September 6, 2016

Did UFO Cause Space X Explosion? Shock Claims of Anti-Facebook Alien Interference (Source: Express)
Alien conspiracy theorists claim video footage shows an object fly past the launch pad while an ill-fated Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket was undergoing tests ahead of a planned launch tomorrow. The theory has been further fuelled by SpaceX referring to there being "an anomaly" on the launch pad in tweets - as this is a term used by governments instead of UFOs.

Many viewers of the video have pointed out it is likely to have been just be an insect or bird flying past the camera. "That bug is at least going 3,600mph minimum. Its not a bird, its an alien with a laser that destroyed the rocket. You can tell it is not a bird or a bug. Look at how the left tower hides the UFO behind it when you slow it down near the top. this indicated the UFO is behind the tower and not in-front of the camera lens dropping the possibility of a bug.

Sharaf Khawaja posted: "What will the sceptics have to say about this smoking gun footage? These are high speed cameras capable of making crystal clear film. "Anybody can analyse it frame by frame and see the entire UFO activity around the launch pad. (9/2)

Why is NASA Chasing This Asteroid? (Source: CNN)
NASA is sending a space probe to chase down a dark, potentially dangerous asteroid. The probe will take a sample of the asteroid and -- in a US space first -- bring the sample back to Earth. "This is a dark asteroid that we have found and we're going to hunt down, we're going to orbit, we're going to take a good look at it and we're going to bring back a sample," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division.

If you're thinking this sounds a bit like the plot from the 1998 sci-fi flick "Armageddon" you would be right, but without Bruce Willis (there won't be any people of this spacecraft) and without space shuttles (NASA retired the shuttles in 2011).

In this real life story, NASA's OSIRIS-REx space probe will spend two years flying through space to catch up to an asteroid named Bennu, a big, roundish space rock that has made it onto NASA's list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids. That means Bennu is one of the most dangerous space rocks we know of because it could one day collide with Earth. (9/5)

UCF, FIT Scientists Part of OSIRIS-REx Mission (Source: Florida Today)
The pressure is on for a first-of-its-kind mission launching from Cape Canaveral on Thursday. Sitting about a mile from the launch pad where a Falcon 9 rocket exploded this past week, the OSIRIS-REx probe will launch Thursday night atop an Atlas V rocket headed for an asteroid that could contain some of the oldest organic material in the solar system.

If all goes well, the 4,650-pound spacecraft will arrive at asteroid Bennu in 2018 and bring a minimum two-ounce sample back to Earth in 2023. After seven years of designing, building and testing, professors and alumni from Central Florida, including Humberto Campins, are excited to unlock “all the secrets the asteroid has for us.”

The premier camera technology, developed under the work of 1996 Florida Tech alumnus Christian d’Aubigny, will also map the asteroid and document the entire mission. The cameras have been tested in freezing and blistering hot temperatures, in environments as comparable to space as possible. (9/5)

Able Flight Pilot to Work in Space Program at FAA AST (Source: General Aviation News)
Eric Ingram will soon leave Houston for Washington, D.C., and his new career with the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation. A member of Able Flight‘s Class of 2011, Eric will work as an aerospace engineer on the team that reviews licensing and permitting of technologies and applications proposed by commercial space companies.

It’s a busy time for Eric as he is also finishing his masters thesis at the University of Houston. Long fascinated by astrophysics, and a physics major in college, Eric’s new career is the perfect match for his training and skills, Able Flight officials note. Able Flight’s mission is to offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight and aviation career training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance. Click here. (9/3)

Space Debris is No Longer Just a Nuisance ... Now It’s a Threat (Source: The National)
There are more than half a million pieces of human-made material in orbit around our planet. These materials, referred to as space or orbital debris, range in size from that of a school bus to a thumbtack. Generally space debris is made up of a mix of defunct spacecraft, components of booster rockets and the remains of upper stages of launch vehicles, plus equipment that is lost during spacewalks. Click here. (9/4)

Rocket Blows Up, Smug Smile Fades (Source: AV Web)
I had this moment of 'so there' when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 blew itself into charred scrap metal, Horrible thought, right? One reason is the private enterprise space industry’s natural tendency toward hubris and the other was that one purpose of the satellite being launched was to bring Facebook—internet access, really—to Africa.

When boy billionaire Mark Zuckerberg reacted to the accident, his tone struck me a little shocked that his rocket could blow up. So, yeah, you’re not NASA, but your rockets can still blow up. Welcome to aerospace. But I know where the real genesis of my feeling is and it goes back to the NASA bashing Burt Rutan did in the early days of Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space tourism venture. Did I mention that was 12 years ago and Galactic has yet to fly a single tourist?

If there’s anything useful to be derived from this it’s that private space ventures may or may not, in the long term, have better launch records than NASA or the Air Force. Thus far, before this accident, SpaceX was comparable to the rest of the industry, with about a 93 percent success rate. But it’s not better. (9/4)

Satellite Owner Says SpaceX Owes $50 Million or Free Flight (Source: Reuters)
Israel's Space Communication Ltd said on Sunday it could seek $50 million or a free flight from SpaceX after a Spacecom communications satellite was destroyed last week by an explosion at SpaceX's Florida launch site. Officials of the Israeli company said in a conference call with reporters Sunday that Spacecom also could collect $205 million from Israel Aerospace Industries, which built the AMOS-6 satellite.

SpaceX said in an email to Reuters that it does not disclose contract or insurance terms. The company is not public, and it has not said what insurance it had for the rocket or to cover launch pad damages beyond what was required by the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees commercial U.S. launches, for liability and damage to government property. (9/5)

Brit Survived Simulated Mars Mission Sipping PG Tips, Eating Jammie Dodgers (Source: The Sun)
A British engineer who spent 365 days simulating what it would be like to live on Mars has told of how PG Tips and Jammie Dodgers helped stave off boredom. Andrzej Stewart, 34, lived with five others in an isolated space dome, with the team conducting the isolation experiment to prepare for a future mission to Mars.

Stewart, who is originally from Banbury, Oxfordshire, said he managed to stay sane by drinking tea, eating Jammie Dodgers and playing guitar. He said: "We proved it is possible to put a group of strangers together and successfully figure out problems over a long period. You had to suspend belief, but not too much. We couldn't leave the hab without putting on a spacesuit." (9/4)

To The Moon, Alice! - Why We Stopped Going There (Source: Huffington Post)
Actually, the Apollo Lunar Program was supposed to have carried out 10 missions to the moon. It was cut short at Apollo 17 (having started with Apollo 11). Congressional funding was cut off. Why? Well, it rated badly. The missions to the moon were bad TV. They were boring. No one was watching. (You could say they lost public support if you like, or public interest). (9/4)

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