Russia Says Radioactive Isotopes Released By Missile Test Blast

Russia on Monday said radioactive isotopes were released in a recent accident at an Arctic missile test site that caused widespread alarm as authorities kept details under wraps.

The August 8 blast killed five scientists and caused a spike in radiation levels but for several days Russia did not admit nuclear materials were involved.

The accident released swiftly decaying radioactive isotopes of strontium, barium and lanthanum, media reported, citing tests by the Rosgidromet national weather and environmental monitoring agency.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Surveillance Photos Reveal Apparent Explosion On Iranian Launch Pad

A day after commercial satellite images revealed a smoke plume over an Iranian launch pad, President Trump tweeted a remarkably high-resolution aerial photograph of the remote satellite launch facility Friday — apparently from a classified satellite or airborne drone — and denied U.S. involvement in the accident.

“The United States of America was was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran,” Trump tweeted. “I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One.”

The Safir is a two-stage Iranian satellite launcher, and the accident was the third time Iran has failed to place a satellite into orbit this year.

Read more at: SpaceflightNow

ISS Partners Endorse Modified Gateway Plans

NASA’s partners in the International Space Station remain committed to participating in the lunar Gateway despite changes to the program earlier this year that could delay their contributions to the outpost.

In an Aug. 28 statement, members of the station’s Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), which includes the five space agencies involved in the ISS, said the Gateway is “a critical next step” in human space exploration and that they plan to contribute modules or other elements for the facility in lunar orbit.

Read more at: Spacenews

$250 Million Chinasat-18 Loss Looming Over Insurers

The apparent failure of the ChinaSat-18 telecom satellite, which remains in a transfer orbit more than a week after launch, has underwriters bracing for a claim that is all but certain to wipe out space insurance profits for a second year in a row. 

China Satcom’s ChinaSat-18 satellite, which industry sources told SpaceNews was insured for $250 million, encountered a potentially mission-ending problem following its reportedly successful Aug. 19 launch aboard a Long March 3B rocket. 

Though underwritten by the People’s Insurance Company of China, ChinaSat-18 was reinsured on the international market, meaning foreign insurers are likely on the hook for much of any claim China Satcom files, industry sources said. 

Read more at: Spacenews

NASA Confirms That Situation On ISS Is Stable After Alarm Went Off

The situation on the International Space Station (ISS) is stable after the emergency alarm went off there, a spokesperson for NASA told TASS on Thursday.

“The crew and the space station are in no immediate danger and are continuing normal operations,” the spokesperson said. “The overall atmosphere inside the station remains will below the O2 concentration limits. Teams are working to identify the root cause of the issue,” he added.

Read more at: TASS

Watch NASA’s Orion Escape Motor Pass a Critical ‘Trial-By-Fire’ Test (Video)

NASA’s future moon-bound astronauts can celebrate another crucial hardware test.

Following a 30-second “trial by fire,” a part of the Orion spacecraft abort system is one step closer to human spaceflight. The attitude control motor (ACM) spurted jets of fire repeatedly during a test at manufacturer Northrop Grumman Aug. 22, in Elkton, Maryland, NASA said in a statement.

Video footage of the test showed the motor, reminiscent of R2-D2, fastened to the ground while fire jets out in multiple directions. The test is so powerful that black smoke can be seen pouring out of the motor after it is shut off.

Read more at:

CRS-18 Dragon Completes Mission With Pacific Ocean Splashdown

SpaceX’s CRS-18 Dragon spacecraft has concluded her EOM (End Of Mission) milestones, following unberthing from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. Dragon’s release from the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) occurred at 14:59 UTC, with splashdown in the Pacific Ocean around 20:20 UTC.

The CRS-18 Dragon was launched on Falcon 9 B1056.2 last month.  This was the same booster that had also launched the CRS-17 Dragon.

Read more at: NASA Spaceflight

JAXA To Develop Spacecraft To Resupply Lunar Orbiting Station

In a vital lifeline for a next-generation lunar orbiting space station, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) plans to develop a larger unmanned transport spacecraft to ferry supplies.

For the development, the science ministry will earmark about 10.8 billion yen ($102 million) in its budget request for fiscal 2020, sources said.

The new spacecraft is expected to have a larger transport capacity than the unmanned supply ship, H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), also called Kounotori (stork), which is currently transporting goods to the International Space Station (ISS).

