A normally reliable Soyuz FG rocket malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan Thursday. The malfunction forced a Russian cosmonaut and his NASA crewmate to execute an emergency abort and a steep-but-safe return to Earth a few hundred miles from the launch site. Russian recovery crews reported the crew came through the ordeal in good shape.
“NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in good condition following today’s aborted launch,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted from Kazakhstan. “I’m grateful that everyone is safe. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted.”
The Hubble Space Telescope is operating with only essential functions after it lost one of three gyroscopes needed to point the spacecraft.
The observatory, described as one of the most important scientific instruments ever created, was placed in “safe mode” over the weekend, while scientists try to fix the problem.
Hubble had been operating with four of its six gyroscopes when another failed on Friday.
The telescope was launched in 1990.
GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan — A 22-pound rock that has been propping open a door in Michigan for decades turns out to be a meteorite valued at $100,000, according to Central Michigan University. Mona Sirbescu, a CMU geology professor, gets asked all the time by people to examine the rocks they bring her — but none ever turn out to be an official space rock.
The Japanese space agency has released stunning new pictures taken by a rover standing on top an asteroid. The images, sent down from the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, show the rock in amazing and eerie detail. They were sent back over a distance of around 180 million miles. They come after the space agency successfully landed two rovers on the asteroid, dropping them from a spacecraft floating just above the surface.
Space is filled with bizarre signals that us Earthlings scramble to put meaning to. Researchers detected yet another mysterious signal that emanated from near a neutron star, and, for the first time, it’s infrared.
This signal, they found, was about 800 light-years away and was “extended,” meaning it was spread across a large stretch of space, unlike typical “point” signals from neutron stars that emit X-rays. Specifically, the signal stretched across 200 astronomical units (AU) of space, or 2.5 times the orbit of Pluto around the sun, according to a statement from Penn State. (One AU is the average distance from Earth to the sun — about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.)
SpaceX is on the verge of announcing the name of person who would be the first private passenger on a trip around the moon.
The identity of the traveler will be released at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, during an event Monday evening.
No one has been there since an Apollo mission in 1972.