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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight

5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program

“Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier,” scheduled to air Monday on the Smithsonian Channel, examines how black astronauts raced into the heavens while fighting for human rights on Earth.

It shows how the astronauts surmounted racist barriers and hostile commanders to get close to the stars.

“They really are the first of the first,” filmmaker Laurens Grant said. “And they are the elite of the elite.”

Not only did these aspiring space travelers have to navigate the racist politics of their time, they also had to study cutting-edge science and engineering to compete with others, Grant said.

And it didn’t always end happily.

The road to get black astronauts into space in the U.S. began under President John. F. Kennedy.

His brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy pressured an Air Force program to make sure its astronaut project had a person of color.

The life journeys of black astronauts are shared in the new documentary that looks at the final frontier of civil rights: getting black astronauts into space amid Jim Crow, danger, discrimination and the Cold War.

NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL RETURN TO SPACE FROM US SOIL ‘BEFORE SUMMER’: PENCE

Within four generations, they went from slavery to space.

The film shows how the former Soviet Union beat the U.S. and sent into space Cuban cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez.

He was the first Latin American and first person of African descent to reach space.

After his mission, he became a Cold War hero for Cuba — and his accomplishment was largely ignored.

Here is the story of five visionary Americans:

RONALD MCNAIR

Westlake Legal Group Ronald-McNair 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222

In this Jan. 27, 1986, file photo, the crew for the Space Shuttle Challenger flight 51-L leaves their quarters for the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Mission Spl. Ronald McNair, center, was only the second African American chosen to go to space. He died in the Challenger launch. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

In 1959, Ronald Erwin McNair walked into a South Carolina library.

The 9-year-old aspiring astronaut wanted to check out a calculus book, but a librarian threatened to call the police if he didn’t leave.

McNair was black.

Years later, McNair was selected to become only the second African American to travel to space, overcoming segregation, poverty and racist hidebound stereotypes in an intellectual act of resistance that inspired a generation.

Tragically, McNair died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy.

ED DWIGHT

Air Force Capt. Ed Dwight was selected for a trainee program and became an overnight hero in the black press.

However, the NASA program did not select him for the astronaut program.

ROBERT LAWRENCE

Westlake Legal Group Maj-Robert-H.-Lawrence- 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222

FILE – In this June 30, 1967, file photo, Maj. Robert H. Lawrence Jr., the first black astronaut in the U.S. space program, is introduced at a news conference in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo, File)

U.S. Air Force officer Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. was chosen instead.

The U.S. Air Force selected the Chicago-born Lawrence as the first African-American astronaut, and he may have made it to the moon.

Unfortunately, Lawrence died after his F-104 Starfighter crashed in 1967 at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

No African Americans would make it to the moon.

FREDERICK GREGORY

Westlake Legal Group Frederick-D-Gregory 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222

FILE – In this June 22, 2004, file photo, Deputy Administrator of NASA Frederick D. Gregory, left, talks as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science Lee M. E. Morin, looks on at a news conference at the India-United States Conference on Space Science, Applications and Commerce in Bangalore, India. (AP Photo/Gautam Singh, File)

During the Space Race era, Star Trek Communication Officer Lieutenant Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols in the 1960s NBC television series, got the closest to space, even though she was a fictional character.

Nichols would later speak out in public service announcements to recruit black scientists and pilots to NASA.

 Frederick Gregory, now 79, saw some of those ads.

“She was inside my TV one morning. She pointed at me and said, ‘I want you to apply for the NASA program,’” Gregory said. “She was talking to me.”

The U.S. Air Force pilot would apply and later become the first African-American shuttle pilot.

GUION BLUFORD

Westlake Legal Group Guion-Bluford 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222

In this Sept. 5, 1983, file photo, Guion Bluford, Jr., shuttle Challenger mission specialist, is shown in portrait on returning to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. (AP photo, File)

Guion Bluford would become the first African-American astronaut to go to space. The aerospace engineer made it to space in 1983 as a member of the crew of the Orbiter Challenger.

His trip came nearly 20 years after Kennedy sought to get a black man in space.

PROGRESS

Gregory said he’s proud of his role in breaking barriers and contributing to space exploration.

