SpaceX’s launch attempt ends with the loss of the most powerful rocket ever


Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s science newsletter Wonder Theory. To get it in your inbox, Sign up for free here.

To say that space is a challenging environment is an understatement.

During a recent spacewalk outside the International Space Station, a tool bag escaped from NASA astronauts Yasmine Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara. The suitcase has gone into Earth orbit and It may be visible through an endoscope Until it disintegrates in our planet’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Mars and Earth are now orbiting on opposite sides of the sun, temporarily disrupting communications between NASA and its robotic explorers searching for the red planet.

Until solar conjunction ends on November 25, the fleet of orbiters and rovers will remain present Big to-do lists they can work through Before it was time to check in with ground control again.

Zero gravity, harsh radiation and vast distances are just some of the obstacles to space exploration that require years of technological development and research to overcome.

After months of rebuilding after the initial explosive launch In April, SpaceX made a second attempt to launch its Starship rocket system into deep space, but things did not go according to plan.

Defy gravity

SpaceX’s massive Starship rocket lifted off on a second test flight from Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, on Saturday. – Eric Jay/AP

The unmanned spacecraft was launched On-board The most powerful rocket ever built Saturday morning, but they went missing shortly after take-off.

The super-heavy rocket ignited its 33 massive engines and the spacecraft experienced a safe liftoff. SpaceX attempted “hot staging” for the first time, essentially a step in which the spacecraft separates from the rocket booster due to a powerful shock.

After the hot taper, the rocket’s booster exploded in a fireball over the Gulf of Mexico. The spacecraft initially continued to operate well before SpaceX lost the spacecraft’s signal and triggered system software to terminate the flight so as not to veer off course.

The spacecraft was intended to fly nearly a full orbit around the planet before returning to Earth, but data from this second test flight will be used to determine SpaceX’s next steps in making humanity “multi-planetary.”

A long time ago

Pests, such as head lice, have been around as long as humans have existed, and analysis of their DNA offers an unexpected window into the first people to live in the Americas.

When modern humans ventured out of Africa and began settling around the world, head lice went with them. Two distinct groups of head lice have emerged.

But scientists recently discovered Evidence of hybrid lice This may represent a “signal of contact between Europeans and Native Americans,” said Marina Asconis, a research molecular biologist at the USDA.

Ocean secrets

The puffer shark, found only off the coast of South Africa, uses its tail to hide from predators.  - a.  Mertens/Shutterstock

The puffer shark, found only off the coast of South Africa, uses its tail to hide from predators. – a. Mertens/Shutterstock

The puffer shark is just one of many unique sea creatures that live only within the Great African Sea jungle off the coast of South Africa.

While the shark’s diminutive markings resemble a venomous South African snake, they are not at all confrontational.

True to its name, shyshark curls its tail over its eyes They bend their bodies to protect themselves from predators. But small shark species are disappearing and are listed as endangered.

Now, conservationists hope that using an artificial intelligence called Fin Spotter will protect populations before they reach a critical tipping point.

The power of nature

Seismic activity in Iceland, which has 32 active volcanoes, indicates the presence of an earthquake An explosion may be imminentaccording to the country’s Civil Protection Agency.

Experts are tracking a corridor of subterranean magma that now extends 9 miles (15 kilometers) into the island’s southwestern peninsula, potentially affecting the coastal city of Grindavik.

While volcanic eruptions are not strange to the country, there are concerns about the nature of the potential explosion, which could occur underwater or on land.

separately, The newest island in the worldThis planet, which was formed as a result of an undersea volcanic eruption, appeared off the coast of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific Ocean.

About the universe

The artist's illustration depicts energetic flares emanating from a distant stellar corpse.  - ZTF/California Institute of Technology

The artist’s illustration depicts energetic flares emanating from a distant stellar corpse. – ZTF/California Institute of Technology

Astronomers have discovered a highly unusual stellar corpse that came back to life in violent labor lasting months after it initially exploded.

This rare cosmic phenomenon, called a “fast blue luminous transient,” is brighter and fades more quickly than a typical supernova. But the subsequent flares unleashed by the stellar remnant were just as powerful as the explosion that killed the star.

Nicknamed “Tasmanian Devil” The event reveals the afterlife of the starsAccording to Anna Wai Kew Ho, assistant professor of astronomy at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences.


Take a closer look at these interesting reads:

Ancient hunting and gathering societies They may have provided mothers with more childcare support than modern mothers, according to a new study.

– Astronomers used the James Webb Space Telescope to spy on A An amazing galaxy resembling the Milky Way Formed shortly after the Big Bang, it changes the way they think about galactic evolution.

– The colorful ornate boxfish is covered in eye-catching hexagonal spots, and its complex pattern has inspired researchers to update the theory How do animals get their spots and stripes?.

The Leonid meteor reached its peak early Saturday morning, however Flaming meteors will still be visible A line across the night sky for the next few days.

The Wonder Theory team is taking some time out for Thanksgiving. Although there won’t be a new release on Saturday, November 25, expect a fresh helping of the wonders of space and science in your inbox on December 2. See you later!

Like what I read? Oh, but there’s more. Register here To receive in your inbox the next issue of Wonder Theory, brought to you by CNN Space and Science writers Ashley Strickland And Katie Hunt. They find wonder at planets beyond our solar system and discoveries from the ancient world.

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