SpaceX, NASA set to fly astronauts on reused capsule, rocket booster for first time


CBS This Morning 22 April, 2021 - 07:51am 41 views

When is the next spacex launch?

The launch – postponed from April 22 due to weather conditions – is now scheduled for Friday, April 23, 2021. It will blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:49 a.m. EDT (09:49 UTC) from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. EarthSkyWatch rescheduled SpaceX-NASA Crew-2 launch April 23

The launch is a big deal for NASA but an even bigger deal for SpaceX. The company has been performing a steady stream of Falcon 9 launches recently as it continues to build its Starlink communication satellite horde in Earth orbit. Unfortunately, things haven’t been nearly as positive for its ongoing Starship project. The Starship prototypes have repeatedly failed to land as designed, and have made an unfortunate habit out of exploding on the ground or shortly before landing. Reminding everyone what the company is capable of by hauling a crew of scientists into space would be a nice morale boost for SpaceX and its fans, but now it looks like we’ll have to wait until at least Friday for that to happen.

The fact that SpaceX is even launching astronauts at this point is a credit to its work in developing its Crew Dragon capsule and the Falcon 9 rocket family. Crew Dragon was one half of NASA’s Commercial Crew program and it was competing with Boeing’s Starliner to be the first crew-capable vehicle to launch from U.S. soil since the Space Shuttle era.

Early on, many analysts and industry talking heads believed Boeing would beat SpaceX to the punch, delivering Starliner ahead of Crew Dragon. Boeing has decades of experience working with NASA and it seemed like a sure thing. However, as delays began to mount for both the Starliner and Crew Dragon it quickly became clear that Starliner was well behind SpaceX’s spacecraft. SpaceX eventually passed through the uncrewed flight phase as well as a crewed test flight and then a formal mission before Boeing could even complete its uncrewed test trip to the ISS.

Boeing tried, of course, but failed to reach the ISS due to a glitch with the spacecraft’s internal clock that led it to burn far more fuel than it should have. The spacecraft burned so much extra fuel that it didn’t have enough to make it to the space station and had to return back to Earth. Based on the latest reports it looks like Starliner won’t take a crew into space until 2022 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is gearing up for another crewed mission and would be launching it tomorrow if it weren’t for some bad weather that came out of nowhere. Instead, it looks like NASA is planning on Friday for a launch that will take place at 5:49 a.m. EDT. That’s bright and early, so if you want to see SpaceX continue to make history you’ll need to be up early with a steaming cup of coffee.

SpaceX's reusable Crew Dragon spaceship is reviving human spaceflight for NASA. It's about to launch astronauts from the US, Japan, and Europe.

Since 1957, thousands of space launches have left Earth surrounded by orbiting space debris, with up to 26,000 objects now tracked.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has reportedly started work on its own orbiting space station as it considers leaving the ISS by 2025.

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On April 20th, Perseverance successfully pulled carbon dioxide from the planet's atmosphere and converted it into oxygen.

The "Mortal Kombat" movie reboot from Warner Bros, which debuts Friday in theaters and on the HBO Max streaming service, aims to better depict the extreme gore of the video game franchise than two toned-down cinematic spinoffs of the 1990s. The video game has pushed the limits of violence and gore since it arrived in arcades in 1992 and was a main factor behind the establishment of a rating system for violence in video games by the industry. "It would be crazy to ignore that violence is a fundamental part of the video game," Josh Lawson, who plays brawler Kano in the film, said in an interview with Reuters Television.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that final rules announced in December took effect on Wednesday allowing for small drones to fly over people and at night, a significant step toward their eventual use for widespread commercial deliveries. The FAA said its long-awaited rules for the drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, will address security concerns by requiring remote identification technology in most cases to enable their identification from the ground. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Wednesday the rules "are an important first step in safely and securely managing the growing use of drones in our airspace, though more work remains on the journey to full integration" of drones.

Every April, Earth passes through a trail of debris left behind by a comet. As debris enters our atmosphere, it burns up and streaks across the sky.

