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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
Gates turns attention toward poverty, growing inequity in US

Gates turns attention toward poverty, growing inequity in US

Technology
Bill and Melinda Gates, as the world's top philanthropists, are rethinking their work in America as they confront what they consider their unsatisfactory track record on schools, the country's growing inequity and a president they disagree with more than any other. In an interview with The Associated Press, the couple said they're concerned about President Donald Trump's "America first" worldview. They've made known their differences with the president and his party on issues including foreign aid, taxes and protections for immigrant youth in the country illegally. And they said they're now digging into the layers of U.S. poverty that they haven't been deeply involved with at the national level, including employment, race, housing, mental health, incarceration and substance abuse. "We are...
SpaceX 'Starman' travels toward asteroid belt in Tesla Roadster

SpaceX 'Starman' travels toward asteroid belt in Tesla Roadster

Science
Feb. 7 (UPI) -- SpaceX launched a cherry-red Tesla roadster and a mannequin driver into space along with its Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday.A four-hour livestream chronicled the adventures of the mannequin, known as "Starman," providing stunning images as it started on an elliptic orbit toward Mars -- though it has exceeded the Mars orbit and is expected to head toward the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.Elon Musk, founder and CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, said the car's stereo was playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity," as images from the livestream showed a message reading "DON'T PANIC" on the dashboard.Earth loomed large in the background as the Roadster gently glided through space and its passenger, fitted with SpaceX's new space suit, casually rested its left arm on the driver's ...