SpaceX fans enthusiastically await the launch of SN11 launch. A test flight was expected to take place the week of Mar. 15, but SpaceX has been hampered by delays in testing all the Starship designs.
(Photo: Jared Krahn on Wikimedia Commons)
Starship SN9 sitting on the launch pad with the building site in the background ahead of its test flight.
Following a static fire test on Friday, Mar. 26, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the SN11 would need “additional checkouts” before taking to the skies.
Musk did not go into depth about the concerns during the evaluation, but he did state that the SN11 would be kept in place.
Standing down SN11 until probably Monday. Additional checkouts are needed. Doing our best to land & fully recover.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 26, 2021
All of the engines are ignited during a static fire test, which happens when the rocket stays stable on the stage.
Verified Date of the SpaceX SN11 Test Flight
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, later announced that a test flight for the new version and build of the Starship could occur on Monday, Mar. 29.
Possible Starship flight tomorrow afternoon
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 28, 2021
The firm is noted for arranging its test flights on weekdays and for delivering its original rescheduling statements.
Space.com said officials in Cameron County, where the Boca Chica testing site is located, declared road closures for the majority of Friday to facilitate SpaceX’s test flight on Thursday.
Later on that day, at 4 p.m. EDT, officials lifted road closures and implied no launch would take place on that day. Foggy conditions continued during the day at SpaceX’s Starbase site, although it was uncertain if the atmosphere was to blame for the company’s decision not to fly.
Express.co.uk added there no road closures have been announced for the new launch date in Cameron County.
The SN11 Starship is long overdue, particularly since the company’s last test flight happened almost a month since it last launched the SN10 on Mar. 3, also noting the gap with SN9’s Feb. 2 test flight.
How Will SpaceX Launch SN11?
Unlike the SN10, which was unveiled, teased, and seen alongside the SN9, the new Starship has been kept largely private. This is expected to be the working and landing prototype, according to the firm. Unlike past Starships, SpaceX or its CEO has not announced any changes to its flight maneuvers or landing modes.
As a result, SpaceX can land using the “Belly Flop” and “Pull Back” strategies. Previous experiments also resulted in the company’s rockets exploding either before or after landing due to miscalculated elements of the missile.
SpaceX and Elon Musk would try the SN10’s test flight maneuver, but it would use all of its engines on the descent to prevent another fatal explosion like its predecessor, as the CEO discussed earlier. The SN11 will maintain the Starship’s three Raptor engines, and the company expects that this will be the last version until July’s “full-stack” ambitions.
How to Watch the SpaceX SN11 Flight
SpaceX’s live stream page would make it easier to record the test flight, which may occur tomorrow or sometime next week if the company were to cancel it again. Last week’s postponement was due to a number of matters, which Musk said needed to be addressed. The group had made extensive preparations.
On the other hand, SpaceX will post another live stream configuration on its YouTube channel on the day of the flight, which is scheduled to appear two hours before the launch in the afternoon. To ensure that you don’t lose anything from the feed, check it about 12 a.m. EDT.
Check out more news and information on SpaceX on Science Times.
SpaceX lands NASA launch contract for mission to Jupiter's moon Europa – Euronews
By Steve Gorman
LOSANGELES – Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX was awarded a $178 million launch services contract for NASA‘s first mission focusing on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa and whether it may host conditions suitable for life, the space agency said on Friday.
The Europa Clipper mission is due for blastoff in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket owned by Musk’s company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp, from NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA said in a statement posted online.
The contract marked NASA‘s latest vote of confidence in the Hawthorne, California-based company, which has carried several cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA in recent years.
In April, SpaceX was awarded a $2.9 billion contract to build the lunar lander spacecraft for the planned Artemis program that would carry NASA astronauts back to the moon for the first time since 1972.
But that contract was suspended after two rival space companies, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc, protested against the SpaceX selection.
The company’s partly reusable 23-story Falcon Heavy, currently the most powerful operational space launch vehicle in the world, flew its first commercial payload into orbit in 2019.
NASA did not say what other companies may have bid on the Europa Clipper launch contract.
The probe is to conduct a detailed survey of the ice-covered Jovian satellite, which is a bit smaller than Earth’s moon and is a leading candidate in the search for life elsewhere in the solar system.
A bend in Europa’s magnetic field observed by NASA‘s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 appeared to have been caused by a geyser gushing through the moon’s frozen crust from a vast subsurface ocean, researchers concluded in 2018. Those findings supported other evidence of Europa plumes.
Among the Clipper mission’s objectives are to produce high-resolution images of Europa’s surface, determine its composition, look for signs of geologic activity, measure the thickness of its icy shell and determine the depth and salinity of its ocean, NASA said.