However, he’s now concerned about what comes next.

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In an interview with The Associated Press, Gregory said he recalls looking down at Earth while floating in space and traveling at high speed.

“Your concept of neighbor changes significantly,” Gregory said. “I began saying, ‘Hey, this is a world, and we are all part of it.’ When you go to space, you don’t see boundaries on the ground. You wonder, why do these people dislike each other. Your concept of what your home is changes.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Guion-Bluford 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222   Westlake Legal Group Guion-Bluford 5 African-American groundbreakers in the US space program Frank Miles fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space fox news fnc/science fnc article 3e3fb0e9-9ff8-5545-8b65-77bd15d70222

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Proposed House bill urges NASA to delay putting US boots back on the moon until 2028

An authorization bill introduced on Friday by Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla., urges NASA to delay putting U.S. astronauts back on the moon until 2028 in order to boost the space agency’s long-term plans for crewed Mars exploration.

Horn, who is the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee chairwoman, introduced the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2020” with ranking member Rep. Brian Babin, R- Texas, as well as members Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Rep. Frank Lucas, R- Okla.

“The goal of NASA’s Moon to Mars program shall be to land humans on Mars in a sustainable manner as soon as practicable,” the bill says. “The Moon to Mars program shall have the interim goal of sending a crewed mission to the lunar surface by 2028 and a goal of sending a crewed mission to orbit Mars by 2033.”

NASA REVEALS ITS VISION FOR THE ARTEMIS MOON LANDER THAT WILL RETURN US ASTRONAUTS TO THE LUNAR SURFACE

NASA’s Artemis program aims to land American astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable human presence on Earth’s natural satellite.

Westlake Legal Group NASAArtemisLander2 Proposed House bill urges NASA to delay putting US boots back on the moon until 2028 James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc article 2368ff10-33bf-56fb-a50d-0f35ae69f2f4

Artist’s rendering of an ascent vehicle separating from a descent vehicle and departing the lunar surface. (NASA)

The authorization bill introduced last week also calls for the continued operation of the International Space Station from 2024 until at least 2028. Additionally, the bill also addresses the construction of the Gateway Space Station and the launch of the Artemis Moon Lander, Space.com reported.

“The NASA Authorization Act of 2020 supports the Administration’s bold space exploration goal to return to the Moon and go on to Mars while maintaining NASA’s other important science and aeronautics work,” Babin said in a statement. “The bill ensures continuity of purpose for major programs like the Space Launch System, Orion, Gateway, and Commercial Crew; directs development of a Human Landing System; and ensures continued operations of the International Space Station to at least 2028.  I will continue to work with my colleagues to perfect this important bill and strengthen the Johnson Space Center as it moves through the legislative process.”

ON APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY, PENCE ANNOUNCES THAT ORION CAPSULE FOR MANNED MOON MISSIONS IS READY FOR DEBUT FLIGHT

Last year, NASA revealed details of its vision for the Artemis Moon Lander that will return American astronauts to the lunar surface.

In a notice posted to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website, NASA seeks “proposals from industry for the development of integrated human lunar landers and execution of crewed flight demonstrations to the lunar surface by 2024.”

Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, 2019, Vice President Pence also announced that the Orion capsule, which will take American astronauts back to the moon, is ready.

NASA ASTRONAUT EYES MOON JACKPOT, RANGING FROM SPACE MINING TO POLAR ICE

In documents posted on the FBO website, NASA explains that astronauts will be flown in an Orion spacecraft to the “Gateway,” a space station orbiting the moon. The Gateway vessel will be used to support the transfer of crew and supplies into the Moon Lander.

Initial mission capability for 2024 involves landing two astronauts on the moon’s South Pole. Astronauts will live and work out of the lander for six and a half days, according to NASA.

Longer-term, the lander will need to transport four people to the lunar South Pole.

TO PREPARE ASTRONAUTS FOR THE MOON, NASA IS USING A GIANT WATER TANK

NASA anticipates that a three-stage landing system will be used to take astronauts to and from the lunar surface. “The three-stage concept includes a transfer element for the journey from the lunar Gateway to low-lunar orbit, a descent element to carry the crew to the surface, and an ascent element to return them to the Gateway,” it explained in a statement. “From there, they would board Orion for the 250,000-mile trip back to Earth.”

