Teenager to fly into space with Jeff Bezos

An 18-year-old is to become the youngest person to fly to space when he joins Jeff Bezos on the first human flight by his space company on 20 July. Oliver Daemen will fly in place of an anonymous $28m (£20m) winning bidder of a public auction. The winner of the auction could not fly on the mission “due to scheduling conflicts”, Mr Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin said. The teenager is the son of Somerset Capital Partners CEO Joes Daemen. Mr Daemen had secured a seat on the second flight but was moved up to the first when the winning bidder … Continue reading Teenager to fly into space with Jeff Bezos

Billionaire space race: Branson aims to make trip ahead of Bezos

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson will travel to the edge of space on Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc’s test flight on July 11, Branson’s space tourism firm said on Thursday, beating out fellow billionaire and aspiring astronaut Jeff Bezos. A successful flight by Branson on board Virgin’s VSS Unity spaceplane would mark a key milestone in a race to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel. It would also mean that Branson would travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere ahead of Bezos, the founder of rival space tourism venture Blue Origin. Bezos, who founded retail giant Amazon.com Inc, is slated to … Continue reading Billionaire space race: Branson aims to make trip ahead of Bezos

Futuristic: Flying car completes test flight between airports

A prototype flying car has completed a 35-minute flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. The hybrid car-aircraft, AirCar, is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel. Its creator, Prof Stefan Klein, said it could fly about 1,000km (600 miles), at a height of 8,200ft (2,500m), and had clocked up 40 hours in the air so far. It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft. The narrow wings fold down along the sides of the car. Prof Klein drove it straight off the runway and into town upon arrival, … Continue reading Futuristic: Flying car completes test flight between airports

Nasa announces two new missions

Nasa has announced that it is sending two new missions to Venus in order to examine the planet’s atmosphere and geological features. The missions, which have each been awarded $500m (£352m) in funding, are due to launch between 2028 and 2030. Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said the missions would offer the “chance to investigate a planet we haven’t been to in more than 30 years”. The last probe to visit the planet was the Magellan orbiter in 1990. However other vessels have made fly-bys since then. The missions were picked following a peer-review process and were chosen based on their … Continue reading Nasa announces two new missions

Space: China’s Zhurong rover returns first pictures

China has released the first pictures taken by its Zhurong rover on Mars. The forward view shows the landscape ahead of the robot as it sits on its landing platform; the rear-looking image reveals Zhurong’s solar panels. The rover touched down on the Red Planet early on Sunday, Beijing time. In doing so, it made China only the second nation, after America to successfully put a probe on the surface of Mars and operate it for a significant length of time. Chinese scientists hope get at least 90 Martian days of service out of the six-wheeled robot at its location … Continue reading Space: China’s Zhurong rover returns first pictures

Russia picks team for film shot on International Space Station

Russia has chosen a famous actress and an award-winning director to fly to the International Space Station and make what it calls the first movie in space. Yulia Peresild, 36, and Klim Shipenko, 37, will blast off in a Russian rocket from Baikonur cosmodrome on 5 October. The drama has the working title Challenge. Russia’s Roscosmos space agency says it wants to show space opening up for a wider range of people. Nasa and actor Tom Cruise also plan to make a film aboard the space station. It is not yet clear when their Hollywood space movie, announced last year, … Continue reading Russia picks team for film shot on International Space Station

China launches first module of new space station

China has launched a key module of a new permanent space station, the latest in Beijing’s increasingly ambitious space program. The Tianhe module – which contains living quarters for crew members – was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on a Long March-5B rocket. China hopes to have the new station operational by 2022. The only space station currently in orbit is the International Space Station, from which China is excluded. China has been a late starter when it comes to space exploration. It was only in 2003 that it sent its first astronaut into orbit, making it the … Continue reading China launches first module of new space station

Man released after 15 years in prison following new ‘shaken baby syndrome’ research

A California man has been released from prison after a judge resentenced him to a lesser offense in the death of his son due to the changing science behind “shaken baby syndrome,” The Associated Press reports. Clifton Jones was released from Soledad State Prison, where he spent 15 years after a 2005 conviction for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse, this month. He was serving a prison sentence of 25 years to life. Jones’s defense argued during his trial that he had tripped and fallen into a wall while holding his infant, resulting in the baby’s death. But two experts testified that … Continue reading Man released after 15 years in prison following new ‘shaken baby syndrome’ research

SpaceX rocket goes up in flames after landing

The third time appeared to be the charm for Elon Musk’s Starship prototype rocket, until it wasn’t. The rocket soared into the sky in a high-altitude test on Wednesday from Boca Chica in Texas, then flew itself back to Earth and manoeuvred into its first successful upright landing, but the triumph was short-lived. “A beautiful soft landing,” a SpaceX commentator said during a live broadcast of the test flight, as an automated fire-suppression system trained a stream of water on flames still burning at the base of the rocket. About eight minutes later it blew itself to pieces, lurching into … Continue reading SpaceX rocket goes up in flames after landing

Denmark to build ‘first energy island’ in North Sea

A project to build a giant island providing enough energy for three million households has been given the green light by Denmark’s politicians. The world’s first energy island will be as big as 18 football pitches (120,000sq m), but there are hopes to make it three times that size, it will serve as a hub for 200 giant offshore wind turbines. It is the biggest construction project in Danish history, costing an estimated 210bn kroner (£24bn; €28bn: $34bn). Situated 80km (50 miles) out to sea, the artificial island would be at least half-owned by the state but partly by the … Continue reading Denmark to build ‘first energy island’ in North Sea

Three men to pay $55m each for SpaceX flight

The first private space station crew was introduced Tuesday, three men who are each paying $55m to fly on a SpaceX rocket. They’ll be led by a former NASA astronaut now working for Axiom Space, the Houston company that arranged the trip for next January. “This is the first private flight to the International Space Station. It’s never been done before,” said Axiom’s chief executive and president Mike Suffredini, a former space station programme manager for NASA. While mission commander Michael Lopez-Alegria is well known in space circles, “the other three guys are just people who want to be able … Continue reading Three men to pay $55m each for SpaceX flight

SpaceX test flight of ‘Starship’ prototype ends in fiery crash

SpaceX launched its shiny, bullet-shaped, straight-out-of-science fiction Starship several miles into the air from a remote corner of Texas on Wednesday, but the 6 ½-minute test flight ended in an explosive fireball at touchdown. It was the highest and most elaborate flight yet for the rocketship that Elon Musk says could carry people to Mars in as little as six years, despite the catastrophic finale, he was thrilled, this latest prototype the first one equipped with a nose cone, body flaps and three engines was shooting for an altitude of up to eight miles (12.5 kilometers). That’s almost 100 times higher … Continue reading SpaceX test flight of ‘Starship’ prototype ends in fiery crash