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Hurricane Ida looks absolutely massive in these astronaut photos
Created for blog@iirsg.org |  Web Version
August 30, 2021
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The Launchpad
Hurricane Ida looks absolutely massive from space in these astronaut photos
(NASA)
Hurricane Ida has strengthened into a powerful Category 4 storm as it approaches the coast of Louisiana on Sunday (Aug. 29), with astronauts keeping close watch on the tempest from space.
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The third try wasn't the charm for Astra. The California Bay Area startup attempted its third orbital test flight on Saturday (Aug. 28), sending its two-stage Launch Vehicle 0006 skyward from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Alaska's Kodiak Island at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT). The rocket suffered an anomaly about 2.5 minutes after liftoff, however, and the flight was terminated.
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Spaceflight
Small cracks found in International Space Station module: report
(NASA)
Small cracks have been discovered in the International Space Station's Zarya module, according to a new report. "Superficial fissures have been found in some places on the Zarya module," Vladimir Solovyov, chief engineer of Moscow-based company Energia, the prime contractor for Russia's human spaceflight program, told Russia's state-owned RIA news agency, Reuters reported today (Aug. 30). "This is bad and suggests that the fissures will begin to spread over time."
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NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the agency's Stennis Space Center in nearby Hancock County, Mississippi, both faced a wallop from Hurricane Ida as the massive storm made landfall on Sunday (Aug. 29).
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Science & Astronomy
Alien 'Dyson spheres' could be harvesting the power of black holes
(Marc Ward/Stocktrek Images/Getty)
Technologically-savvy aliens could be powering their society using a hypothetical megastructure called a Dyson sphere to harvest energy from a black hole. And the sphere might radiate in peculiar ways, allowing telescopes on Earth to discover the existence of intelligent beings elsewhere in the universe, a new study suggests.
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An enormous number of rogue supermassive black holes may be wandering around the universe, new simulations find. In fact, wandering giant black holes may account for a whopping 10% of the nearby universe's black hole mass "'budget,'" the research finds. This means that galaxies like our own could have an average of 12 invisible behemoths prowling around their outskirts, gobbling up anything that gets in their way.
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SpaceX
SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship docks at space station in time for astronaut's birthday
(NASA TV)
SpaceX's latest Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today (Aug. 30) to deliver an experimental robotic arm and a wealth of other research equipment and supplies just in time for one astronaut's birthday.
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SpaceX's Starship program, which boasts the world's tallest and most powerful rocket, will eventually put people and cargo on Mars. The latest prototype, SN20, is waiting for the chance to go into orbit. Several other prototypes have made flights, ground tests and sometimes even testing mistakes in the effort to improve future flights. Here's an overview of key milestones on Starship's road to the Red Planet.
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Technology
NASA cut a 10-cent check to kick-start moon mining tech
(Space Foundation)
NASA has cut a 10 cent check to space startup Lunar Outpost in the first-ever payment to a company to mine the moon. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson presented Justin Cyrus, CEO of Colorado-based space startup Lunar Outpost, with the first payment ever issued to a company as part of a space resource contract announced Aug. 23 here at the 36th annual Space Symposium. The check, which was just 10 cents, or 10 percent of Lunar Outpost's $1 bid, and will go towards the company's efforts to collect lunar dust, or regolith, for the agency.
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Images from satellites operated by Maxar Technologies shows scenes of the Hamid Karzai International Airport from Friday (Aug. 27) as the U.S. nears an Aug. 31 deadline to complete its evacuation efforts. The were taken one day after a deadly suicide bombing killed as many as 170 civilians and 13 members of the U.S. military at the airport's Abbey Gate.
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Entertainment
Rose Tyler joins the Eighth and Eleventh Doctors in Titan Comics' new 'Doctor Who' series
(Titan Comics)
With actress Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall set to depart the BBC's "Doctor Who" TARDIS starting in 2022, despairing fans can look forward to another Timelord reunion this fall courtesy of London-based Titan Comics starring the Eighth and Eleventh Doctors.
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