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Nasa SpaceX crew mission cleared to launch

Nasa SpaceX crew mission cleared to launch

Science
Key officials at the American space agency (Nasa) and private launch firm SpaceX have signed off next week's historic mission to the space station.Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will ride to orbit from Florida - the first time in nine years that humans have left Earth from US territory.A review panel has found no technical reason to delay the mission.SpaceX's Falcon-9 rocket with its Dragon capsule is set to lift off at 16:33 EDT (21:33 BST) on Wednesday.The decision of the Flight Readiness Review (FRR) panel opens the way for final launch preparations to proceed."We did a thorough review of all the systems and all the risks, and it was unanimous on the board that we are 'go for launch',...
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft faces its biggest test

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft faces its biggest test

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., May 21 (UPI) -- The Crew Dragon space capsule made by Elon Musk's SpaceX faces a final big test when two astronauts get on board to fly to the International Space Station next week. The United States hasn't had the capability to launch astronauts from U.S. soil since the last space shuttle mission in 2011. Since then, astronauts have flown to the space station only on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan. A successful mission for Crew Dragon, which is to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday, will restore that capability and continue the nation's dominance in space, along with making scientific advances from space exploration. The flight, called Demo 2, is designed to certify the Crew Dragon for regular ferry service of astronauts to the space station. "I think it...
Roosevelt crew isolation extended as Navy, CDC investigate COVID-19 outbreak

Roosevelt crew isolation extended as Navy, CDC investigate COVID-19 outbreak

Business
April 21 (UPI) -- The Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched an investigation to determine what caused the coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt -- and why the virus spread so rapidly on the aircraft carrier. The Navy told CNN that it is asking 1,000 of the ship's 4,800 crew members to complete a survey and provide two new specimens -- blood and nasal swabs -- for laboratory testing. One sailor on the vessel has succumbed to the illness and, as of Tuesday, 700 others have tested positive. Politico also reported Tuesday that, according to a Navy memo, post-quarantine testing may be halted and sailors' isolation periods extended, potentially delaying the ship's departure from Guam, where it has been docked since the end of March. Navy leader...
NASA sets May 27 date for historic first SpaceX launch with crew aboard

NASA sets May 27 date for historic first SpaceX launch with crew aboard

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., April 17 (UPI) -- NASA has set May 27 for SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule to launch astronauts from Florida -- the first such launch from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. "NASA will once again launch American astronauts on American rockets from American soil!" NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted Friday. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are scheduled for the "Demo 2" flight to the International Space Station. It will be the maiden crewed flight for the Crew Dragon capsule. Elon Musk's SpaceX flew a successful demonstration flight to the space station in March 2019. The mission would be the first launch of American astronauts aboard an American rocket and spacecraft since the final shuttle mission on July 8, 2011, with the exception of Virg...
BA cabin crew virus fears after long-haul flights

BA cabin crew virus fears after long-haul flights

Business
A number of British Airways cabin crew fear they may have contracted the coronavirus after operating long-haul flights over the past two weeks. Unions are calling on airlines to do more to minimise the exposure of staff.But BA pilots and cabin crew say the airline was slow to take action to protect them from the virus.BA said it has taken steps to reduce contact between customers and crew, adding that personal protective gear, like masks and gloves, was available.However, one pilot told the BBC that equipment was not always accessible and that staff sometimes travelled "shoulder-to-shoulder" on buses at airports. Why are planes still flying?Despite slashing its flight schedule amid travel restrictions, BA is still operating some flights to destinations su...