Welcome to "On This Day ... in Space!" where we peer back in our archives to find historic moments in spaceflight and astronomy. So enjoy a blast from the past with Space.com's Hanneke Weitering to look back at what happened on this day in space! On January 17, 1985, the United States launched its 1,037th and final Aerobee rocket. Aerobee rockets were the first sounding rockets that the U.S. launched to research Earth's upper atmosphere. The small, suborbital rockets measured things like temperature, pressure, radiation and ozone. The last Aerobee rocket to launch was a variation called Aerobee 150, and it lifted off from White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. This rocket stood about 30 feet tall and could fly to an altitude of 170 miles with payloads weighing up to 150 pounds. This rocket's payload was a device designed to observe airglow, or the constant dim glow of Earth's atmosphere. These NASA Rocket Launches to Study Earth's Atmosphere Are Just Gorgeous NASA's Amazing … [Read more...] about On This Day in Space! Jan. 17, 1985: Final Aerobee Sounding Rocket Launched
Nasa rocket launch
NASA launched several small rockets in December 2018, resulting in gorgeous nighttime launch photos and promising interesting insight into the makeup of particles coming and going from Earth's atmosphere. The first two launches, VISIONS-2, happened Dec. 7 in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, in Norway at 6:06 and 6:08 a.m. EST (1106 and 1108 GMT), respectively. A time-lapse photo from the launch shows the two Black Brant X rockets as they leave the launchpad, with mountains of snow and clear skies in the backdrop. Another photo from the launch shows one of the two rockets breaking through its protective foam box as it takes off. VISIONS-2 stands for Visualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral Atom Sensing-2 rockets. The rockets were launched to investigate atmospheric escape, which is the name given to the rate Earth's atmosphere slowly leaks into space, according to a statement from NASA. To map oxygen outflow from the aurora, VISIONS-2 flew two rockets into the northern polar cusp, one of two … [Read more...] about These NASA Rocket Launches to Study Earth’s Atmosphere Are Just Gorgeous (Photos)
NASA's much-delayed Ionospheric Connection Explorer is scheduled to launch early tomorrow morning (Nov. 7) to begin studying the boundary where Earth's atmosphere meets space. The launch window opens at 3:00 a.m. EST (0800 GMT) and closes at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT), and the mission will be taking flight from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. You can watch the launch live at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, through a broadcast that begins at 2:45 a.m EST (0745 GMT). According to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the weather conditions favor a smooth launch, with a 90 percent likelihood of good conditions. Tomorrow morning's launch has a little twist: The rocket launch will take place from the air. That's because the mission, nicknamed ICON, is launching aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, which is designed to fire after being dropped from an airplane called Stargazer L-1011 at a height of about 40,000 feet (12,000 meters). The Stargazer will drop the … [Read more...] about NASA Will Launch a Satellite to Study the Edge of Space Overnight. Here’s How to Watch.
Today, Russian space agency Roscosmos blamed a bend in a sensor for last month’s dramatic failure of a Soyuz rocket launch, which forced two astronauts to make a harrowing emergency landing. After the launch failure on October 11th, Roscosmos promptly started looking into the cause. Initial speculation focused on the rocket’s boosters, one of which didn’t seem to separate properly from the rest of the spacecraft. Roscosmos just released new information from the investigation, which concluded this week. Russian news agency TASS reports that investigators found that a sensor — which monitors the separation of the boosters from the rocket — was deformed, bent by about six degrees. Six degrees isn’t a lot, but it was enough to keep the lid of a nozzle on one of the boosters from opening. That booster then hit the fuel tank of the central part of the rocket, lurching it violently off course. The investigation concluded that the issue occurred while the … [Read more...] about Russia’s space agency reveals why last month’s rocket launch failed
Everything was going smoothly — until NASA astronaut Nick Hague felt a sudden tremor. "The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side," he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on Oct. 11. The rocket was meant to carry Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to the International Space Station in what would have been the American's first trip to space. Instead, the pair's emergency rescue system kicked into action after a problem during booster separation. Their capsule separating from the troubled booster was the source of that shaking, and it was accompanied by an emergency light and alarm. Together, those signs told the two astronauts that their job description for the day had just been rewritten — instead of reaching the space station, it was now just to make it back to Earth safely. [In Photos: Space Station Crew's Harrowing Abort Landing After Soyuz Launch Failure] … [Read more...] about What It Feels Like to Be Aboard a Failed Rocket Launch