Space News

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The Soyuz rocket en route to the Space Station failed in atmosphere. Both astronauts survived and were rescued. But this is pretty good news overall–for SpaceX and Blue Origin.

The launch failure follows close on the heels of another Soyuz issue, in which a hole was discovered Aug. 29 on the MS-09 spacecraft that delivered the most recent crew to the space station. That 0.08-inch (2-millimeter) hole in the orbital module of the Soyuz vehicle created a small air leak on the space station that was detected by flight controllers on the ground and ultimately repaired by astronauts and cosmonauts on the space station. An investigation into that anomaly and how the hole was formed is also underway.

More details from another article:

The cause of the abort is still under investigation. Sergei Krikalev, a former astronaut and current director of manned spaceflight at Roscosmos, told reporters Friday (Oct. 12) that so far, officials know that “contact occurred when separating the first and second stages. … There was a deviation from nominal trajectory and damage to the lower part of the second stage.”

The Russians must have been putting too much of their resources into them bots of their’n: getting Chuck Wendig fired from Marvel, putting out all those bad RT reviews on The Last Jedi, and, hm, whatever else they’ve been up to. (Funding all those Comicsgate projects?)


Leigh Brackett’s Land – The Vortex of Saturn

Polar vortex on Saturn extends higher into atmosphere than thought.


Researchers have generally regarded the 20,000-mile-wide (32,000 kilometers) hexagon — a jet stream composed of air moving at about 200 mph (320 km/h) — as a lower-atmosphere phenomenon, restricted to the clouds of Saturn’s troposphere.

But the bizarre structure actually extends about 180 miles (300 km) above those cloud tops, up into the stratosphere, at least during the northern spring and summer, a new study suggests. [Stunning Photos: Saturn’s Weird Hexagon Vortex Storms]

The hexagon, which surrounds a smaller circular vortex situated at the north pole, has existed for at least 38 years; NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft spotted the sharp-cornered feature when they flew by Saturn in 1980 and 1981, respectively.

Way Cool.