NASA’s Europa Clipper will fly on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy – The Verge
The Europa Clipper got the green light from NASA in 2015. It will fly by the moon 45 times, providing researchers with a tantalizing look at the icy world, believed to have an ocean lurking under its icy crust. The Clipper is equipped with instruments that will help scientists figure out if the moon could support life.
For years, the Clipper was legally obligated to launch on NASA’s long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS). But with the SLS perpetually delayed and over budget, NASA has urged Congress to consider allowing the Europa Clipper to fly commercial. Switching to another vehicle could save up to $1 billion, NASA’s inspector general said in 2019.
NASA got permission to consider commercial alternatives to the SLS in the 2021 budget, and started officially looking for a commercial alternative soon after.
The SLS has powerful allies in Congress, who have kept the costly program alive for years, even as it blew past budgets and deadlines. The first flight of the SLS was originally supposed to happen in 2017. That mission — launching an uncrewed trip around the Moon — has since been pushed to November 2021, and keeping to that new schedule remains “highly unlikely” according to NASA’s Office of Inspector General, a watchdog agency.
SpaceX first launched its Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018, and started flying satellites in 2019. Earlier this year, NASA selected the rocket as the ride to space for two parts of a planned space station orbiting the Moon.
Researchers Develop Genome Techniques to Analyze Adaptation of Cattle – AZoCleantech
Jared Decker, a fourth-generation cattle farmer, has been aware of cattle suffering from health and productivity problems when they are moved from one location to another. The shift is from a region where they had spent generations to another place with a different climate, grass, or elevation.
Decker, as a researcher at the University of Missouri, looks at the chances of using science to resolve this issue, thereby serving a dual purpose to enhance the cattle’s welfare and sealing the leak in an almost $50 billion industry in the United States.
When I joined MU in 2013, I moved cattle from a family farm in New Mexico to my farm here in Missouri. New Mexico is hot and dry, and Missouri is also hot but has much more humidity. The cattle certainly didn’t do as well as they did in New Mexico, and that spurred me to think about how we could give farmers more information about what their animals need to thrive.
Jared Decker, Associate Professor and Wurdack Chair, Animal Genetics, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
The study was published in the journal PLOS Genetics on July 23rd, 2021.
Decker and his research team have revealed the proof exposing the fact that cattle are losing their key environmental adaptations. The researchers regard this as a loss due to the lack of genetic information available to farmers.
After assessing the genetic materials dating back to the 1960s, the team determined particular DNA variations linked with adaptations that could someday be used to develop DNA tests for cattle. These tests could help educate the farmers regarding the adaptability of cattle from one environment or another.
We can see that, for example, historically cows in Colorado are likely to have adaptations that ease the stress on their hearts at high altitudes. But if you bring in bulls or semen from a different environment, the frequency of those beneficial adaptations is going to decrease. Over generations, that cow herd will lose advantages that would have been very useful to a farmer in Colorado.
Jared Decker, Associate Professor and Wurdack Chair, Animal Genetics, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, University of Missouri
The research team included then-doctoral student Troy Rowan who had examined 60 years’ worth of bovine DNA data from tests of cryo-preserved semen produced by cattle breed associations. They observed that, as time runs, the genes related to higher fertility and productivity increased as a result of careful selection by farmers. Also, many genes relating to environmental adaptations have decreased.
According to Decker, the farmers are not to be blamed as there are no affordable methods available at present to identify the suitability of cattle for a specific environment. The study also proposes easy-to-use cattle DNA tests that focus on the particular adaptations identified in the study.
Such adaptations include resistance to vasoconstriction, which is a process of blood vessel narrowing that takes place at high elevation and puts excessive stress on the heart. Also creating resistance to the toxin in the grass can result in vasoconstriction and tolerance for increased temperature or humidity. All these factors tend to decline over generations when the cattle are shifted from the associated surroundings.
Sometimes, natural and artificial selection are moving in the same direction, and other times there is a tug of war between them. Efficiency and productivity have vastly improved in the last 60 years, but environmental stressors are never going to go away. Farmers need to know more about the genetic makeup of their herd, not only for the short-term success of their farm, but for the success of future generations.
Jared Decker, Associate Professor and Wurdack Chair, Animal Genetics, College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
The first widely adopted genetic test for cattle was developed at the University of Missouri in 2007. Decker and Rowan are looking forward to giving further details of the development. Both the researchers grew up on farms with a desire to use research to help farmers to balance farm traditions of America with the requirement for eco-friendly business practices.
“As a society, we must produce food more sustainably and be good environmental stewards. Making sure a cow’s genetics match their environment makes life better for cattle and helps farmers run efficient and productive operations. It’s a win-win,” concluded Decker.
Rowan, T. N., et al. (2021) Powerful detection of polygenic selection and evidence of environmental adaptation in US beef cattle. PLOS Genetics. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1009652.
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