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SpaceX could launch 1st Starship orbital flight in February, Elon Musk says

SpaceX's huge Starship vehicle could go orbital for the first time next month, if all goes according to plan.

For months, SpaceX has been gearing up for the first-ever orbital test flight of Starship, its next-generation deep-space transportation system. The company may now be in the home stretch of such prep work, potentially allowing Starship to get off the ground in just six weeks or so. 

"We have a real shot at late February. March launch attempt appears highly likely," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter on Saturday (Jan. 7), in response to speculation that the flight could come as early as Jan. 31.

SpaceX is developing Starship to carry people and cargo to the moon and Mars.

src: space.com/spacex-starship-firs

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SPACEX LAUNCHES PRIVATE JAPANESE HAKUTO-R MOON LANDER

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched ispace’s small Hakuto-R M1 lunar lander toward the Moon.

Liftoff took place at 2:38 a.m. EST (7:38 UTC) Dec. 11, 2022, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Because of the much-longer travel time of the ballistic lunar transfer trajectory, it’ll take about four months for the lander to reach the Moon. Touchdown is expected in April 2023 in Atlas crater which is located in the northeastern part of the Moon’s Earth-facing side.

Among the payloads aboard the M1 mission is a small lunar rover called Rashid, which was developed by the United Arab Emirates.

src: spaceflightinsider.com/mission

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Boeing's 1st Starliner astronaut flight delayed to April 2023

The aerospace giant now plans to launch the first crewed flight of its Starliner capsule, a two-astronaut test flight to the International Space Station (ISS), no earlier than April 2023, two months later than the previous target.

"Starliner and United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket hardware remain on track for readiness in early 2023," NASA officials wrote in the update.

src: space.com/boeing-starliner-cre

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SpaceX fuels up fully stacked Starship vehicle for 1st time ever

The Jan. 23 "wet dress rehearsal" was a huge step toward Starship's upcoming orbital test flight.

SpaceX fueled up a fully stacked Starship for the first time ever on Monday (Jan. 23), notching a huge milestone on the path toward the vehicle's debut orbital flight.

Elon Musk's company conducted a "wet dress rehearsal" with the 395-foot-tall (120 meters) Starship Monday at its Starbase facility in South Texas, running through many of the procedures it will perform on launch day.

cdn.jwplayer.com/previews/LNbd

src: space.com/spacex-stacked-stars

Mars helicopter Ingenuity aces 40th Red Planet flight

The sortie on Thursday (Jan. 19) covered about 584 feet (178 meters).

NASA's tiny Ingenuity helicopter now has 40 off-Earth flights under its belt.

The 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity lifted off yet again on Thursday (Jan. 19), staying aloft for nearly 92 seconds on a sortie that covered about 584 feet (178 meters) of horizontal distance.

Ingenuity landed with NASA's car-sized Perseverance Mars rover in February 2021 inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero, which hosted a big lake and a river delta billions of years ago.

src: space.com/mars-helicopter-inge

Newfound alien planet has nuclear fusion going in its core

An international team of scientists has found a new exoplanet that's the first to be directly imaged thanks to Europe's Gaia spacecraft — and it appears to have nuclear fusion ongoing in its core.

The team, led by Professor Sasha Hinkley at the University of Exeter in England, discovered the exoplanet orbiting roughly 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) away from the star HD 206893, which is located about 130 light-years from Earth and is about 30% larger than our sun. 

The newly discovered exoplanet is likely about 13 times more massive than Jupiter. That enormous size and the evidence of fusion mean it is on the boundary between being a planet and a brown dwarf.

src: space.com/europe-gaia-mission-

Astronomers find 2nd Earth-size planet in intriguing alien solar system

NASA's leading planet-hunting spacecraft has spotted its second planet that matches Earth's size and may be able to retain liquid water — and both worlds orbit the same star.

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched in April 2018; since then, the mission has discovered 285 confirmed exoplanets and more than 6,000 candidates. One of the most intriguing of the confirmed planets is a world dubbed TOI 700 d, which is about the size of Earth and located in its star's habitable zone. Now, scientists have determined that the planet has a neighbor that's just as tantalizing, thanks to an October 2021 alert that the Earth-orbiting telescope had seen something interesting.

cdn.jwplayer.com/previews/IYh5

src: space.com/tess-second-earth-si

NASA's Juno spacecraft is recovering its memory after a download disruption following its December flyby of Jupiter

The interruption is currently believed to have been caused when Juno flew through the intense radiation of a portion of Jupiter's magnetosphere.

Juno left Earth in August 2011, traveling 1.7 million miles and entering orbit around the gas giant planet 5 years later on July 4, 2016. Becoming the first spacecraft to see through Jupiter's dense clouds, Juno’s aim was to answer questions about Jupiter’s composition and origins.

Juno takes 53 Earth days to orbit Jupiter, with its primary mission of Juno calling for 35 orbit, during which it collected 3 terabits of scientific data and some incredible images of Jupiter and its moons.

src: space.com/juno-spacecraft-memo

James Webb Space Telescope notches 1st rocky planet confirmation

NASA's newest space telescope has notched another milestone with observations of its first rocky world.

A little over a year after its launch, the historic James Webb Space Telescope has detected its first rocky exoplanet, and the distinction goes to LHS 475b — an Earth-size planet as hot as Venus located just 41 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Octans.

src: space.com/james-webb-space-tel

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Taivaalla voi kohta havaita ilmiön, jonka näkivät viimeksi neandertalilaiset

Vihreän komeetan edellisestä ohituksesta on kulunut kymmeniä tuhansia vuosia.

iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/a/959637
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SpaceX and NASA target Crew-6 astronaut launch in mid-February

An international complement will ride SpaceX's Dragon Endeavor for the first ferry of crew to the ISS this year.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting mid-February for the launch of the next commercial crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS). A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry a crew of four to orbit aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavor, where the spacecraft will rendezvous and dock with the ISS for approximately six months of research and station maintenance. 

The four crew members who comprise the SpaceX Crew-6 mission are Mission Specialist Andrey Fedyaev, Pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Commander Stephen Bowen, and Mission Specialist Sultan Al Neyadi.

src: space.com/spacex-crew-6-launch

Russia to launch new Soyuz capsule to replace leaky spacecraft on space station

Russia's space agency will launch an empty Soyuz capsule to the International Space Station February to replace a damaged spacecraft that is unsafe to return its crew of three to Earth, NASA and Russian space officials said Wednesday (Jan. 11). 

The new MS-23 Soyuz spacecraft will launch on Feb. 20 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to replace the stricken Soyuz MS-22 capsule on the station, which suffered a coolant leak on Dec. 14 after being struck by a likely micrometeoroid, NASA and Russia's Roscosmos agency said. 

src: space.com/russia-replacement-s

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Kosmonautit joutuivat pulaan avaruusasemalla – Venäjä lähettää tyhjän aluksen hakemaan
iltalehti.fi/ulkomaat/a/f5ffa9

#finnish

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SpaceX could launch 1st Starship orbital flight in February, Elon Musk says

SpaceX's huge Starship vehicle could go orbital for the first time next month, if all goes according to plan.

For months, SpaceX has been gearing up for the first-ever orbital test flight of Starship, its next-generation deep-space transportation system. The company may now be in the home stretch of such prep work, potentially allowing Starship to get off the ground in just six weeks or so. 

"We have a real shot at late February. March launch attempt appears highly likely," SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said via Twitter on Saturday (Jan. 7), in response to speculation that the flight could come as early as Jan. 31.

SpaceX is developing Starship to carry people and cargo to the moon and Mars.

src: space.com/spacex-starship-firs

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