The space agency, however, says that it is also interested in alternative approaches “that can accomplish the same long-term goals of global lunar access and a reusable landing system.”

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After Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, only 10 more men, all Americans, have walked on the lunar surface. The last NASA astronaut to set foot on the moon was Apollo 17 Mission Commander Gene Cernan, on Dec. 14, 1972.

NASA wants to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030s, although Aldrin thinks that a slightly later target date of 2040 is more realistic. In an interview in 2016, the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut told Fox News that by 2040, astronauts could visit Mars’ moon Phobos, which could serve as a sort of stepping stone to the Red Planet.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group NASAArtemisLander2 Proposed House bill urges NASA to delay putting US boots back on the moon until 2028 James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc article 2368ff10-33bf-56fb-a50d-0f35ae69f2f4   Westlake Legal Group NASAArtemisLander2 Proposed House bill urges NASA to delay putting US boots back on the moon until 2028 James Rogers fox-news/science/planet-earth fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/mars fox-news/science fox news fnc/science fnc article 2368ff10-33bf-56fb-a50d-0f35ae69f2f4

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NASA loses contact with satellite searching for distant planets

This may be a big year for NASA with a number of upcoming projects, but 2020 is off to a rocky start for the space agency, as it announced it lost contact with the ASTERIA satellite, a small spacecraft that’s designed to look for planets outside the Solar System.

NASA JPL said it lost contact with the Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics (ASTERIA) satellite on Dec. 5. The craft, smaller than a suitcase and known as a CubeSat, was observing “a handful of nearby stars” and was able to demonstrate “that it could achieve precision measurements of the stars’ brightness,” the agency said in a release dated Jan. 3.

“With that data, scientists look for dips in a star’s light that would indicate an orbiting planet passing between the satellite and the star. (This planet-hunting technique is called the transit method.) Mission data is still being analyzed to confirm whether ASTERIA spotted any distant worlds.”

Westlake Legal Group asteria NASA loses contact with satellite searching for distant planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 248b515f-c2f7-5832-9a72-6b792f0ad72a

Left to right: Electrical Test Engineer Esha Murty and Integration and Test Lead Cody Colley prepare the ASTERIA spacecraft for mass-properties measurements in April 2017 prior to spacecraft delivery ahead of launch. ASTERIA was deployed from the International Space Station in November 2017. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA 2020: MARS, RETURN TO THE MOON AND MORE

Since it completed its initial mission in February 2018, ASTERIA has been used to test a variety of functions to make CubeSats more autonomous, including the use of artificial intelligence, NASA said. “ASTERIA also made opportunistic observations of the Earth, a comet, other spacecraft in geo-synchronous orbit and stars that might host transiting exoplanets,” the space agency added.

“The ASTERIA project achieved outstanding results during its three -month prime mission and its nearly two-year-long extended mission,” said JPL’s Lorraine Fesq, current ASTERIA program manager, in a statement. “Although we are disappointed that we lost contact with the spacecraft, we are thrilled with all that we have accomplished with this impressive CubeSat.”

ASTERIA could also aid with missions such as the Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS), the replacement for the Kepler satellite. TESS has made a number of exoplanet discoveries, including its most recent find of an alien world that “should not exist” in its current location.

NASA: ANCIENT MARS OASIS COULD HAVE SUPPORTED LIFE

Even if NASA is unable to regain contact with ASTERIA, it said scientists will still be able to conduct experiments on the autonomy programs utilizing the mission testbed, a replica of the craft’s internal hardware.

ASTERIA has been sending data to NASA since 2017. Since completing its initial mission in February 2018, it has performed three mission extensions. NASA said attempts to contact the craft “are expected to continue into March 2020.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group asteria NASA loses contact with satellite searching for distant planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 248b515f-c2f7-5832-9a72-6b792f0ad72a   Westlake Legal Group asteria NASA loses contact with satellite searching for distant planets fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article 248b515f-c2f7-5832-9a72-6b792f0ad72a

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Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission

Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft landed in the New Mexico desert on Sunday morning — days after the NASA mission failed because the capsule’s clock was improperly set, and the capsule ended up in the wrong orbit.

