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

Chuck Yeager, first pilot to fly supersonic dies aged 97

US test pilot Chuck Yeager, the first person to break the sound barrier, has died aged 97, his wife says. In a tweet, Victoria Yeager wrote: “It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET”. Yeager went into the history books after his flight in the Bell X-1 experimental rocket plane in 1947, e later broke several other speed and altitude records, helping to pave the way for the US space programme. “An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will … Continue reading Chuck Yeager, first pilot to fly supersonic dies aged 97