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Tag: Historic

NASA spacecraft 'phones home' after historic journey

NASA spacecraft 'phones home' after historic journey

Technology
An unmanned NASA spacecraft has sent a signal back to Earth after making a successful fly-by past the most distant world ever studied by mankind. Around 10 hours after reaching the icy world of Ultima Thule, which lies one billion miles beyond Pluto, in the early part of New Year's Day, the New Horizons vessel got in touch with scientists back home.The "phone home" signal took far longer to reach its destination than your average WhatsApp message because of just how far it had to travel, with Ultima Thule lying four billion miles from Earth.It is roughly 20 miles long and shaped like a giant peanut. Image: NASA published this image showing off the shape of Ultima Thule Image: An artist's impression ...
Nasa's New Horizons probe on course for historic flyby

Nasa's New Horizons probe on course for historic flyby

Science
The American space agency's New Horizons probe remains on course for its daring flyby of Ultima Thule. When the mission sweeps past the 30km wide object on New Year's Day, it will be making the most distant ever visit to a Solar System body - at some 6.5 billion km from Earth. Mission planners decided at the weekend to forego a possible trajectory change.It means the probe will get to fly 3,500km from icy Ultima's surface to take a series of photos and other data. There had been some concern that the object might be surrounded by large debris particles which could destroy the probe if it were to run into them. But nothing of the sort has been detected and so a wider, safer pass will not be needed. ...
Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space in historic flight

Virgin Galactic reaches edge of space in historic flight

Science
Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Virgin Galactic made history Thursday by flying to the edge of Earth's atmosphere, taking its boldest step yet in space tourism. The company's rocket-powered VSS Unity took off from its Mojave Air & Space Port early Thursday. Its SpaceShipTwo separated from the WhiteKnightTwo twin-fuselage carrier aircraft and reached a maximum altitude of 51.4 miles before returning to Earth. NASA recognizes the 50-mile mark as the edge of space. The test flight marked a major bounce back for Virgin Galactic, which saw pilot Michael Alsbury die and fellow pilot Peter Siebold injured four years ago when the VSS Enterprise broke apart in a failed test flight that put the entire project in jeopardy. "Incremental flight test programs are by definition open-ended and, to a great extent, each...
Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Wintertime ice growth in the Arctic is accelerating, slowing historic decline

Science
Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Sea ice coverage in the Arctic has been on a precipitous decline over the last few decades, but new research from NASA suggests an increase in wintertime ice growth could help slow the trend -- but only momentarily. Despite the study's surprising revelation, scientists say the longterm prognosis for the ice caps remains poor. "This increase in the amount of sea ice growing in winter doesn't overcome the large increase in melting we've observed in recent decades," Alek Petty, a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said in a news release. "Overall, thickness is decreasing. Arctic sea ice is still very much in decline across all seasons and is projected to continue its decline over the coming decades." Petty is the lead author of the new study of wintertim...
Trump Kim summit: US president hails deal after historic summit

Trump Kim summit: US president hails deal after historic summit

World
Media playback is unsupported on your device US President Donald Trump says his historic talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that ended in a joint agreement were "tremendous".The signed document includes a pledge from Mr Kim to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.Mr Trump later said the US would suspend its military exercises that have infuriated North Korea, which analysts see as an apparent concession.It was the first time a sitting US president met a North Korean leader.The pair shook hands, held talks together and ate lunch accompanied by advisers.It caps a remarkable turnaround for the two, who only last year were engaged in angry threats.What did they agree?The summit centred on nuclear disarmament and reducing tensions. T...