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  • Moon mission costs spiral
  • Quasar tsunamis across galaxies
  • Falcon 9 overcomes engine failure
  • Critical space suppliers told to keep working


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Spaceflight Now

OneWeb is gearing up for launch of 34 more satellites for its broadband Internet network Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, despite reports that the company might seek bankruptcy protection and stringent restrictions on travel stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.


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The Hill

NASA’s Office of Inspector General has some grim news about the Space Launch System, the monster, heavy-lift rocket that the space agency hopes will take astronauts back to the moon by 2024. Costs continue to skyrocket, and the schedule continues to slip farther into the future.


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The cost of NASA’s upcoming moon mission has been a topic of widespread debate. Here, Mark Whittington presents his opinion on whether the mission needs to go ahead regardless.

NASA

As part of the Artemis lunar exploration program, NASA plans to return astronauts to the Moon and use that experience to inform future human exploration of Mars. To safely and comfortably explore for days at a time on the surface of these celestial bodies, astronauts need suitable equipment and places to live.


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Instituto de Astrofísica e Ciências do Espaço

Mars has a very thin atmosphere, with nearly one hundredth the density of ours on Earth, and gravity pulls with little more than one third of the strength we feel on our planet. As a result, dust storms can go global. For future missions to Mars, it is important to understand the planet’s airy envelope and to forecast its moods.


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Associated Press

Apollo 15 astronaut Al Worden, who circled the moon alone in 1971 while his two crewmates test-drove the first lunar rover, has died at age 88, his family said Wednesday.


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Space News

WASHINGTON — The slow-moving nature of spacecraft manufacturing will insulate OHB Systems, at least temporarily, from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a company executive.


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ESA

The first Orion spacecraft that will fly around the Moon as part of Artemis to return humans to the lunar surface has finished its space-environment tests at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Ohio, USA.


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Ars Technica

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the country, it is beginning to affect the global launch industry.


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NASA

Using the unique capabilities of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, a team of astronomers has discovered the most energetic outflows ever witnessed in the universe.


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iNews

Air pollution levels in the busiest areas have slumped this week as businesses shut down and people stay at home.


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Spaceflight Now

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch an Intelsat communications satellite with a NASA-funded air pollution monitor to be positioned over the Americas in 2022, officials announced Tuesday.


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CBS News

With the exception of “mission-essential” personnel, NASA ordered its civil service workforce at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Johnson Space Center in Houston and other field centers across the nation to begin mandatory work from home Wednesday to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.


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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many organizations shutting down operations. William Harwood finds out that NASA is no exception, with various astronauts under quarantine during the crisis.

Stanford University

A new type of robot combines traditional and soft robotics, making it safe but sturdy. Once inflated, it can change shape and move without being attached to a source of energy or air. Watch the video here.


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TASS

Specialists of the Mission Control Center have adjusted the orbit of the International Space Station ahead of the Soyuz MS-16 manned spacecraft’s docking, Roscosmos state space corporation said.


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Spaceflight Now

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket overcame a rare in-flight engine failure soon after launch from Florida’s Space Coast Wednesday to place 60 satellites in orbit for the company’s Starlink Internet network.


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Space News

WASHINGTON — Defense Department contractors in sectors such as aerospace, manufacturing and intelligence are part of the United States’ critical infrastructure and have to continue working during the coronavirus emergency, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said in a March 20 memo.


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Gizmodo

With covid-19 now spreading widely in the U.S., it’s no surprise that normal operations at NASA are being disrupted as well. Two NASA workers have already tested positive for the new coronavirus, and officials at the space agency are having to prioritize only the most essential missions. Here’s what we’re learning about how NASA plans to move forward with its projects during this unprecedented health crisis.


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AFP

NASA said it has suspended work on building and testing the rocket and capsule for its Artemis manned mission to the Moon due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the community.


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Business Insider

Long before the Coronavirus hit the planet, astronauts were the original experts on social isolation and self-quarantine. Now, they’re sharing tips on Twitter on how to keep ‘#EarthStrong’.


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Gizmodo

NASA and SpaceX are still planning on conducting the first manned commercial crew program launch to space as early as May, indicating that the timetable for the mission has not shifted despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


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Space News

WASHINGTON — SpaceX says it will take more steps to reduce the impact of its Starlink satellite constellation on astronomy, although astronomers disagree with statements by Elon Musk that the system will have “zero” effect on their work.


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Readers of Over the Moon will be familiar with worries about satellites effects on the night sky and our ability to make scientific observations. Here SpaceX claims progress.

CBS News

In final training for launch next month to the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy already expected to be following standard quarantine protocols in Star City near Moscow before the global coronavirus outbreak began its exponential growth.


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BBC

Greenland shed an extraordinary 600 billion tonnes of ice by the end of summer last year.


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The Cornell Daily Sun

For over 50 years, Cornell has made astronomical contributions in the ongoing efforts to explore and understand the mysterious inner workings of Earth’s rust-colored neighbor, Mars. In honor of these decades of research and discovery, The Sun illuminates the achievements of Cornellians past, present and future in their tireless expedition towards revealing the secrets of the Red Planet.


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Space News

WASHINGTON — As the coronavirus outbreak continues to shake up every sector of the U.S. economy, including the space industry, Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith says the company so far has been able to continue on with the development of its space vehicles and engines.


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