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2018 world's strongest storm: Mangkhut barrels through Philippines toward China

2018 world's strongest storm: Mangkhut barrels through Philippines toward China

World
The strongest storm on Earth in 2018 barreled through the northern Philippines before dawn on Saturday, bringing with it ferocious winds and torrential rain. Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Ompong, made landfall in Cagayan province on northeast Luzon island at 1:40 a.m. local time, according to the country's weather agency, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. It's estimated that the tropical cyclone put at least five million people at risk. Mangkhut, considered the strongest storm on the planet so far this year, was the 15th to hit the Philippines. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center U.S. Navy-U.S. Air Force command, located in Hawaii, had downgraded Mangkhut from a "super typhoon," when it had peak wind speeds of 180 mph, prior to landfall ...
OSIRIS-REx begins approach toward asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx begins approach toward asteroid Bennu

Science
Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The asteroid approach phase of NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission has officially begun. Last week, the spacecraft's PolyCam camera photographed the target asteroid Bennu from a distance of 1.4 million miles, inaugurating the asteroid operations campaign. Bennu appears as a blurry white speck in the grainy image. "Many of us have been working for years and years and years to get this first image," Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, told reporters during a press briefing on Friday. The Security-Regolith Explorer spacecraft, which launched almost two years ago, boomeranged around Earth in 2017, setting the craft on its proper course. Now, Bennu, a carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group, is within view. "When we flew by the earth, the f...
Parker Solar Probe heads toward sun after morning liftoff

Parker Solar Probe heads toward sun after morning liftoff

Science
Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The Parker Solar Probe's second launch attempt in a mission to touch the sun was successful early Sunday. At 3:31 a.m. EDT, a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, part of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The engines were blazing golden in the clear night sky during ascent. "It was a very quiet launch countdown, it went off like clockwork," NASA Launch Director Omar Baez said. "Parker Solar Probe has been one of our most challenging missions to date." About four minutes into flight, the Delta IV port and starboard booster engines shut down and separated from the second stage. After second stage engine ignition, the payload fairing also was jettisoned. The second stage main engine cut o...
Watch live: Parker Solar Probe to begin trip toward sun

Watch live: Parker Solar Probe to begin trip toward sun

Science
Aug. 11 (UPI) -- NASA's Parker Solar Probe is ready and waiting to make its trip to the sun. The probe will launch from Space Launch Complex-37 at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, part of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Blastoff is scheduled for 3:33 a.m. ET on Saturday morning. NASA TV will provide live streaming coverage of the takeoff and initial flight through Earth's atmosphere. The mission's launch window will last 65 minutes. According to meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing, there is a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions. Last week, scientists attached the probe to the United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry the spacecraft into space. The rocket and attached payload are currently surrounded by a Mobile Service Tower, but th...
China's defunct space lab hurtling toward Earth for re-entry

China's defunct space lab hurtling toward Earth for re-entry

Technology
China's defunct and reportedly out-of-control Tiangong 1 space station is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere sometime this weekend. It poses only a slight risk to people and property on the ground, since most of the bus-size, 8.5-ton vehicle is expected to burn up on re-entry, although space agencies don't know exactly when or where that will happen. Below are some questions and answers about the station, its re-entry and the past and future of China's ambitious space program. ——— WHAT WILL HAPPEN AND HOW GREAT IS THE DANGER? The European Space Agency predicts the station will re-enter the atmosphere between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon — an estimate it calls "highly variable," likely because the ever-changing shape of the upper atmosphere affects the speed of objects fallin