilogram dinosaur was found at an open pit mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta. in 2011 and has been on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta. since 2017.


READ MORE:
A pair of exhibits bring dinosaurs back to Winnipeg

The nodosaur, a type of ankylosaur, lived more than 110 million years ago, and is thought to be the most well-preserved specimen of the creature ever found.

“The discovery of a specimen like this is absolutely remarkable, and the preservation of the plant fragments is evidence that it died shortly after its last meal,” said Greenwood.

Story continues below advertisement

Findings published

The team, which included researchers from the museum as well as a geologist from the University of Saskatchewan, determined the dinosaur had a preference for particular ferns — and really, who doesn’t? — after researching other plants found in the area at the time.

Their findings were published by the Royal Society Open Science this week.

Kayyniuk, who graduated with a bachelor of science from BU in 2019 and is now working on her master’s degree, says she didn’t know just how rare an opportunity it was be able to see the fossilized stomach contents of a dinosaur before starting the work.

Fossilized plants in the stomach block of the nodosaur.


Fossilized plants in the stomach block of the nodosaur.


Brandon University/Royal Tyrrell Museum

She spent 10 days doing research at the museum on the project, and plans on doing further research this year, if COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted.

Story continues below advertisement

“The more I learned, the more interesting it became to me and the more aware and in awe I was that this is truly unique research,” she said in the university’s release.


READ MORE:
Do you recognize this dinosaur? Manitoba Museum takes unique approach to lost-and-found

“This has given me an opportunity to get experience at the museum, including hands-on and remote access to their collections, which will play a large role in my thesis work.

“It has also provided me with new colleagues, resources and support that are of great benefit to me, and I’m sure will continue to be in the future.”






1:06
Argentine scientists discover one of the last dinosaurs


Argentine scientists discover one of the last dinosaurs

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

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending