Launches

KFC Is Sending A Chicken Burger To Space

KFC will be sending a chicken burger to space aboard a Stratolitte helium filled balloon.

“We’re excited to be the ones pushing spicy, crispy chicken sandwich space travel forward,”

– KFC US president, Kevin Hochman

Officially known as the Zinger 1 Space Mission, on June 21st a helium balloon will “take KFC’s new spicy, crispy Zinger chicken sandwich to new heights. Specifically, heights around 80,000 feet straight up into space.” And it will be lived streamed on it’s micro-site www.kfcin.space

This is the Stratollite vehicle that will take the now famous chicken burger to space. Credit: World View/FTP Edelman




 

It’s a clear advertisement for it’s newest product, but we’ve got to admit, it rocks. (and we are in know way being promoted to write this post)

On the more scientific side of things, Stratolitte will be using this mission to demonstrate it’s capabilities. It can carry a payload weighing up to 4,500 kilograms (9,920 pounds) for up to four months at a time. It already has applications for ‘disaster recovery and first response, communications, weather forecasting, and surveillance aid for U.S. troops’.

The mission is ultimately being conducted by Worldview Enterprises who aims to take paying customers into orbit aboard it’s Voyager capsule which will be a much more cost effective option to space travel than currently planned methods such as Virgin Galactic and SpaceX’s rocket led initiatives.

An artist visualization of the Worldview experience. Credit: Worldview

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NASA Delays Launch of $23 Billion Moon And Rocket Capsule

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – NASA has delayed the first launch of its heavy-payload rocket until 2019 and decided against an idea floated by the White House to put astronauts aboard the capsule that is set to fly around the moon, the U.S. space agency said on Friday.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration had hoped to launch the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket in November 2018. The rocket will send the deep-space Orion capsule on a high lunar orbit.

The launch is part of NASA’s long-term program to use the rocket to get astronauts and equipment to Mars.

In February, at the behest of President Donald Trump’s administration, NASA began to weigh the implications of adding a two-person crew for the trial flight.

The conclusion of the study was to wait until a second flight before adding a crew, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said.

The research “really reaffirmed that the baseline plan we have in place was the best way for us to go,” he told reporters on a conference call.

Adding systems to support a crew would have cost NASA $600 million to $900 million more and would likely have delayed the flight to 2020, he said.

Even without a crew, the SLS will not be ready to blast off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida until 2019, Lightfoot said, adding that the agency would have a more specific timeframe in about a month.

The delay would push back the rocket’s second flight beyond 2021, said NASA Associate Administrator William Gerstenmaier.

The delays are largely due to technical issues encountered during the development of SLS and Orion, as well as tornado damage to the rocket’s manufacturing plant in New Orleans.

FILE PHOTO: NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration is seen launching to space in this undated artist’s rendering released August 2, 2014. REUTERS/NASA/MSFC/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo




 

By the end of the next fiscal year on September 30, 2018, NASA will have spent $23 billion on the rocket, capsule, launch site and support systems, according to an audit by NASA’s Office of Inspector General.

That excludes $9 billion spent on the mothballed Constellation lunar exploration program, which included initial development of the Orion and a second heavy-lift rocket.

Initially, the SLS rocket, which uses engines left over from the space shuttle program and shuttle-derived solid rocket boosters, will have the capacity to put about 77 tons (70 metric tons) into an orbit about 100 miles (160 km) above Earth.

Later versions are expected to carry nearly twice that load.

“We’re really building a system,” Gerstenmaier said. “It is much, much more than one flight.”

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Andrew Hay)

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Stephen Hawking Is Going Into Space

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain, renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking revealed that he would be heading into space with commercial spaceline Virgin Galactic.

“I have already completed a zero-gravity flight which allowed me to float, weightless,” Hawking said. “But my ultimate ambition is to fly into space. I thought no one would take me, but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic and I said ‘yes’ immediately.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic’s founder, expressed a wish to send Hawking to the stars as recently as 2015.

“Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the people I admire most in the world, an undisputed genius who has opened our eyes to the wonders of the universe, while also happening to be a kind and delightful man,” Branson said in a statement at the time. “He is the only person I have given a free ticket with Virgin Galactic, and he is signed up to fly as a Future Astronaut with us if his health permits it.”

Hawking discussing his plans to go into space.

A trip into space would likely be some years into the future and would not be without complications for the 75-year-old cosmologist. Professor Hawking’s health is of significant concern as he has lived with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) since the age of 21. The motor neuron disease kickstarts a degenerative process which affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, particularly the nerves that govern muscle movement.  Otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the disease is named for the 1939 Hall of Fame baseball player who forged a public battle with ALS, ultimately succumbing to it at age 37.

The launch, scientists hope, should yield vital information on the effect of gravity on motor neurons. The g-force, or acceleration due to gravity at the Earth’s surface, is 1 g; our mobility and organ function has adapted to the conditions here. As space flight becomes more accessible, humans will be exposed to different kinds of gravity conditions. Gravity biologists are already investigating how “altering gravity can have profound effects on the body, particularly the development of muscles, but the reasons and biology behind gravity’s effect are not fully known.”




