THE tragedy was witnessed by millions of Americans who watched on live television for the Challenger to make history. But why did the space shuttle break apart, and how many people died? Here's what we know about the 73-second doomed flight. When was the Challenger disaster? The NASA shuttle orbiter broke apart just 73 seconds into its flight on January 28, 1986, at 11.39am local time. It was the tenth flight the Space Shuttle Challenger had taken. The spacecraft fell apart off the coast of Cape Canaveral in Florida. The crew compartment ascended to an altitude of 12.3 miles before free-falling into the Atlantic Ocean. Why did the space shuttle break apart? The vehicle began disintegrating after a join in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. This was down to the unusually cold weather that the O-ring seals were not designed to handle. As the shuttle ascended, one of the seals opened enough to allow a plume of exhaust to leak out. Hot gases than bathed the cold … [Read more...] about When was the Challenger disaster, why did the space shuttle break apart and how many people died?
The space shuttle challenger
The South African-born engineer and entrepreneur Elon Musk made his billions with an internet payments company that merged with PayPal; Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, founded Amazon. But both had long wanted to make their own spaceships, and boldly go. Now Musk has SpaceX, as well as his electric car company, Tesla Motors, and Bezos has Blue Origin. They build rockets, not all of which blow up on the launch pad. Indeed, SpaceX has become a thriving concern, blasting commercial and military satellites into orbit, and resupplying the ISS. Blue Origin has hitherto been more secretive, financed primarily by fantastic injections of Bezos's own cash, but it now has commercial missions lined up for 2020. As The Space Barons relates, our two plutocrats have intriguingly different motivations for getting humanity back into space travel. For Musk, founding a colony on Mars is a necessary Plan B to avoid the extinction of the human race by some catastrophic event, such as the collision with Earth of a … [Read more...] about The Space Barons: the Silicon Valley heavyweights in a new space race
NASA has cleared the way for Boeing (NYSE: BA) to deliver an astronaut to the International Space Station during what was supposed to be a manned test of its Starliner spacecraft, showing faith in the aerospace giant and its transport vessel to solve the growing problem of how to get American astronauts into orbit. On April 5, the space agency said it had updated its Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with Boeing to allow the test voyage to take up to six months, up from two weeks, and carry a third astronaut instead of just the previously agreed-upon two-person crew. The changes would in effect make the Starliner test flight a normal mission. Although Boeing bills itself as a jack-of-all-trades with operations spanning commercial aerospace, defense, and space, in recent years the commercial segment has been the growth engine. Space and defense generated just 22% of total revenue in 2017. If Boeing is to counter that trend, it is going to need multiple project wins on … [Read more...] about NASA Hopes to Have Boeing Delivering Astronauts to the Space Station Sooner Than Planned
A defunct Chinese space station will drop to the Earth within hours, according to experts. Most of the craft should burn up as it comes into the atmosphere, and it may be visible streaking across the sky as it does. But some pieces could make it through – and authorities have warned people not to touch them and to report anything they find. The European Space Agency forecast that the station, whose name translates as "Heavenly Palace," will re-enter sometime between Sunday night and early Monday GMT. The Chinese space agency said it should happen during the course of Monday Beijing time. Nasa's most stunning pictures of space + show all Nasa's most stunning pictures of space 1/30 From the International Space Station, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry W. Virts took this photograph of the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. Gulf Coast at sunset Nasa 2/30 This image of an area on the surface of Mars, approximately 1.5 by 3 kilometers in size, shows frosted gullies on a … [Read more...] about Out-of-control Chinese space station to crash into Earth within hours, experts warn
In a world first, astronomers have found a galaxy that lacks the enigmatic substance known as dark matter – long considered one of the universe’s fundamental building blocks. Its discovery challenges well-established ideas about how galaxies form, and the nature of dark matter itself. Located 65 million light years away, the snappily named NGC 1052-DF2 galaxy – or DF2 for short – is a “complete mystery” according to the scientists who found it. Read more Scientists find nearby ‘ghost galaxy’ made up of dark matter While dark matter has yet to be directly observed by scientists, it is generally considered a vital ingredient in the birth of galaxies. “We thought all galaxies were made up of stars, gas and dark matter mixed together, but with dark matter always dominating,” said Professor Roberto Abraham, an astronomer at the University of Toronto who co-authored the paper describing the discovery. “Now it … [Read more...] about Distant galaxy with no dark matter suggests our understanding of the universe could be wrong