The Starliner launched by the Atlas V rocket Friday morning, but the capsule’s clock was not synced up properly with the timing on the rocket. The Starline “had a Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly causing the spacecraft to believe that it was in an orbital insertion burn, when it was not,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted shortly after the launch.

RELATED: BOEING STARLINER FAILS MISSION, WON’T REACH ISS AFTER LAUNCH DEBUT

“Because #Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control,” he added. “This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.”

An industry source with knowledge of the matter told Fox News on Friday that the Atlas rocket performed as intended, placing the Starliner into orbit.

Sent into space with only a test dummy in order to prepare for a flight with a real crew next year, the Starliner was supposed to spend a week at the International Space Station. Because of the mishap, the capsule was launched into the wrong orbit shortly after it launched. The station docking was scrapped, and Boeing and NASA decided to bring the spacecraft home as soon as possible.

BEER IN ORBIT: WHY SPACE IS THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR ALCOHOL

“We started the clock at the wrong time,” Jim Chilton, a senior vice president for Boeing, said Saturday. “As a result of starting the clock at the wrong time, the spacecraft upon reaching space thought she was later in the mission and, being autonomous, started to behave that way.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule on an Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force station, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Starliner spacecraft did not reach the proper orbit.(AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Hoards of people watched the Starliner’s initial flight take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week. It was visible for at least five minutes, but as news of a setback began to emerge, the mood quickly turned negative. NASA officials deferred to Boeing for updates.

Boeing, which has been working on the Starliner since 2010, was awarded a $4 billion contract by NASA in 2014 to work on the Starliner, as it looks to compete with SpaceX, NASA’s other commercial crew provider.

In March, the Elon Musk-led company successfully completed a similar demonstration. SpaceX has one more hurdle, a launch abort test, before it will carry two NASA astronauts on its Dragon capsule, which could happen as soon as spring 2020.

“Orbit is hard,” SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet to Boeing. “Best wishes for landing & swift recovery to next mission.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It’s been nearly nine years since NASA astronauts have launched from the U.S. The last time was July 8, 2011, when Atlantis — now on display at Kennedy Space Center — made the final space shuttle flight.

Since then, NASA astronauts have traveled to and from the space station via Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Russian Space Agency, costing the space agency $86 million per ride.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and James Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242   Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission

Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft landed in the New Mexico desert on Sunday morning — days after the NASA mission failed because the capsule’s clock was improperly set, and the capsule ended up in the wrong orbit.

The Starliner launched by the Atlas V rocket Friday morning, but the capsule’s clock was not synced up properly with the timing on the rocket. The Starline “had a Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly causing the spacecraft to believe that it was in an orbital insertion burn, when it was not,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted shortly after the launch.

RELATED: BOEING STARLINER FAILS MISSION, WON’T REACH ISS AFTER LAUNCH DEBUT

“Because #Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control,” he added. “This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.”

An industry source with knowledge of the matter told Fox News on Friday that the Atlas rocket performed as intended, placing the Starliner into orbit.

Sent into space with only a test dummy in order to prepare for a flight with a real crew next year, the Starliner was supposed to spend a week at the International Space Station. Because of the mishap, the capsule was launched into the wrong orbit shortly after it launched. The station docking was scrapped, and Boeing and NASA decided to bring the spacecraft home as soon as possible.

BEER IN ORBIT: WHY SPACE IS THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR ALCOHOL

“We started the clock at the wrong time,” Jim Chilton, a senior vice president for Boeing, said Saturday. “As a result of starting the clock at the wrong time, the spacecraft upon reaching space thought she was later in the mission and, being autonomous, started to behave that way.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule on an Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force station, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Starliner spacecraft did not reach the proper orbit.(AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Hoards of people watched the Starliner’s initial flight take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week. It was visible for at least five minutes, but as news of a setback began to emerge, the mood quickly turned negative. NASA officials deferred to Boeing for updates.