Read more at: asahi

ESA Chief Says Discussed Exomars 2020 Launch With Roscosmos

The 2020 mission of the ExoMars programme is expected to deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars. The rover is expected to spend one year exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

The European Space Agency’s Director General Jan Woerner said he had spoken to Russia’s Roscosmos during MAKS-2019 to ensure all issues on the joint ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars-2020 mission were solved and it could be launched in mid-2020 as planned.

The robotic exploration mission tests have revealed some parachute problems with further tests campaigns scheduled to take place this year.

Read more at: Mars daily

Astronauts Will Face Many Hazards on a Journey to Mars

The road to Mars is paved with peril.

Astronauts on Red Planet missions will have to contend with deep-space radiation, the effects of microgravity and the stress of confinement and isolation, all at the same time and for a long, continuous stretch. It currently takes a minimum of six months to get to Mars, after all, and just as long to get back.

And crewmembers will have to make it through this gantlet in good nick, both physiologically and psychologically.

Read more at:

German Space Firm Enters Rocket Business Shaken Up by Elon Musk

German satellite maker OHB SE is developing a space rocket for small payloads, entering the field for launchers that’s increasingly moving into the sphere of private companies like Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

Maiden flight of the planned rocket is set for late 2021, OHB Chief Executive Officer Marco Fuchs said in an interview. The company has a team of about 35 employees in Augsburg, southern Germany, working on a so-called mini launcher designed to bring small payloads into orbit and with a low-cost approach, the CEO said. Key components of the rocket have already been developed and tested.

Read more at: Bloomberg

China’s Private Space Industry Is Rapidly Gaining Ground On SpaceX

In early August, a rocket took off on its third-ever test, reaching a height of around 300 metres and hovering there for a minute before returning to Earth, completely intact. But this reusable rocket wasn’t owned by SpaceX or Blue Origin. It was developed by a Chinese startup called LinkSpace.

Since 2014, when the Chinese government gave the green light to private companies to operate in the space sector, more and more startups have been popping up. Now, there are around 100 of them, up from just 30 in 2018. Welcome to the booming world of China’s private space industry.

Read more at: Wired

Chinese Light Launch Blitz Continues With Kuaizhou-1A Mission

A commercial Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched two satellites late Friday, continuing a recent intense period of light launch vehicle activity in China.

The Kuaizhou-1A launched from a mobile platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 7:41 p.m. Eastern, successfully carrying to a microgravity experiment satellite and a commercial technology verification satellite into roughly 600-kilometer altitude orbits inclined by 97.8 degrees.

Read more at: Spacenews

China’s First Medium-Scale Launcher With LOX/LCH4 Propellants ZQ-2 Soliciting Payloads Worldwide

On August 28, Chinese leading commercial launcher developer and launch service provider LandSpace Technology Corporation Ltd. (LandSpace) announced during MAKS-2019 that the company is seeking and accepting payloads from around the world for the maiden launch of its proprietary ZhuQue-2 (ZQ-2) launcher powered by a LOX/LCH4 liquid-propellant rocket engine (LRE).

LandSpace President Zhang Long stated, “As China’s first medium-scale launcher with LOX/LCH4 propellants, ZQ-2 is widely recognized as a reusable eco-friendly and affordable solution designed for providing launch and orbital deployment services for small and medium satellites.”

Read more at: PRnewswire

Private Firms Tapping Intl Space Market

As China’s private rocket enterprises strive to expand their presence in the Chinese space sector, they have also started tapping the international market.

LandSpace, a Beijing-based space startup and one of the leading private rocket makers in China, announced on Wednesday at the International Aviation and Space Salon 2019 in Russia that it has begun inviting payload partners from around the globe to consider using its ZQ 2 liquid-propellant, medium-lift carrier rocket.

Read more at:

Russia Ready To Train Turkish Astronaut As Space Tourist In Half A Year

The Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center is ready to train a Turkish astronaut as an unprofessional participant of a space mission (a tourist) in half a year, head of the center Pavel Vlasov told journalists on Wednesday.

“It [the possibility of training Turkish astronauts in the Center] was announced just yesterday, so today this issue did not go any further yet. It is possible to arrange it in time, but recruitment is needed first. In half a year a person will be ready to participate in a space mission,” Vlasov said.

He said that the Center has trained more than 100 foreign astronauts and members of space missions in its whole history.

