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NASA rules out astronauts on first flight of super-massive rocket

NASA rules out astronauts on first flight of super-massive rocket

Putting a crew on board the first flight of the Orion capsule atop the super-massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket would not be feasible because of immense safety costs, a NASA working group has concluded.

The first flight of the super-massive rocket, which is being seen as the first step in the United States’ return to human space exploration, has been scheduled to take place sometime in 2019.

NASA usually tests new rockets first without a crew, given numerous safety risks associated with such space vehicles.

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NASA’s new Mars plan includes yearlong mission to the Moon

NASA’s new Mars plan includes yearlong mission to the Moon

NASA has revealed a new plan in which a group of astronauts may spend around a year in orbit around the Moon in the late 2020s as part of its broader plan to send humans to Mars a decade later.

Greg Williams, deputy associate administrator for policy & plans in NASA’s Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate, revealed the plan at the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington D.C.

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U.S. Air Force’s secret space plane lands in Florida

U.S. Air Force’s secret space plane lands in Florida

An unmanned military space plane launched in May 2015 touched down at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, 7th of May.

The U.S. Air Force’s robotic X-37B space plane landed at around 8 a.m. after circling Earth for a whopping 718 days, marking the first landing at the facility since the final space shuttle mission made landing there in July 2011.

The plane is question is a compact, delta-wing craft with a payload bay, a solar power boom and a highly-sophisticated computer control systems.

SpaceX to start testing high-speed satellite broadband later this year

SpaceX to start testing high-speed satellite broadband later this year

SpaceX has confirmed that it is working on a plan to establish a global broadband internet constellation and start on-orbit tests for that as soon as later this year.

Nearly a couple of years ago, SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk had revealed the company’s intention to create an internet constellation, consisting of thousands of satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to provide customers with 1 Gbps broadband.

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French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet Votes in Presidential Elections from International Space Station

French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet

ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet from France voted for the second round of French Presidential elections from the International Space Station. Being at ISS didn’t stop Pesquet from voting for his favorite candidate in the Presidential elections. This year, the voter turnout remained low for presidential elections compared to 2007 and 2012. French voters had to choose between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen during the second round of presidential elections. The results for elections will be announced shortly.

California proposes plan to tax rocket launches by miles

California proposes plan to tax rocket launches by miles

As the technology sector is increasingly investing bigger amounts of money into the aerospace start-ups, California has proposed a noteworthy plan to tax space rocket launches from its coast. Many private companies are working on technology to reduce cost of space missions and make them commercially viable for many organizations planning to launch satellites.

As per the proposed plan, the Golden State’s tax payments will be determined by how rockets fly the 62 miles or 100 kilometers from a launch pad at the state’s coast to the edge of space to transport tourists or goods.

European XFEL generates its first laser beam

European XFEL generates its first laser light

The world’s biggest X-ray laser called European XFEL has reached the last major milestone, its first X-ray laser light, ahead of its official opening in September this year.

Most of the 3.4-kilometer-long facility is located in underground tunnels. It produced its first X-ray laser light with a wavelength of 0.8 nm – roughly five hundred times shorter than that of perceptible light.

At the very first lasing, the European XFEL produced laser with a repetition rate of one pulse per second that will later boost to a whopping 27 000 per second.

SpaceX announces future plan to launch thousands of small broadband satellites

SpaceX announces future plan to launch thousands of small broadband satellites

Elon Musk-led SpaceX on Wednesday announced its plans to launch thousands of small satellites starting in 2019 to establish a global broadband internet constellation.

Patricia Cooper, vice president of satellite government affairs at SpaceX, told the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation that the private-sector firm wanted to launch 4,425 small satellites to low Earth orbit starting in 2019.

The satellites, all of which would be launched in phases on Falcon 9 rockets, will be fully deployed by 2024.

MIT researchers develop wireless device to measure walking speeds

MIT researchers develop wireless device to measure walking speeds

A team of researchers at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab claimed to have developed a device capable of measuring the walking speeds with unprecedented accuracy, without requiring the individual to wear an on-body measurement device.

The new device, dubbed WiGait, can measure the walking speeds of people with an accuracy of 95 to 99 per cent using wireless signals.

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SpaceX all set to launch first military satellite

SpaceX all set to launch first military satellite

Elon Musk-led SpaceX is all set to launch a classified spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) into Earth’s orbit this Sunday (April 30), officials confirmed.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the spacecraft is scheduled to lift off sometime between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. EDT or 1100 to 1300 GMT from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The planned launch will mark the fifth of nearly two dozen launched scheduled to fly this year.

The launch will also break United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) ten-year monopoly on launching military and national security satellites.

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