Boeing, which has been working on the Starliner since 2010, was awarded a $4 billion contract by NASA in 2014 to work on the Starliner, as it looks to compete with SpaceX, NASA’s other commercial crew provider.

In March, the Elon Musk-led company successfully completed a similar demonstration. SpaceX has one more hurdle, a launch abort test, before it will carry two NASA astronauts on its Dragon capsule, which could happen as soon as spring 2020.

“Orbit is hard,” SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet to Boeing. “Best wishes for landing & swift recovery to next mission.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It’s been nearly nine years since NASA astronauts have launched from the U.S. The last time was July 8, 2011, when Atlantis — now on display at Kennedy Space Center — made the final space shuttle flight.

Since then, NASA astronauts have traveled to and from the space station via Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Russian Space Agency, costing the space agency $86 million per ride.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and James Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242   Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission

Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft landed in the New Mexico desert on Sunday morning — days after the NASA mission failed because the capsule’s clock was improperly set, and the capsule ended up in the wrong orbit.

The Starliner launched by the Atlas V rocket Friday morning, but the capsule’s clock was not synced up properly with the timing on the rocket. The Starline “had a Mission Elapsed Time (MET) anomaly causing the spacecraft to believe that it was in an orbital insertion burn, when it was not,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted shortly after the launch.

RELATED: BOEING STARLINER FAILS MISSION, WON’T REACH ISS AFTER LAUNCH DEBUT

“Because #Starliner believed it was in an orbital insertion burn (or that the burn was complete), the dead bands were reduced and the spacecraft burned more fuel than anticipated to maintain precise control,” he added. “This precluded @Space_Station rendezvous.”

An industry source with knowledge of the matter told Fox News on Friday that the Atlas rocket performed as intended, placing the Starliner into orbit.

Sent into space with only a test dummy in order to prepare for a flight with a real crew next year, the Starliner was supposed to spend a week at the International Space Station. Because of the mishap, the capsule was launched into the wrong orbit shortly after it launched. The station docking was scrapped, and Boeing and NASA decided to bring the spacecraft home as soon as possible.

BEER IN ORBIT: WHY SPACE IS THE NEXT FRONTIER FOR ALCOHOL

“We started the clock at the wrong time,” Jim Chilton, a senior vice president for Boeing, said Saturday. “As a result of starting the clock at the wrong time, the spacecraft upon reaching space thought she was later in the mission and, being autonomous, started to behave that way.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule on an Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force station, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Starliner spacecraft did not reach the proper orbit.(AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Hoards of people watched the Starliner’s initial flight take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last week. It was visible for at least five minutes, but as news of a setback began to emerge, the mood quickly turned negative. NASA officials deferred to Boeing for updates.

Boeing, which has been working on the Starliner since 2010, was awarded a $4 billion contract by NASA in 2014 to work on the Starliner, as it looks to compete with SpaceX, NASA’s other commercial crew provider.

In March, the Elon Musk-led company successfully completed a similar demonstration. SpaceX has one more hurdle, a launch abort test, before it will carry two NASA astronauts on its Dragon capsule, which could happen as soon as spring 2020.

“Orbit is hard,” SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet to Boeing. “Best wishes for landing & swift recovery to next mission.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

It’s been nearly nine years since NASA astronauts have launched from the U.S. The last time was July 8, 2011, when Atlantis — now on display at Kennedy Space Center — made the final space shuttle flight.

Since then, NASA astronauts have traveled to and from the space station via Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Russian Space Agency, costing the space agency $86 million per ride.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and James Rogers and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242   Westlake Legal Group AP19354622776478 Boeing's Starliner spacecraft returns to Earth, lands in New Mexico after failed mission Nicole Darrah fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox news fnc/science fnc article 53610b91-2edb-50a2-a680-54c99767e242

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NASA picks site on asteroid Bennu where it will grab space rock sample

‘X’ marks the spot as NASA prepares for a historic asteroid mission.

NASA has selected the site on asteroid Bennu where its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will retrieve a sample of space rock.

Scientists identified four potential sites before picking a spot dubbed “Nightingale” that is located in Bennu’s northern hemisphere.