Read more at: TASS

NASA Has Turned on a Deep Space GPS

Imagine heading out on a road trip, but instead of taking a GPS device with you, you phone a friend every hour to ask for directions. Now imagine doing that in the void of deep space.

In essence, that’s the strategy currently in use for spacecraft that travel far beyond Earth. These probes rely on radio instructions from ground stations, where large atomic clocks calculate ideal trajectories for their voyages. As a spacecraft wanders into deep space, it can take minutes or even hours to receive updated flight commands from Earth.

Read more at: Vice

NASA Administrator And Made In Space CEO Share Vision For On-Orbit Manufacturing, Assembly

For nine years, Made In Space executives and engineers have shared their vision for a future when satellites, solar arrays and large antennas are manufactured in orbit. During an Aug. 26 tour, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine clearly endorsed that vision. 

“As an agency, we have always had constraints when it comes to accessing space,” Bridenstine said during a tour of Made In Space headquarters here. “One of the major constraints is the size of a fairing of a rocket and the weight of the things that we launch into space and the amount of materials. All of these constraints drive solutions that are not optimum and cost more.”

Read more at: Spacenews

Study Investigates Environmental Impact Of Spaceport Cornwall

The proposed horizontal launch Spaceport at Cornwall Airport Newquay is not expected to impact significantly on Cornwall’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and efforts in combatting climate change, according to new study.

A scientific study has been carried out by an energy and environment specialist at the University of Exeter after concerns were raised about the potential impact the proposed spaceport would have on the environment.The Spaceport Cornwall Carbon Impact Assessment was commissioned by airport owners Cornwall Council, which has committed to making Cornwall’s economy carbon neutral by 2030.

Read more at: Cornwalllive

No-Fly Zone: Russian Space Suit Redesign Halts Lucky Pee Ritual

Russia has unveiled a new space suit but the design may have to be changed to continue a decades-old tradition – making a stop to pee on the way to the launch.

The Sokol-M prototype suit was designed as a replacement for suits worn during launches to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz spacecraft.

The Soyuz, in use since the 1960s, is to be phased out and replaced in the next few years with a new Russian ship called the Federation.

Read more at: Guardian

Quantum Gravity Could Reverse Cause and Effect

You’ve probably heard of Schrödinger’s cat, the unfortunate feline in a box that is simultaneously alive and dead until the box is opened to reveal its actual state. Well, now wrap your mind around Schrödinger’s time, a situation in which one event can simultaneously be the cause and effect of another event. 

Such a scenario may be inevitable in any theory of quantum gravity, a still-murky area of physics that seeks to combine Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity with the workings of quantum mechanics.

Read more at:

SpaceX’s Starhopper Flight Test Is a Big Step Forward for Elon Musk’s Moon Dreams

You know a spacecraft is cool when you watch it fly and can’t help but think it looks more like a bit of Hollywood CGI than an actual machine. The SpaceX Starhopper spacecraft was very much the real deal — a bright chrome, a 60-ft. tall, three-finned contraption powered by a single engine — when it made an exceedingly brief, 54-second flight on Aug. 27 in Boca Chica, Texas. But it still seemed whimsically imaginary.

“It almost looked like a cartoon or something,” Cheryl Stevens, a nearby resident, told Reuters.

Read more at: TIME

Introducing the First Line of Adaptive Commercial Spacesuits

Space. Vast and unknown. Commercial spaceflight might barely make a dent in the enigma with more visitors but ILC Dover, maker of the spacesuits that took the giant leap on the Moon in 1969, is ready. The company recently rolled out its first line of commercial spacesuits this month with the launch of Astro™, the EVA (Extravehicular Activity) spacesuit, and Sol™, the LEA (Launch, Entry and Abort) spacesuit.

“These suits mark the next generation for ILC Dover,” said CEO Fran DiNuzzo. “We were at the forefront during the first manned space missions and helped change the world. We’re excited to do it again as we go back to the Moon and on to Mars.”

Read more at: PRweb

Water Propulsion Technologies Picking Up Steam

When the Aerospace Corp. launched the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration in 2017, one mission objective was to test water-fueled thrusters. At the time, the idea was fairly novel. Two years later, water-based propulsion is moving rapidly into the mainstream.

Capella Space’s first radar satellite and HawkEye 360’s first cluster of three radio-frequency mapping satellites move in orbit by firing Bradford Space’s water-based Comet electrothermal propulsion system. Momentus Space and Astro Digital are testing a water plasma thruster on their joint El Camino Real mission launched in July.

