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SpaceX launches 22 Starlink satellites on Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral

A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on June 7, 2024. The mission, Starlink 10-1, was the first to send Starlink satellites to this shell of the mega constellation. Image: Spaceflight Now

Update 8:57 p.m. EDT: SpaceX adjusted the T-0 liftoff time.

SpaceX followed up its fourth test flight of its massive Starship rocket in southern Texas with a Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The Friday night flight marked the 344th Falcon 9 to launch, a little more than 14 years after its launch debut on June 4, 2010.

The Starlink 10-1 mission added another 22 satellites to the massive constellation consisting of more than 6,000 active satellites in low Earth orbit, according to expert orbital tracker and astronomer, Jonathan McDowell. Liftoff from pad 40 happened at 9:56 p.m. EDT (0156 UTC).

The first stage booster supporting this mission, tail number B1069 in the SpaceX fleet, launched for a 16th time. It previously supported the launch of SpaceX’s 24th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station (CRS-24), Eutelsat’s Hotbed 18F satellite and 11 previous batches of Starlink satellites.

About 8.5 minutes after liftoff, B1069 will land on the SpaceX booster, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ This was the 74th landing of a booster on ASOG and the 317th booster landing to date. If you set the landings of the Falcon Heavy side booster aside, this was also the 301st booster landing from a Falcon 9 rocket.

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SpaceX launching 22 Starlink satellites from Florida tonight

SpaceX plans to launch yet another batch of its Starlink internet satellites from Florida's Space Coast tonight (June 7).

Jupiter's raging gas cyclones may actually mirror Earth's oceans. Here's how

Jupiter and Earth's oceans have more in common than you might think.

Weird magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune may come from strange space chemistry

An exotic molecule stabilized by intense pressure found in the icy depths of Neptune and Uranus could help explain a long-standing mystery.

US military test launches 2 unarmed intercontinental ballistic missiles in 2 days

The United States Air Force and U.S. Space Force conducted two routine test launches of unarmed intercontinental ballistic missiles this week from Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Doctor Who 'Dot and Bubble': Why are space slugs eating influencers in Finetime?

In the fifth episode of "Doctor Who," called"'Dot and Bubble," a city has been invaded by giant, human-eating space slugs, and they seem to have a plan.

Hubble to Transition to New Observing Mode, Will Continue Science

NASA engineers are working to extend operations for the venerable space telescope. Observations are expected to continue by mid-June.

The post Hubble to Transition to New Observing Mode, Will Continue Science appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

SENER’s SIROM system interconnect testing in ESA’s ORL

Video: 00:01:51

SENER is testing the docking capabilities of the SIROM system by launching the MANTIS floating platform into an equally free-floating REACSA at ESA's Orbital Robotics Laboratory. This free-floating tests simulate the dynamics of rigid body contact and present an opportunity to gather valuable insights into the performance of SIROM in approximately 200 docking scenarios.

South Korea creates new KASA space agency, sets sights on the moon and Mars

South Korea has announced the creation of a new space agency and is aiming to land its own spacecraft on the moon and Mars in the coming decades.

Scientists find slowest spinning 'radio neutron star' — it breaks all the dead-star rules

Taking almost a full hour to rotate rather than fractions of a second, ASKAP J1935+2148 is the slowest spinning radio-blasting neutron star ever seen.

Week in images: 03-06 June 2024

Week in images: 03-06 June 2024

Discover our week through the lens

'Sudden, brief, and unexpected:' dearMoon crew laments cancellation of private SpaceX Starship moon mission

Crew members selected for a planned flight around the moon funded by Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa shared public feelings of disappointment after the mission's cancellation.

Massive 'El Gordo' galaxy cluster suggests dark matter smashes into itself

El Gordo is a massive collection of colliding galaxies 7 billion light-years away. Its odd behavior could suggest dark matter interacts with itself.

This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 7 – 16

The waxing Moon reenters the sky as an evening crescent. Pollux and Castor keep it company. The Big Dipper hangs straight down. And can you still catch wintry Capella? The colder your latitude the better your chance.

The post This Week's Sky at a Glance, June 7 – 16 appeared first on Sky & Telescope.

Artificial gravity for Europe in space

Image: ESA and Vast memorandum signature at ILA

Earth from Space: Grand Bahama Island

Image: Ahead of World Ocean Day, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the west of Grand Bahama Island, in the Bahamas.

Astronauts are Practicing Lunar Operations in New Space Suits

Through the Artemis Program, NASA will send astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. While the challenges remain the same, the equipment has evolved, including the rocket, spacecraft, human landing system (HLS), and space suits. In preparation for Artemis III (planned for September 2026), NASA recently conducted a test where astronauts donned the new space suits developed by Axiom Space and practiced interacting with the hardware that will take them to the Moon.

These new suits, the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU), were developed specifically for the Artemis III mission. The day-long test took place on April 30th at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, where astronaut Doug “Wheels” Wheelock and Axiom Space astronaut Peggy Whitson interacted with a full-scale model of the SpaceX Starship Human Landing System (HLS). This was the first time astronauts trained in pressurized spacesuits and conducted mock operations with the HLS hardware.

The Artemis III spacesuit prototype, the AxEMU. Though this prototype uses a dark gray cover material, the final version will likely be all-white when worn by NASA astronauts on the Moon’s surface. Credit: Axiom Space

The test provided valuable feedback on the Starship HLS and the AxEMU spacesuits for NASA and its commercial partners. It also gave astronauts a chance to gauge the suits’ range of motion and to get a feel for the interior of the Starship HLS and its mechanical systems. Said Logan Kennedy, lead for surface activities in NASA’s HLS Program, in a NASA press statement:

“Overall, I was pleased with the astronauts’ operation of the control panel and with their ability to perform the difficult tasks they will have to do before stepping onto the Moon. The test also confirmed that the amount of space available in the airlock, on the deck, and in the elevator, are sufficient for the work our astronauts plan to do.”

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Thruster glitches and helium leaks can't stop Boeing's Starliner astronaut test flight — but why are they happening?

Boeing's Starliner Crew Flight Test faced down thruster glitches and helium leaks to reach the International Space Station on June 6. Why all the glitches and is NASA worried?

The 'hole' on Mars making headlines could be crucial to Red Planet exploration

Similar craters are found on Earth and the Moon, and are the product of volcanic, tectonic or even fluvial activity.