NASA may have been a bit blindsided this week when its partner, Russia's Roscosmos, revealed that it was going to decide whether or not it wanted to leave the ISS permanently. The space station has been co-operated by both the United States and Russia for a long time and has hosted astronauts from many different nations. Now, it seems Russia is having second thoughts and it's blaming the space station's age and lack of functionality as reasons it might depart. At the time, it didn't make a ton of sense. The ISS has been a big deal for Russia for a long time and it's one of the few areas where the United States and Russia have a cooperative agreement that, at least from outside appearances, works quite well. Political blustering aside, there seemed to be little reason why either country would want to set sail, but a post on Telegram by Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin helps make things quite a bit clearer. If Russia does decide to leave the ISS, it will almost certainly be doing so in favor of its own space station. As AP reports, a Telegram post by Rogozin appeared shortly after news broke that the country was considering pulling out of the International Space Station. The message was simple, with the Russian space boss stating that the "first core module of the new Russian orbital station is in the works." Rogozin also noted that Energia, the Russian state-owned aerospace corporation, is working on the project and that it should be ready to launch by 2025. The posts included a video of Energia workers doing their thing. Russia has already agreed to work with NASA on the International Space Station through 2024. Beyond that, another agreement would have to be reached in order for the cooperation to continue. NASA has long been of the opinion that it will continue to work on the ISS until it makes sense to stop. Russia appears to be arguing that that limit will be reached shortly, and that the space station may ultimately be too old and/or unsafe for it to feel comfortable sending its astronauts there. If that does indeed happen, and Russia pulls out of the ISS in 2025, it will be interesting to see what NASA decides to do. Russia is obviously working on its own space station that it will begin constructing in space in 2025 but NASA has no such plans. The U.S. space agency wants to send humans to the Moon within the next four years (or so) and is working on the Artemis program that will see the construction of a lunar gateway to act as a jumping-off point for missions to and from the lunar surface. That's all great, but none of those plans would fill a hole that an abandoned ISS would leave. It may be a while before we see what Russia's decision ultimately is, but Russia's chatter this week will undoubtedly have caught NASA's attention.

Wind turbines near Glenrock, Wyo. AP Photo/Matt Young CC BY-ND Renewable energy’s rapid growth is accelerating a national shift to a carbon-free electric power system. So far 17 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico have adopted laws or executive orders setting goals for reaching 100% clean electricity by 2050 or sooner. And 46 U.S. utilities have pledged to go carbon-free. Now the Biden administration and some members of Congress are proposing to decarbonize the power sector by 2035. While this much change in 15 years seems ambitious, our new report, “Halfway to Zero,” looks back at the past 15 and finds that power sector emissions are half of what they were projected to be. We analyzed the “business as usual” projection in the 2005 Annual Energy Outlook published by the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. government’s official agency for data collection and analysis. It projected that annual carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector would rise from 2,400 million to 3,000 million metric tons from 2005 to 2020. Instead, they fell to 1,450 million metric tons – 52% below projected levels. In short, the U.S. electricity sector has managed to march halfway to zero in just 15 years. The U.S. is using much more low-carbon and carbon-free electricity today than projected in 2005. Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, CC BY-ND Cleaner fuels and more efficient devices This drop happened thanks to policy, market and technology drivers. Overall demand for electricity in 2020 was almost exactly the same as in 2005, and 24% lower than projected by federal energy forecasters. This was due partly to economic changes, such as lower economic growth from two recessions and slightly lower population growth. The U.S. has also become more energy efficient since 2005, thanks to policies and technology improvements. Many devices that power our lives, such as LED lights, get more performance from a kilowatt-hour of electricity now than they did 15 years ago. Wind and solar power dramatically outperformed expectations, delivering 13 times more generation in 2020 than projected. Emission-free nuclear generation largely held steady. Finally, natural gas generation grew rapidly, driven by the shale gas revolution and low fuel prices. This pushed much of the generation of coal – the most carbon-intensive electricity source – out of the market. These shifts have delivered many benefits. Total electric bills for consumers were 18% lower in 2020 than the Energy Information Administration had previously projected, saving households US$86 billion per year. Reduced sulfur and nitrogen emissions, especially from less coal generation, led to a steep drop in such health impacts as respiratory disease. Premature deaths due to power-sector air pollution fell from 38,000 to 3,100 per year. And declining employment in the coal industry was more than offset by job growth in other areas, notably solar power. The other 50% Many assessments of energy transitions assert that it takes decades for societies to shift fully from one energy source to another. But our study shows that dramatic changes in emissions can happen much more quickly. This doesn’t guarantee that getting to zero will be easy, though. Wind, solar and battery technologies will be central to further decarbonization. Accelerating their deployment will require a laser focus on maintaining reliability, with new transmission lines and changes to power-system planning and operations. It will also call for careful attention to ecological impacts and heightened sensitivity to effects on workers and communities. Fortunately, much of the generation and storage needed to hit a zero-carbon target is already in development. Developers have requested access to the transmission grid for 660 gigawatts of new wind and solar generating capacity and 200 gigawatts of storage. That represents more than half of what could be required. Not all proposed projects will be built, but the scale indicates tremendous commercial interest. Using this much wind and solar raises the question of how to meet the last portion of demand on cloudy or windless days. Many technologies could fill this gap, such as longer-duration storage, hydrogen or synthetic fuels, fossil or biomass generation with carbon capture, advanced nuclear power, and geothermal energy. All require more research. Our study offers two central lessons as the nation moves forward. First, policy and technology are both key to cutting emissions. Second, our ability to predict the future is limited. It will be crucial to adapt as government agencies and power companies gain policy experience, and technologies advance in unexpected ways. [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. It was written by: Bentham Paulos, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Dev Millstein, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Joseph Rand, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Ryan Wiser, Biden plans to fight climate change in a way no U.S. president has done beforeThe US needs a macrogrid to move electricity from areas that make it to areas that need it Ryan Wiser receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. He is on the Board of the Clean Energy States Alliance.Bentham Paulos is an Affiliate at Berkeley Lab. In this role, he receives funding from the US Department of Energy. He is also on the board of the Clean Energy States Alliance and the City of Berkeley Energy Commission.Dev Millstein receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. Joseph Rand receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy

A hunt for Britain’s 'moon trees' grown from seeds sent to space has been launched by the UK Space Agency. Nasa sent around 500 seeds of various species on the Apollo 14 mission in 1971 to test the effects of deep space on growth for future human missions. A capsule manned by astronaut Stuart Roosa orbited the moon before returning the loblolly pine, sweet gum, redwood, Douglas fir, and sycamore seeds to earth, where at least 60 trees were planted mainly in the US. However, many of the seeds have gone missing over the decades, prompting the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) and the UK Space Agency to appeal for the public to locate any “living pieces of space history” in Britain. It comes after Christine Walkden, the gardening television presenter, told BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time that the country may be home to 15 moon trees. “We are intrigued and it seems like a bit of a mystery,” Prof Steve Miller, the RAS vice president, told The Telegraph. “If those seeds did come to the UK and produce trees, where on earth are they? We just don't seem to be able to track them down.” The only known moon tree in Britain is a second-generation sapling in a private garden in Flamstead, a Hertfordshire village. Kew Gardens and the Jodrell Bank Arboretum have no record of the Apollo 14 seeds. Libby Jackson, of the UK Space Agency, said: “Understanding the effects of space on ungerminated seeds will be vital for future space missions, including when we look to sustain human life beyond earth.” She added: “I'll be interested in discovering if any of the moon seeds came to the UK and what has become of them." In 2015, scientists found that 2kg of rocket seeds were still viable, but slower growing, after spending six months aboard the International Space Station with Major Tim Peake, despite radiation levels 100 times greater than earth. Seven apple trees were also grown in Britain after flying to the ISS, cultivated from the tree which inspired British physicist Sir Isaac Newton to examine the effect of gravity.

One lawmaker claimed that the bill is not a “war on wolves,” but just a response to the livestock that farmers have lost.

It looks a lot like my wife will be buying a Hyundai Palisade. After a road trip from Ann Arbor, Mich., to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and back — in which we put 1,900 miles on the clock of Autoblog’s long-term 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD — we’ve figured out that it will work great for our family, even in our more extreme use cases. Yes, I put all 1,900 of those miles on the Palisade over the eight days we were gone, with my wife Cat, five-year-old son Wollie, four-month-old daughter Lola, plus two dogs as passengers.

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Beam Suntory, producer of top-selling Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, both crafted in Kentucky, said Wednesday it wants to cut its companywide greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in half by 2030. The company's more ambitious goal is to remove more carbon than is emitted from its operations and among its supplier base by 2040. The sustainability campaign will span every facet of production — from “seed to sip,” it said.

For Saturday's game against the Padres, the Dodgers are opening what they're calling a 'fully vaccinated fan section,' where social distancing won't be required.

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