Read more at: Spacenews

Op-Ed | It’s Time For A 21st Century Licensing System For Space

Earlier this year, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the topic of Streamlined Launch and Reentry Licensing Requirements. Although I recognize that a lot of time and effort has gone into preparation of the NPRM, based on the responses that have so far been posted to the docket, it is clear that many in industry do not believe that the proposed rule accomplishes the stated objective of streamlining existing launch and reentry licensing requirements.

Read more at: Spacenews

The Curious Case Of The Transgressing Tardigrades (Part 1)

The Curious Case of the Transgressing Tardigrades is still developing, but this essay (the first of two parts) attempts to collect in one place various perspectives on the issues involved. These perspectives include an international legal context of the situation, domestic regulatory and business perspectives, geopolitical and diplomatic implications, as well as a basic discussion of the astrobiological norms and social considerations which shape and inform the previous topics.

This incident is important because it is a glimpse of things to come, a near future where space actors will be more autonomous and independent of governmental oversight and intrusion, where scientific concerns like planetary protection sit uneasily with commercial interests, where national and international norms appear increasingly outdated, and where the visions and actions of space “pioneers” and space “colonizers” are frankly not the only voices that matter.

Read more at: Space review

European Space Agency ready to send its astronauts to space on board Russia’s Soyuz

The European Space Agency (ESA) is ready to send its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on board Soyuz spacecraft in the future but it first needs to make an agreement with Russia’s Roscosmos State Space Corporation, ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner told TASS on the sidelines of the MAKS 2019 International Aviation and Space Salon.

The issue will be considered in the near future as a final decision is yet to be made, the ESA head added.

Read more at: TASS

NASA’s Inspector General Has Apparently Had Enough Of Meddling By Congress

On Tuesday, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin wrote a rather extraordinary letter to the US senators who determine the budget for the space agency. In effect, the independent NASA official asked Congress to kindly not meddle in decisions that concern actual rocket science.

The letter addressed which rocket NASA should use to launch its multibillion dollar mission to explore Jupiter’s Moon Europa, an intriguing ice-encrusted world that likely harbors a vast ocean beneath the surface. NASA is readying a spacecraft, called the Europa Clipper, for a launch to the Jupiter system to meet a 2023 launch window.

Read more at: Arstechnica

The Tardigrades-on-the-Moon Affair

On April 11, 2019, the Israeli SpaceIL company’s Beresheet (Hebrew for “In the Beginning”) lunar lander crashed on the Moon. Beresheet’s payload, supplied by the non-profit Arch Mission Foundation, was meant to be an informational backup for the Earth. It included a DVD containing 30 million pages of human knowledge, as well as 60,000 etched pages requiring no computer to read, keys to 5,000 languages, and DNA samples from 25 people. According to Arch Mission Foundation chairman Nova Spivack, in case of catastrophe, this informational library, parked on the Moon, could be sufficient to “regenerate the human race.”

Read more at: National review

Space: The Final Legal Frontier

NASA astronaut Anne McClain was accused last week of what may be the first crime committed in space.

Former Air Force intelligence officer Summer Worden filed an identify-theft report with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging McClain, her estranged wife, accessed her bank account without permission from the International Space Station, where she is stationed on a six-month mission.

According to the New York Times, McClain admitted to logging into the account from space, but claimed it was routine and blamed the allegations on the couple’s bitter separation and ongoing custody battle.

Read more at: Washington post

Who Investigates a Crime in Space?

Recent claims of a possible space crime aboard the International Space Station raise the question: Who investigates a crime in space?

No country or political entity owns space. State lines and political boundaries do not extend past the planet’s atmosphere. So then, what jurisdictions would come into play to investigate allegations of a space crime or handle a conviction, should evidence show that a crime in space had, in fact, been committed? 

Read more at:

America Must Lead In Settling The New Frontier

In Washington, as the age-old adage goes, budgets determine policy. That is certainly the case with space—and the ramifications for our national and economic security are enormous. If Congress fails to provide NASA with critical resources in future budget legislation, American space dominance will atrophy and we will all suffer the consequences.

As the administration and Congress negotiate marginal increases to NASA’s overall program request, a vacuum is being formed with peer competitor nations willing to step in.

