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Trio returns to Earth after 6 months aboard International Space Station

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A trio of space travellers safely returned to Earth on Thursday after a six-month mission on the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-16 capsule carrying NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan at 7:54 a.m. local time Thursday. After a brief medical checkup, the three will be taken by helicopters to Dzhezkazgan from where they will depart home.

The crew smiled as they talked to masked members of the recovery team, and NASA and Roscosmos reported that they were in good condition.

As part of additional precautions due to the coronavirus, the rescue team members meeting the crew were tested for the virus and the number of people involved in the recovery effort was limited.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner spent 196 days in orbit since arriving at the station on April 9.

NASA’s Kate Rubins and Roscosmos’ Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov arrived at the orbiting outpost a week ago for a six-month stay.

Before the crew’s departure, Russian cosmonauts were able to temporarily seal the air leak they tried to locate for several months. The small leak has posed no immediate danger to the station’s crew, and Roscosmos engineers have been working on a permanent seal.

In November, Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are expected to greet NASA’s SpaceX first operational Crew Dragon mission comprising NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. It follows a successful Demo-2 mission earlier this year.

 

Source:- CBC.ca

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NASA buying Moon dust for $1 – FRANCE 24

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Issued on: 03/12/2020 – 22:26

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Washington (AFP)

The US space agency NASA awarded contracts to four companies on Thursday to collect lunar samples for $1 to $15,000, rock-bottom prices that are intended to set a precedent for future exploitation of space resources by the private sector.

“I think it’s kind of amazing that we can buy lunar regolith from four companies for a total of $25,001,” said Phil McAlister, director of NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Division.

The contracts are with Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado for $1; ispace Japan of Tokyo for $5,000; ispace Europe of Luxembourg for $5,000; and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California for $15,000.

The companies plan to carry out the collection during already scheduled unmanned missions to the Moon in 2022 and 2023.

The firms are to collect a small amount of lunar soil known as regolith from the Moon and to provide imagery to NASA of the collection and the collected material.

Ownership of the lunar soil will then be transferred to NASA and it will become the “sole property of NASA for the agency’s use under the Artemis program.”

Under the Artemis program, NASA plans to land a man and a woman on the Moon by 2024 and lay the groundwork for sustainable exploration and an eventual mission to Mars.

“The precedent is a very important part of what we’re doing today,” said Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for international and interagency relations.

“We think it’s very important to establish the precedent that the private sector entities can extract, can take these resources but NASA can purchase and utilize them to fuel not only NASA’s activities, but a whole new dynamic era of public and private development and exploration on the Moon,” Gold said.

“We must learn to generate our own water, air and even fuel,” he said. “Living off the land will enable ambitious exploration activities that will result in awe inspiring science and unprecedented discoveries.”

Any lessons learned on the Moon would be crucial to an eventual mission to Mars.

“Human mission to Mars will be even more demanding and challenging than our lunar operations, which is why it’s so critical to learn from our experiences on the Moon and apply those lessons to Mars,” Gold said.

“We want to demonstrate explicitly that you can extract, you can utilize resources, and that we will be conducting those activities in full compliance with the Outer Space Treaty,” he said. “That’s the precedent that’s important. It’s important for America to lead, not just in technology, but in policy.”

The United States is seeking to establish a precedent because there is currently no international consensus on property rights in space and China and Russia have not reached an understanding with the United States on the subject.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty is vague but it deems outer space to be “not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.”

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Possible meteor sighting over Norfolk – The Sudbury Star

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Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

File Photo / Getty Images

Experts believe that a large, explosive sound and fireball reported over Ontario and New York state Wednesday afternoon was likely caused by a meteor. 

Denise Eighteen, a Port Dover resident, says she was driving towards Dover on Radical Road when she saw the light in the sky.  

I saw this huge fireball coming out of the sky, it was massive,” she said in a phone interview on Thursday. It must have been going towards the lake because the tail was growing, and it was flaming.”  

People in other areas, including Mississauga and Hamilton, also reported seeing the fireball. In Onondaga County, N.Y., there were reports of a large explosive sound being heard from above, Syracuse.com reported. 

Eighteen said her husband, who was also in the vehicle with her, just caught the end of it and thought it might have been a blade flying off of a wind turbine.  

It was the most beautiful thing Ive seen in my life, it was just breathtaking,” she said. It was some sort of cool event in my life, it was special. I need to keep it in my minds eye for as long as I can. 

The Eighteen posted about the sighting in a Facebook group and received several messages from others saying they also spotted it around the county.  

York University physics and astronomy professor Paul Delaney told 680 News the fireball was likely a meteor. 

Delaney said the meteor would likely have to be fairly large in order to be seen in the sky midday. As a meteor enters the Earths atmosphere, it heats up, causing the air around it to glow. 

Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society told Syracuse.com the large boom heard was likely caused by a sonic boom from the meteor. A sonic boom occurs when the meteor flies through the atmosphere, said Lunsford. 

Lunsford said its uncommon to see a meteor in broad daylight, stating most rocks burn up while still high in the atmosphere. 

This must be a big one,” he said. It has to be a pretty large size chunk of rock to survive. 

Delaney told 680 News theres no risk of the meteorite causing a fire on the ground because its cooled off by the time it lands. 

– With files from Ashley Taylor 

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Possible meteor sighting over Norfolk – Londoner

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Elements of this image furnished by NASA.

File Photo / Getty Images

Experts believe that a large, explosive sound and fireball reported over Ontario and New York state Wednesday afternoon was likely caused by a meteor. 

Denise Eighteen, a Port Dover resident, says she was driving towards Dover on Radical Road when she saw the light in the sky.  

I saw this huge fireball coming out of the sky, it was massive,” she said in a phone interview on Thursday. It must have been going towards the lake because the tail was growing, and it was flaming.”  

People in other areas, including Mississauga and Hamilton, also reported seeing the fireball. In Onondaga County, N.Y., there were reports of a large explosive sound being heard from above, Syracuse.com reported. 

Eighteen said her husband, who was also in the vehicle with her, just caught the end of it and thought it might have been a blade flying off of a wind turbine.  

It was the most beautiful thing Ive seen in my life, it was just breathtaking,” she said. It was some sort of cool event in my life, it was special. I need to keep it in my minds eye for as long as I can. 

The Eighteen posted about the sighting in a Facebook group and received several messages from others saying they also spotted it around the county.  

York University physics and astronomy professor Paul Delaney told 680 News the fireball was likely a meteor. 

Delaney said the meteor would likely have to be fairly large in order to be seen in the sky midday. As a meteor enters the Earths atmosphere, it heats up, causing the air around it to glow. 

Robert Lunsford of the American Meteor Society told Syracuse.com the large boom heard was likely caused by a sonic boom from the meteor. A sonic boom occurs when the meteor flies through the atmosphere, said Lunsford. 

Lunsford said its uncommon to see a meteor in broad daylight, stating most rocks burn up while still high in the atmosphere. 

This must be a big one,” he said. It has to be a pretty large size chunk of rock to survive. 

Delaney told 680 News theres no risk of the meteorite causing a fire on the ground because its cooled off by the time it lands. 

– With files from Ashley Taylor 

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