China has launched its second-ever space lab, a key part of the nation's plan to have a permanently staffed space station up and running by the early 2020s.
The uncrewed Tiangong-2 spacecraft lifted off today (Sept. 15) from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 10:04 a.m. EDT (1404 GMT; 10:04 p.m. local Beijing time), riding a Long March-2F T2 rocket to orbit.
If all goes according to plan, the 9.5-ton (8.6 metric tons) Tiangong-2 — whose name translates as "Heavenly Palace" in Mandarin — will soon settle into an orbit about 236 miles (380 kilometers) above Earth and perform a series of initial tests and checkouts, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency. [China's Tiangong-2 Space Lab Mission in Pictures]
The space lab will then climb to an altitude of 244 miles (393 km) — the same height at which China's future space station will operate — and await a mid- to late-October visit from two Chinese astronauts aboard a vessel called Shenzhou-11.
A new study based on improved chemistry techniques has claimed that the leading hypotheses for the origin of the Moon isn’t correct and that Moon is actually Earth’s mantle relocated in space.
The study, which was published in Nature, was carried out by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Harvard University by developing a new technique that allowed for analysis of isotopes of potassium that can hit precision 10 times better than the best previous method. Using the new technique, which relies on finding the tiny differences in segregation of the isotopes of potassium between Earth and Moon, researchers report that isotopic differences between lunar and terrestrial rocks that provide the first experimental evidence that can discriminate between the two leading models for the Moon’s origin.
If we look at the two models about Moon’s origin – the first one is a low-energy model that is based on the hypotheses of a low-energy impact leaves the proto-Earth and Moon shrouded in a silicate atmosphere. The second model is a high-energy one wherein it has been hypothesised that a much more violent impact took place and this vaporized the impactor and most of the proto-Earth, expanding to form an enormous superfluid disk out of which the Moon eventually crystallizes. The latest study supports the high-energy model and scientists behind the study claim that it was indeed the high-energy model that caused the formation of moon.
Sabotage is now a possibility for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket explosion at its Cape Canaveral, Florida launchpad on September 1, CNBC's Morgan Brennan reported on Monday morning's "Squawk on the Street."
SpaceX has found some "suspicious" images from the roof of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) building that's located near the Falcon 9 launch pad, according to the Washington Post, Brennan continued. SpaceX wanted to investigate further, but ULA had Air Force officials check out its roof, and they said it was all clear.
SpaceX has "to consider all possible causes of the anomaly" the company said in a statement read by Brennan. ULA had not responded to CNBC's request for a comment at the time of the report.
"All of this highlights the fierce competition between SpaceX and ULA," Brennan pointed out.
ULA basically had a monopoly on government space contracts until SpaceX "sued for the rights to compete" and won, she explained. "They won the certification from regulators last year and have been snagging some massive business."
While SpaceX gets the lion's share of the press, Jeff Bezo's "Blue Origin" spacecraft company keeps on sticking landings and tests. A great one today of the Crew Capsule escape test, and the surprising return of the booster to its pad in one piece (if a wee bit "flamey). The video is worth a watch:
Have not seen our forecast yet, but precedent would indicate heavy clouds.
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Social Distancing is an Oxymoron. The correct term is Social Demonization or Social Repression