ASTEROID BENNU IS SHOOTING OUT ROCKS – AND NASA ISN’T SURE WHY

“After thoroughly evaluating all four candidate sites, we made our final decision based on which site has the greatest amount of fine-grained material and how easily the spacecraft can access that material while keeping the spacecraft safe,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson, in a statement. “Of the four candidates, site Nightingale best meets these criteria and, ultimately, best ensures mission success.”

Westlake Legal Group NASABennuSampleCollectionSite NASA picks site on asteroid Bennu where it will grab space rock sample James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc article 0e7125ff-0533-51cd-800a-20f2b7d05273

This image released by NASA shows sample site Nightingale, OSIRIS-REx’s primary sample collection site on asteroid Bennu. The image is overlaid with a graphic of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to illustrate the scale of the site. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

A second site, dubbed Osprey, has been picked as a backup for sample collection.

OSIRIS-REx, which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer, launched in September 2016 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The spacecraft reached Bennu in December 2018.

NASA’S OSIRIS-REX SPACECRAFT REACHES ASTEROID BENNU AFTER EPIC JOURNEY

Westlake Legal Group nasa-bennu NASA picks site on asteroid Bennu where it will grab space rock sample James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc article 0e7125ff-0533-51cd-800a-20f2b7d05273

This is a mosaic image of asteroid Bennu, from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

The spacecraft will use a robotic arm to grab the sample from Bennu.

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OSIRIS-Rex will make its first “touch-and-go” sample collection attempt in August 2020. The probe will depart Bennu in 2021 and is scheduled to return to Earth in September 2023, according to NASA.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group NASABennuSampleCollectionSite NASA picks site on asteroid Bennu where it will grab space rock sample James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc article 0e7125ff-0533-51cd-800a-20f2b7d05273   Westlake Legal Group NASABennuSampleCollectionSite NASA picks site on asteroid Bennu where it will grab space rock sample James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc article 0e7125ff-0533-51cd-800a-20f2b7d05273

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Beer in orbit: Why space is the next frontier for alcohol

The idea of alcohol in space may seem outlandish, but a number of companies and organizations are ready to tap into some new opportunities.

On Dec. 5, SpaceX launched a 3-ton shipment to the International Space Station containing a miniature of a brewery’s malt house. The barley grains were sent into space for a beer-malting experiment by Anheuser-Busch. It’s the latest in a series of Budweiser experiments to explore how barley germination is affected by weightlessness.

In December 2018, for example, Budweiser sent an experiment to the orbiting space lab to analyze strains of barley seeds as they go through rapid hydration, germination and drying associated with malting barley. “Results from this research could help the company develop new malt barley varieties that are more tolerant to extreme stress environments and could also provide valuable insight for the general agricultural community,” explained the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, in a statement released at the time.

SPACEX LAUNCHES PAYLOAD OF ‘MUSCLE MICE,’ BARLEY GRAINS TO SPACE STATION

Fox News has reached out to Anheuser-Busch with a request for comment on this story.

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December 5, 2019 – Cape Canaveral, Florida, United States – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule with supplies for the International Space Station launches successfully from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Other alcohol experiments also have been conducted in space. Last month, a dozen bottles of fine French wine arrived at the space station in the name of science. The red Bordeaux will age there for a year before returning to Earth. Researchers will study how weightlessness and space radiation affect the aging process. The goal is to develop new flavors and properties for the food industry.

In 2015, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced plans to send six samples of whiskey and other alcoholic beverages to the ISS, but the company did not have an update on the experiment when asked by Fox News.

APOLLO 8 ASTRONAUTS RECOUNT NASA’S EPIC FIRST MISSION TO THE MOON

Chris Carberry, author of “Alcohol in Space: Past, Present and Future,” said that alcohol-related space research has broad implications. Anheuser-Busch’s experiments with barley, for example, could have a direct effect on agriculture in space, according to Carberry.

“You’re getting a completely different industry that is trying to solve problems that we have to solve before we have a sustainable presence on the Moon or Mars,” Carberry told Fox News. “[In space] we need to create our own food fast.”