Read more at: Hill

One High-Level Vacancy At NASA Could Spell Trouble For Future Of Space Exploration

In July, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine demoted the agency’s associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations. Though a career NASA employee currently fills the position on an acting basis, the lack of a permanent replacement could threaten NASA’s ability to meet some of the ambitious goals set by the administration.

“The problem is, there are a lot of really important decisions that have to be made in the next three-to-six months relating to the human exploration program,” Eric Berger, senior space editor at Ars Technica, told the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Read more at: Federal news network

Huge Cash Prizes And The Abdication Of Public Oversight

Newt Gingrich caused a minor stir in the space policy world last week after POLITICO reported he and a small group of space advocates were pitching the idea of a $2 billion prize to the first entity to establish human access to the surface of the Moon. Elon Musk tweeted that it was a “great idea.” But is it?

Prize incentives for spaceflight are not new. The most famous—and the first to be cited by Gingrich’s plan—is the Ansari XPRIZE: $10 million awarded to any organization who could launch a human into space twice within two weeks. Scaled Composites won this competition in 2004 with the dual flights of SpaceShipOne, becoming the first private entity to send a human into space.

Read more at: Spacereview

Intel Community’s Secrecy Culture Frustrates DoD Sat Safety Effort

The NRO is slow rolling implementation of DoD’s effort to to improve space operations safety by lifting restrictions on the location of classified satellites, insiders say.

“The US is being more transparent, but there are still those Cold Warriors that can’t figure out that things are changing and insist on subverting policy they have been tasked to implement,” one frustrated expert told me. “They are effectively taking USG efforts to be transparent and instead making it look like we’re playing games and can’t be trusted—basically shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Read more at: Breaking defense

US Spots Maneuvers Of Russian Military Satellite

Russian military spacecraft Kosmos-2521, unofficially nicknamed the satellite inspector, has performed several new maneuvers since the beginning of 2019, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement.

According to NORAD, in January 2019 the satellite was in near-Earth orbit with parameters of 280 km per 285 km. In early February, the orbit of the spacecraft began to decrease gradually and by April 10 its minimum altitude was 227 km. Then the satellite was once again raised – in early June, it had an orbit of 247 for 282 km.

Read more at: TASS

US Space Command Is Officially Open For Business

The Pentagon on Thursday officially established United States Space Command, a precursor to the Space Force military service President Donald Trump has called for.

As the nation’s 11th geographic combatant command, Space Command was created to defend U.S. space-enabled capabilities in this new warfighting domain, said Air Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, who assumed command of U.S. Space Command on Thursday.

“Although space is a warfighting domain, our goal is actually to deter a conflict from extending into space; the best way I know how to do that is to be prepared to fight and win if deterrence were to fail,” Raymond told reporters at the Pentagon.

Read more at: taskandpurpose

The Observer View On Donald Trump’s Plans To Militarise Space

The thought of Donald Trump as space commander-in-chief, whizzing around the Milky Way, zapping alien invaders and conquering new worlds, is both comical and terrifying. Before they began exchanging love letters, the US president ridiculed his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, as “little rocket man”. With his relaunch last week of US space command (SpaceCom), terrestrial Trump has appropriated the title for himself.

Read more at: Guardian

How America’s Spooks Seek to Spy on Distant Satellites

On August 30, 2017, a video appeared online showing footage of every satellite operator’s worst nightmare: an anomaly. It’s the word space types use when they mean a bad thing, especially one they perhaps don’t understand and may want to downplay.

In the video, an orb—a satellite known as Telkom-1—hovers in the center of the frame while stars streak across the screen in the background. It glows quietly as the seconds tick by. Then, seemingly without warning, the satellite spews a cloud of debris. It flares, and then a slower plume of pieces detaches and floats lazily away.

Read more at: Wired

US Military Eyes Strategic Value of Earth-Moon Space

This week, the new United States Space Command officially makes its debut, emphasizing that space is a vital military domain — one that’s critical to America’s security and economic well-being.

Standing up the command coincides with ongoing White House support to establish a Space Force as a separate military branch.

To this end, there is increasing military interest in cislunar space. That’s the region extending beyond Earth to the moon.

Read more at:

Could This Strange Looking Spaceship Be America’s Ultimate Weapon?

A Dutch skywatcher achieved a rare feat in late June and early July 2019. Using a 10-inch-diameter telescope fitted with a camera, Ralf Vandebergh photographed the U.S. Air Force’s secretive X-37B space plane in mid-mission 210 miles over Earth’s surface.

