June 15, 2014

Time-Lapse Video Of A Star Explosion (Source: Huffington Post)
The wonders of space never cease to amaze us--or to challenge our ideas about the cosmos. In this video, a star 20,000 light-years from Earth explodes, lighting up the surrounding interstellar dust to create a stunning light echo. The video -- a time-lapse of images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope over a four-year period in the 2000s -- shows the sudden outburst of star V838 Monocerotis. (6/12)

Now, We Eat? Not So Fast, NASA Space Farmers Say (Source: Florida Today)
Tending a garden with gloves and scissors last week, International Space Station commander Steve Swanson snipped three bushy red romaine lettuce plants from a growth chamber designed at Kennedy Space Center. "Harvesting the first space-grown lettuce," tweeted German astronaut Alexander Gerst, one of five station crewmates gathered around to watch. "I wish they let us eat it."

That isn't supposed to happen until later, after scientists on the ground receive the reddish-green lettuce leaves now wrapped in foil and stored in a freezer, and determine if their microbe levels are safe. But it's possible the small harvest — only half as big as hoped — won't produce data conclusive enough to give astronauts approval to munch a future crop. The goal was to grow six plants, but inadequate water flow from the growth chamber's reservoir resulted in one seed "pillow" failing to germinate and two plants dying. (6/15)

First Angara Launch Scheduled for June 25 (Source: Parabolic Arc)
On June 25, 2014, the first scheduled test launch of the new booster “Angara will occur from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Angara is a new generation of modular carrier rockets with oxygen-kerosene engines. The Angara launch vehicle family includes light, medium and heavy classes capable of launching payloads weighing from 3.8 to 35 metric tons.

Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center is the lead developer and manufacturer of the booster.
The first launches of Angara rockets of various classes will be carried out using a single launch complex. A distinctive feature of “Angara” launch vehicle is the use environmentally friendly and inexpensive oxygen and kerosene. (6/14)

Launch of Yet Another Glonass-M (Source: Reshetnev)
A rocket, carrying the Glonass-M №55 navigation spacecraft, lifted off from the Plesetsk launch site at 21:16 Moscow time on June 14. The satellite was built by the Reshetnev Company. The spacecraft rode into orbit aboard a Soyuz 2.1b / Fregat launch vehicle. Ground controllers have successfully established contact with the satellite, which is in good health. (6/15)

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