SpaceX completed a ground-based test of its Crew Dragon’s launch escape system on Wednesday, the first such test since April 2019 when an explosion wrecked the capsule. No one was hurt in the incident. The space company led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced in a tweet that a “full duration static fire test” of Crew Dragon’s SuperDraco emergency engines had taken place at Cape Canaveral, Florida and that it was now working toward an in-flight test of the same system. The engines are designed to activate in the event of a problem during launch, carrying the capsule and its occupants away from the rocket and out of danger. Full duration static fire test of Crew Dragon’s launch escape system complete – SpaceX and NASA teams are now reviewing test data and working toward an in-flight demonstration of Crew Dragon’s launch escape capabilities pic.twitter.com/CMHvMRBQcW — SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 13, 2019 SpaceX will now be … [Read more...] about SpaceX conducted a key Crew Dragon engine test — and it didn’t blow up!
A rocket has launched over Virginia’s eastern shore and is carrying supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The Antares rocket, a launch system developed by Orbital Sciences Corporation and used successfully by NASA in the past, took to the skies to carry a Cygnus spacecraft named the S.S. John Young on the first stage of its journey to the ISS. Inside the spacecraft are essential supplies for the ISS itself and the crew onboard, such as scientific equipment and food. Around 7,400 lbs. (3,400 kilograms) of supplies were packed into the craft, including a few special treats for the astronauts like fresh fruit and ice cream. The other cargo includes vehicle hardware, computer resources, and spacewalk equipment. The launch had to be delayed for two days due to poor weather, but it was able to go ahead on November 17 once skies cleared. Now the craft will fly through space over the weekend and should arrive at the ISS on Monday at 5:20 a.m. EST. Once it comes near to the … [Read more...] about Hope it doesn’t melt! Rocket to ISS carries vital supplies — including ice cream
That’s the idea behind new work carried out by microbiologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), a teaching hospital at Harvard Medical School. Researchers there have developed a microscope that’s enhanced by machine learning technology to help diagnose potentially deadly blood infections, greatly improving patients’ odds of survival in the process. “When someone has an infection in the hospital, patient samples are sent to a microbiology laboratory, where a diagnosis is made,” Dr. James Kirby, director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory at BIDMC and associate professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, told Digital Trends. “There are different types of infections including bacterial, fungus, and parasites. These could be bloodstream infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, or diarrhea. The patient sample is examined under a microscope by a microbiology technologist, who recognize shapes, colors, and patterns of the … [Read more...] about New microscope uses A.I. smarts to diagnose deadly blood infections
Last month, NASA funded a team of scientists to investigate the possibility of sending a mission to Venus, and now the agency has revealed more about the potential benefits and practicalities of such a mission. Despite being our planetary neighbor, we know relatively little about Venus. We do know that it is superheated to incredibly high temperatures due to greenhouse gases, but that it could once have been a temperate planet like Earth. That was millions of years ago though, and now it is a hellish planet covered in volcanoes, giant mountains, and clouds of sulfur. Even though Mercury is closer to the sun, Venus is the hottest planet in the solar system due to the gases which bring the temperature up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celsius). “Venus is like the control case for Earth,” Sue Smrekar of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab explained in a statement. “We believe they started out with the same composition, the same water and carbon dioxide. And … [Read more...] about NASA wants to send an armada of hot air balloons to study Venus
Not too hot, not too cold — this one’s just right. To identify potentially habitable worlds, astronomers search in the “Goldilocks Zone” around stars to find planets where liquid water can exist on the surface. Now a new study has identified types of star called K stars which make especially promising targets to host habitable planets. K stars are less bright than our Sun, but brighter than the dimmest stars — called M stars or red dwarfs. This means K stars shine for a much greater length of time than our Sun, lasting between 17 billion and 70 billion years as compared to our Sun’s 10 billion years. The K stars are also more stable, experiencing less extreme activity when they are young than M stars which go through dramatic phases of stellar flares, and give off so much energy that they could boil oceans on nearby planets. All together, these factors mean that K stars have long periods when they are stable, giving plenty of time for potential life … [Read more...] about Searching for habitable planets in the Goldilocks Zone of K stars