“We can recognize a bit of the nose, payload bay and tail of this mini-shuttle, with even a sign of some smaller detail,” Vandebergh told

Read more at: National interest

Review: Spies in Space

In late 1963, the United States Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office began work on the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program. MOL quickly evolved into a reconnaissance satellite with a large camera system, soon named DORIAN, that would operate for approximately one month in orbit. Two astronauts would ride inside a Gemini spacecraft at the front of the MOL atop a powerful Titan IIIM rocket launched from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base into a polar orbit.

The astronauts would look through spotting scopes at targets on the ground that MOL was about to pass over and feed instructions into a computer that would direct the DORIAN camera to take high-resolution photographs.

Read more at: Spacereview

The Space Flag Holds First Exercise With Coalition Partners

Coalition partners from Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States recently participated in Space Flag, a coalition exercise, for the first time at Aerospace Corporation’s facility, Aug. 12-16, 2019.

Space Flag 19-3 integrated approximately 160 coalition participants, observers and distinguished guests in Air Force Space Command’s “Fight Tonight” exercise focused on using current capabilities to deter, deny and disrupt adversarial actions in the space domain.

U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen Wilson and each participating nations’ top space military leaders met with Space Flag personnel to learn more about the exercise and its criticality in training warfighters in the space domain.

Read more at: AF mil

Tokyo: North Korea Aims To ‘Break Through’ Japan’s Missile Defense Zone

Japan released more information on the North Korean missile that was launched on Saturday, when Pyongyang tested what it has described as a “super large multiple rocket launcher.”

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Tuesday the missile that flew in an easterly direction from North Korea’s coast, facing Japan, was a “new model,” Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

“There is a possibility [North Korea] is trying to improve the accuracy of missile attacks,” Iwaya said, adding the North Koreans could be aiming to “break through” Japan’s missile defense zone.

Read more at: Space war

Review: Brad Pitt Sets Out To Save The World In ‘Ad Astra,’ A Space Odyssey That Stumbles And Soars

Somber, stirring, ridiculous and just shy of sublime, James Gray’s speculative fiction “Ad Astra” opens with a vision of a man falling to Earth. He’s an astronaut named Roy McBride, and he’s perched on an International Space Antenna — basically a very, very high-altitude ladder, with the world spreading out like a vast blue-green carpet beneath him.

It’s an impossibly serene and beautiful moment that is disrupted by a series of sudden explosions, as shock waves surge through the antenna and send Roy tumbling toward what looks like near-certain doom.

Miraculously, he survives the fall, thanks to a parachute and a gift for staying calm in even the riskiest situations.

Read more at: LA Times

The FAA Made Spacex Boost Its Accident Insurance 33-Fold, To $100 Million, Before Starhopper’s Last Launch. Here’s Why.

On Tuesday evening, SpaceX launched its Starhopper rocket ship about 492 feet (150 meters) into the South Texas skies atop a cloud of smoke and dust – and $100 million worth of liability insurance.

That’s according to an updated launch license for the vehicle issued on August 23 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which regulates US aerospace activities.

There’s always a risk a rocket may explode during its launch, and that risk is higher for experimental vehicles like Starhopper, which SpaceX built as a test bed for its new Raptor rocket engine design.

Read more at: Business insider

The Parents Of Late Wisconsin Astronaut Laurel Clark Were Killed In A Car Crash In Arizona

Margory and Richard Brown, who were former Racine residents and mother and stepfather of astronaut Laurel Clark, died in a car accident in Arizona Wednesday, according to 

Clark was one of seven astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia. She died when the spacecraft disintegrated on re-entry just 16 minutes before it was due to land in Florida on Feb. 1, 2003. Clark was 41. 

Clark grew up in Racine, graduating from Horlick High School in 1979 before heading to Madison, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1983 at the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in medicine in 1987.

Read more at: jsonline

When Will the Boeing 737 MAX Fly Again? Not This Year

As the Boeing 737 MAX enters its sixth month of worldwide grounding, the question remains; when will the plane take to the skies again? After two fatal crashes saw the plane grounded by regulators across the globe, airlines operating Boeing’s groundbreaking plane began to black out scheduled flights on the MAX until July, then August, and now September. In my very strong opinion, we won’t see the 737 MAX flying any passengers through the end of 2019. 

Read more at: Forbes

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