But what about consuming alcohol in space? In his book, Carberry explains that, while astronauts and cosmonauts are prohibited from imbibing in orbit, there are stories of Russian cosmonauts bringing cognac to the former Mir space station and to the ISS. On occasion, this cognac is said to have been shared with astronauts. “It turned into this bonding in space – floating orbs of cognac, just a little shot,” he said. “I think it has played an interesting diplomatic role.”

APOLLO 11: HOW ‘DUMB LUCK’ SAVED ICONIC MOON PHOTOS FROM BEING DESTROYED

As for the U.S. space program, there have been famous instances of alcohol in orbit. Miniature bottles of brandy, for example, traveled to space on the Apollo 8 mission in December 1968 but remained unopened. The following year, Apollo 11 Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin took communion, including wine, on the lunar surface.

In his book, Carberry discusses the role of  alcohol, and looks to the future, with a possible return to the Moon and manned missions to Mars on the horizon. “Alcohol has played a pivotal role, good and bad, in society,” he said, noting its impact on agriculture, diplomacy and human relations.

APOLLO 11: WHAT NEIL ARMSTRONG AND BUZZ ALDRIN SAW DURING DRAMATIC MOON LANDING

So what would a hangover in space feel like? Carberry says that it is still unknown. “We do not know how [alcohol] would metabolize in space,” he said.

And, additionally, he points out that in orbit, “nobody has ever become inebriated.”

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Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Michael Bartiromo, Caleb Parke and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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NASA announces new VIPER Moon rover that will explore the lunar surface

NASA has unveiled its plan to send a new lunar rover, VIPER, to the surface of the Moon.

“VIPER is going to rove on the South Pole of the moon and assess where the water ice is,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine during a wide-ranging speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington D.C. on Friday.

The government space agency notes that the Moon has vast reservoirs of water ice, an amount that could potentially reach millions of tons. The water will be used to sustain a human presence on the lunar surface.

NASA ASTRONAUT EYES MOON JACKPOT, RANGING FROM SPACE MINING TO POLAR ICE

“Water ice is oxygen to breathe, it’s water to drink,” Bridenstine said, adding that hydrogen in the water ice could also be used for rocket fuel. “We’re going to utilize the resources of the Moon to live and work for long periods of time.”

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Artist’s impression of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER. (Credits: NASA Ames/Daniel Rutter)

NASA plans to land VIPER, which stands for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, on the Moon in December 2022. When it reaches the lunar surface, the golf-cart sized rover will collect about 100 days of data, roaming several miles. VIPER’s instruments, including a 1-meter (3.28 foot) drill, will be used to perform soil samples.

The lander and launch vehicle that will deliver the mobile robot to the Moon will be provided through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contract to deliver science and technology payloads to and near the Moon, the space agency said, in a statement.

TRUMP CALLS TO CONGRATULATE ‘BRILLIANT’ NASA ASTRONAUTS DURING THEIR HISTORIC ALL-FEMALE SPACEWALK

NASA’s Artemis program aims to land American astronauts, including the first woman, on the Moon by 2024 and establish a sustainable human presence on Earth’s natural satellite.

Westlake Legal Group NASAViper2 NASA announces new VIPER Moon rover that will explore the lunar surface James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc fd11c0e1-df8a-557b-a77b-2d9ac79faaac article

A VIPER mobility testbed, an engineering model created to evaluate the rover’s mobility system. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center)

Initial mission capability for 2024 involves landing two astronauts on the Moon’s south pole. Astronauts will live and work out of the lander for six-and-a-half days, according to the agency.

NASA REVEALS ITS VISION FOR THE ARTEMIS MOON LANDER THAT WILL RETURN US ASTRONAUTS TO THE LUNAR SURFACE

Speaking at IAC, Bridenstine also raised the possibility that the next two astronauts to reach the moon could both be female. “That’s an important point to make,” he added.

NASA recently released a “woman on the Moon” illustration for the Artemis mission. “Artemis, the twin sister of Apollo and Goddess of the Moon and the hunt, encompasses all of our present efforts to return humans to the Moon — to prepare us and propel us on to Mars,” the space agency explains on its website. “The portrait of the Greek Goddess, Artemis is illustrated in the highlights and shadows of the crescent Moon topography. Her features are abstract enough that any woman can see themselves in her.”

