SpaceX Prepares Starship SN8 For Launch, But Elon Musk Gives 1-in-3 Chance Of Landing Intact

KEY POINTS

  • Starship prototypes SN5 and SN6 completed short hop tests in earlier this year
  • Elon Musk said a lot of things need to go right with this launch
  • Starship’s orbital launch will not be before 2021

Elon Musk revealed on Tuesday that SpaceX could launch its latest Starship prototype as early as “next week.” 

The Serial Number 8 Starship prototype, also called SN8, has already passed a test firing of its three engines. In its next launch, SpaceX is hoping the rocket will reach an altitude of around 50,000 feet, which would be quite a liftoff considering both the SN5 and SN6 flights only reached 500 feet.

For Musk, the Starship mission has become SpaceX’s main focus, following the successful launch of four astronauts into space in its Crew Dragon capsule earlier this month.

Musk has said that the Starship mission needs to be pushed forward “dramatically and immediately,” 

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How SpaceX and NASA’s Crew-1 mission should go, from launch to landing

  • SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center at 7:49 p.m. ET on Saturday, rocketing four astronauts into space.
  • It’s the first full-length mission NASA has contracted from Elon Musk’s company, and NASA’s first full-length commercial space mission overall.
  • Crew-1 will also be the longest-duration human spaceflight mission ever launched from US soil.
  • Here’s what to expect as SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship flies to orbit and back.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

SpaceX is about to launch its most important NASA mission yet: On Saturday, Elon Musk’s rocket company is slated to send four astronauts to the International Space Station on its Crew Dragon spaceship.

Crew-1, as the flight is called, will be SpaceX’s first full-length mission for NASA. It’s also the company’s second time launching people and the longest-duration human space mission ever launched from US soil. The current record, 84 days, has

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‘Like Froth on a Cappuccino’: Spacecraft’s Chaotic Landing Reveals Comet’s Softness

The chaotic crash-landing of a robotic spacecraft called Philae has yielded serendipitous insights into the softness of comets.

In 2014, the pioneering European Space Agency (ESA) lander touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, after a ten-year journey aboard its mothership, Rosetta. But rather than fix itself to the surface, Philae bounced twice and ended up on its side under a shady overhang, cutting its mission short.

After a meticulous search, an ESA team has now discovered the previously unknown site of Philae’s second touchdown—and with it an imprint that the craft left in comet ice that is billions of years old.

The imprint has allowed the researchers to measure the strength of ice beneath the comet’s surface—and they discovered that it is exceptionally soft. “It’s softer than the lightest snow, the froth on your cappuccino or even the bubbles in your bubble bath,” says Laurence O’Rourke, an ESA scientist at the

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Landing a job isn’t always the right goal — ScienceDaily

Imagine that you are a job consultant. You are sitting across from your client, an unemployed individual.

After locating them in the system, up pops the following text on the computer screen; ‘increased risk of long-term unemployment’.

Such assessments are made by an algorithm that, via data on the citizen’s gender, age, residence, education, income, ethnicity, history of illness, etc., spits out an estimate of how long the person — compared to other people from similar backgrounds — is expected to remain in the system and receive benefits.

But is it reasonable to characterize individual citizens on the basis of what those with similar backgrounds have managed in their job searches? According to a new study from the University of Copenhagen, no.

“You have to understand that people are human. We get older, become ill and experience tragedies and triumphs. So instead of trying to predict risks for individuals, we

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NASA video shows Osiris-Rex probe landing on asteroid, kicking up dust

  • NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft landed on an asteroid to suck up a sample of rock and dust on Tuesday.
  • New video footage shows the tricky operation, including the six seconds that it touched the asteroid’s surface and blew nitrogen gas to send up a flurry of alien rock.
  • Mission controllers must now determine if the spacecraft obtained enough sample to bring back to Earth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NASA landed a spacecraft on an asteroid 200 million miles away on Tuesday.

New footage shows its tricky six seconds of contact and the flurry of alien rock that the probe sent flying in order to suck up a sample.

The mission, called Osiris-Rex, aims to return a sample of the asteroid to Earth. But landing on the asteroid, called Bennu, was no small feat. The terrain turned out to be much rockier than researchers expected, with Bennu covered in

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Video Shows NASA Probe’s Quick Landing on Asteroid Bennu

When NASA’s OSIRIS-REX spacecraft touched the surface of an asteroid on Tuesday to gather a sample of rocks and dirt, the operation proceeded smoothly, to the glee of the mission’s operators 200 million miles away on Earth.

But the biggest question remained unanswered: How much of the asteroid did OSIRIS-REX pick up? Did it manage to gather any samples at all?

On Wednesday, the mission managers released a video of the sampling mechanism hitting the surface of the asteroid, within three feet or so of where the spacecraft had been aimed.

“I must have watched about a hundred times last night,” Dante Lauretta, the principal investigator of the mission, said during a news conference on Wednesday.

The sampling mechanism set down partly on a rock about 8 inches wide. That could have caused a problem if it had prevented the mechanism from pressing up against the surface.

“But literally, we

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New images show historic landing and sample collection on Bennu

New images taken by the OSIRIS-REx mission show the historic first touchdown of a NASA spacecraft on the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The spacecraft collected a sample that will be returned to Earth in 2023.





© NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


In the images, which were stitched together to show the spacecraft touching down, the spacecraft’s robotic arm appeared to crush some of the porous rocks on the surface. A nitrogen gas bottle fired on the surface appeared to stir up a substantial amount of material in a “rubble shower.” The spacecraft then spent five seconds collecting that material before backing away.



map: This graphic shows the spot where the spacecraft touched down on the asteroid.


© NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This graphic shows the spot where the spacecraft touched down on the asteroid.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is in “good health” after the event which occurred on Tuesday, according to the mission’s team. Data and images were sent back by the spacecraft overnight and shared by the agency

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Unprecedented new video shows NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft landing on an asteroid and sucking up dust



NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona


© NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

  • NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft landed on an asteroid to suck up a sample of rock and dust on Tuesday.
  • New video footage shows the tricky operation, including the six seconds that it touched the asteroid’s surface and blew nitrogen gas to send up a flurry of alien rock.
  • Mission controllers must now determine if the spacecraft obtained enough sample to bring back to Earth.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NASA landed a spacecraft on an asteroid 200 million miles away on Tuesday.

New footage shows its tricky six seconds of contact and the flurry of alien rock that the probe sent flying in order to sucked up a sample.

The mission, called Osiris-Rex, aims to return a sample of the asteroid to Earth. But landing on the asteroid, called Bennu, was no small feat. The terrain turned out to be much

Read More