 

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Russia Says Technical Checks May Delay Proton-M Rocket Launches

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s space agency said on Wednesday it had ordered extra checks to be made on its Proton-M rockets, meaning it might be forced to delay some satellite launches this year.

Roscosmos, the Russian equivalent of NASA, made the announcement after the Kommersant daily reported that manufacturing problems had been detected in some Proton-M rockets and that some launches were likely to be delayed by several months “in a best case scenario.”

European, U.S. and Asian firms rely heavily on Russia to launch their commercial satellites, and a Roscosmos source told Kommersant that Moscow planned to launch 27 rockets this year, eight of which were Proton-Ms.

“Additional tests (on the Proton-M) are being carried out. That explains the possible delay in launches,” said a spokesman for Roscosmos, without providing details. Igor Burenkov, a spokesman for the corporation, said it would become clear after the tests if there would definitely be delays and for how long.

Kommersant reported that the problem was linked to components used in the rockets’ engines and concerns that some of them were not sufficiently heat-resistant.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov played down the problems, saying Roscosmos did suffer some setbacks, but that it also had great success in many areas.

An unmanned Russian cargo ship loaded with supplies for the International Space Station broke apart about six minutes after lift off in December. It was carried by a Soyuz rocket.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov/Denis Pinchuk; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Watch These Bakers Send A Pie To Space

Watch These Bakers Send A Pie To Space

Bakers from St Helens, England have sent a meat pie into our stratosphere in honor of the World Pie Eating Championship taking place this week.

The delicious treat was sent into space attached to a weather balloon, the aim of the journey was to see how the stratosphere effected the pie’s molecular structure (if at all).

Hitting 30,000 meters (or 100,000 feet) all bets were placed on the pie freezing as it entered the atmosphere, and cooking up as it descended back to Earth.

The pastry was attached to a weather balloon and launched to pie altitude, in an attempt to see how its journey to the cosmos affects its molecular structure. Upon discovery, it turns out neither freezing, or baking took place.

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Japan Successfully Launches Solid State Rocket

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s space agency said on Tuesday it had successfully launched a solid fuel rocket named Epsilon-2, the latest in Tokyo’s effort to stay competitive in an industry that has robust growth potential and strong security implications.

The 26-meter-long rocket, launched at about 8 p.m. (1100 GMT) from the Uchinoura Space Center in southern Japan, released a satellite for studying radiation belts around the earth soon after the lift-off, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said.

The Epsilon-2 three-stage rocket is part of a new generation of solid propellant rockets and makes it possible for launch costs to be reduced up to one third, according to JAXA.

Curbing costs for rocket launches is important as more emerging economies aim to put communication and weather satellites in space and Japan faces stiff competition with U.S. and European rivals such as Arianespace.

(Reporting by James Daniels; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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ses-9-mission-Watch The Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Live

Watch The Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Live

Join us to watch live as SpaceX attempts to launch and land a Falcon 9 rocket. A mission in which the company itself believes “a successful landing is not expected.”

The latest Falcon 9 launch will take off from Cape Canaveral. So far the launches have been relatively smooth, but the landings have been much harder to stick. Remember the failed Falcon9 landing we posted earlier last month.

Tonight the Falcon 9 will release a SES9 communications satellite above the earth. It will then try to make its first ever successful landing on a drone-piloted barge. When the rocket hits the barge on its landing attempt, things are still expected to go awry. SpaceX is testing out new experimental orbiting plans for its rocket and is not entirely sure of the outcome.

Its possible that the rocket could crash directly into the ship, or replicate its previous tip-over failure and explosion. Being optimistic, it could even succeed.

Even though the outcome is uncertain, this mission is hardly a failure. Scientists will be able to understand more about the trajectories they need to use to successfully land a craft the next time around.

The launch window opens at 6:46 p.m. (EST) and the live footage starts 20 minutes before. Join us for the excitement!

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The Launch of STS-41G

A Florida dawn scene on Oct. 5, 1984 forms the backdrop for the climbing Space Shuttle Challenger, its two solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank, launched on the eight-day STS-41G mission. The scene was photographed by astronaut Paul J. Weitz, who was piloting the Shuttle training aircraft (STA).

Crewed by Robert L. Crippen, Commander; Jon A. McBride, Pilot; Mission Specialists Kathryn D. Sullivan (now NOAA administrator), Sally K. Ride, David C. Leestma and Payload Specialists Marc Garneau of the Canadian Space Agency and Paul D. Scully-Power, the mission’s objectives included the deployment of the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite and the demonstration of the Orbital Refueling System by Sullivan and Leestma during a spacewalk.

On this mission, Sullivan became the first U.S. woman to perform a spacewalk. Marc Garneau became the first Canadian astronaut to fly to space. The shuttle’s crew of seven was the largest ever to fly on a single spacecraft at that time, and STS-41G was the first flight to include two female astronauts. STS-41G completed 132 orbits of the Earth in 197.5 hours, before landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on Oct. 13.

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NASA’s Best Shuttle Image

One of NASA’s most beautiful images showing a shuttle blasting through the clouds on it’s way to outer space.

Credit: NASA

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