Earlier this year, NASA released details of its vision for the Artemis Moon lander that will return U.S. astronauts to the lunar surface.

ON APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY, PENCE ANNOUNCES THAT ORION CAPSULE FOR MANNED MOON MISSIONS IS READY FOR DEBUT FLIGHT

In July, NASA said it was seeking “proposals from industry for the development of integrated human lunar landers and execution of crewed flight demonstrations to the lunar surface by 2024,” according to a notice posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website.

Speaking at Kennedy Space Center on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing on July 20, Vice President Mike Pence also announced that the Orion capsule that will take American astronauts back to the Moon is ready.

In documents posted on the FBO website, NASA explained that astronauts will be flown in an Orion spacecraft to the ‘Gateway,’ a space station orbiting the Moon. The Gateway vessel will be used to support the transfer of crew and supplies into the Moon Lander.

APOLLO 11 SHOCKER: BUZZ ALDRIN’S FACE DISCOVERED IN ICONIC PHOTO

After Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon on July 20, 1969, only 10 more men, all Americans, walked on the lunar surface.  Apollo 17 Mission Cmdr. Cernan became the last NASA astronaut to set foot on the Moon on Dec. 14, 1972.

Last week, NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir made history when they completed the first all-female spacewalk.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group NASAViper NASA announces new VIPER Moon rover that will explore the lunar surface James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc fd11c0e1-df8a-557b-a77b-2d9ac79faaac article   Westlake Legal Group NASAViper NASA announces new VIPER Moon rover that will explore the lunar surface James Rogers fox-news/science/air-and-space/spaceflight fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox news fnc/science fnc fd11c0e1-df8a-557b-a77b-2d9ac79faaac article

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Humans will never live on another planet, Nobel Laureate says. Here’s why.

Here’s the reality: We’re messing up the Earth and any far-out ideas of colonizing another orb when we’re done with our own are wishful thinking. That’s according to Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics this year for discovering the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system.

“If we are talking about exoplanets, things should be clear: We will not migrate there,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). He said he felt the need to “kill all the statements that say, ‘OK, we will go to a livable planet if one day life is not possible on Earth.'”

All of the known exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system, are too far away to feasibly travel to, he said. “Even in the very optimistic case of a livable planet that is not too far, say a few dozen light years, which is not a lot, it’s in the neighbourhood, the time to go there is considerable,” he added.

Related: 8 Ways Global Warming Is Already Changing the World

Mayor shared half of the Nobel Prize this year along with Didier Queloz for discovering the first exoplanet in October 1995. Using novel instruments at the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France, they detected a gas giant similar to Jupiter, which they named 51 Pegasi b. (The other half of the prize was awarded to James Peebles of Princeton University for his work in dark matter and dark energy).

Since then, over 4,000 other exoplanets have been found in the Milky Way, but apparently, none of them can be feasibly reached.

Stephen Kane, a professor of planetary astrophysics at the University of California in Riverside, agrees with Mayor. “The sad reality is that, at this point in human history, all stars are effectively at a distance of infinity,” Kane told Live Science. “We struggle very hard as a species to reach the Earth’s moon.”

We might be able to send people to Mars in the next 50 years, but “I would be very surprised if humanity made it to the orbit of Jupiter within the next few centuries,” he said. Since the distance to the nearest star outside of our solar system is about 70,000 times greater than the distance to Jupiter, “all stars are effectively out of reach.”

Well, you might say, plenty of things seemed out of reach until we reached them, such as sending aircraft on intercontinental flights. But “in this case, the required physics to reach the stars, if it exists, is not known to us and it would require a fundamental change in our understanding of the relationship between mass, acceleration and energy.”

“So that’s where we stand, firmly on the Earth, and unlikely to change for a very, very long time,” he said.

Mayor told the AFP: “We must take care of our planet, it is very beautiful and still absolutely livable.”

Andrew Fraknoi, emeritus chair of the astronomy department at Foothill College in California agreed that we won’t be able to travel to these stars in the near future. But “I would never say we can never reach the stars and possible habitable planets,” he said. “Who knows how our technology will evolve after another million years of evolution.”

Originally published on Live Science.

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