SpaceX’s First Crewed Launch Was Scrubbed. Here’s the Next Possible Launch Window
(Cape Canaveral, Fla.) — The launch of a SpaceX rocket ship with two NASA astronauts on a history-making flight into orbit has been called off with 16 minutes to go in the countdown because of the danger of lightning.
Liftoff is rescheduled for Saturday.
The spacecraft was set to blast off Wednesday afternoon for the International Space Station, ushering in a new era in commercial...
TUESDAY 26. MAY 2020
Stormy Weather Threatens to Delay First SpaceX Astronaut Launch
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — Stormy weather is threatening to delay SpaceX’s first astronaut launch.
A SpaceX rocket is scheduled to blast off Wednesday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, carrying a Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. It will be the first time astronauts launch from Florida in nine years and a first for a...
MONDAY 25. MAY 2020
Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit Fails on First Rocket Launch Attempt
SpaceX and NASA Are Set for a Historic Crewed Launch This Week. Here’s How to Watch
(LOS ANGELES) — Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit failed Monday on its first attempt to launch a test satellite into space aboard a rocket carried aloft by a Boeing 747 and released over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California.
The inaugural launch had appeared to be going well until moments after the rocket was dropped from beneath the left wing of the jumbo jet dubbed...
It’s been a long time since the country that once flew nine crewed missions to the moon has been able to launch even a single human being to space aboard its own rockets from its own soil. Ever since the final flight of the space shuttle in July 2011, the U.S. has been dependent on buying rides aboard Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft—at a current $80 million a seat—if it wants...
SATURDAY 23. MAY 2020
President Trump Will Attend First NASA Astronaut Launch in More Than a Decade
(Sterling, Va.) — President Donald Trump plans to be on the Florida coast Wednesday to watch American astronauts blast into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center for the first time in more than a decade.
It will be the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011 that U.S. astronauts will launch into space aboard an American rocket from American soil.
Also new Wednesday: a...
FRIDAY 22. MAY 2020
Large Study Finds No Benefit — and Potential Harm — in Using Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19
In the largest observational study thus far investigating the drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, researchers found little evidence that it helps, and worrying evidence that the medication may cause harm.
In a study published May 22 in the journal Lancet, scientists in the U.S. and Switzerland report on an analysis of more than 96,000 people hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19...
THURSDAY 21. MAY 2020
How Remdesivir Works to Fight COVID-19 Inside the Body
On May 1, the U.S Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization of remdesivir, an experimental anti-viral drug. With this clearance, doctors in the U.S. are now allowed to use the drug to treat patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
Remdesivir isn’t new. It was initially developed to treat Ebola and was also tested in the lab against SARS and MERS—two other...
WEDNESDAY 20. MAY 2020
The Scientist Behind Some of the World’s Best Coronavirus Images
From her laboratory in the far western reaches of Montana, Elizabeth Fischer is trying to help people see what they’re up against in COVID-19.
Over the past three decades, Fischer, 58, and her team at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, part of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have captured and created some of the more...
TUESDAY 19. MAY 2020
Annie Glenn, Famed Astronaut’s Widow, Dies of Coronavirus Complications at Age 100
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Annie Glenn, wife of the late astronaut and U.S. Sen. John Glenn who overcame a childhood stutter to become an advocate for others with speech disorders, died Tuesday of complications from COVID-19. She was 100.
Glenn died at a nursing home near St. Paul, Minnesota, where she’d moved in recent years to be near her daughter, said Hank Wilson, a spokesman for the...
SUNDAY 17. MAY 2020
U.S. Military’s Mystery Space Plane Rockets Back Into Orbit
(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) — The U.S. military’s mystery space plane rocketed into orbit again Sunday, this time with an extra load of science experiments.
It’s the sixth flight of an X-37B, a solar-powered plane that’s flown by remote control without a crew.
Officials aren’t saying how long the spacecraft will remain in orbit this time or the purpose of the mission....
SATURDAY 16. MAY 2020
Humpback Whales Have Made a Remarkable Recovery, Giving Us Hope for the Planet
In the depths of the ocean, and out of sight for most of us, there’s a quiet miracle happening. Many humpback whale populations, previously devastated by commercial whaling, are making a comeback. And no, before you ask, this has nothing to do with the coronavirus.
A recent study on humpbacks that breed off the coast of Brazil and call Antarctic waters home during the summer has shown that...
FRIDAY 15. MAY 2020
A Vaccine Against COVID-19 Would Be the Latest Success in a Long Scientific History
Here’s betting you wouldn’t want anyone blowing smallpox scabs up your nose. But you might feel differently if you lived in 15th century China.
Long ago, the Chinese recognized that people who had contracted smallpox once were immune to reinfection. They came up with the idea of preserving scabs from individuals who had suffered mild cases, drying them out, crushing them to a powder...
WEDNESDAY 13. MAY 2020
The Economic Principle That Tells Us a Lot About Coronavirus and Climate
Report after report has documented the warning President Trump received about the growing threat the new coronavirus posed to the U.S. But Trump remained defiant, reports say, seeking to settle the markets and sustain the three years of economic growth that had underpinned his reelection campaign. Even after recommending social distancing and the closing of the U.S. economy, Trump insisted that...
TUESDAY 12. MAY 2020
Accidental Poisonings Increased After President Trump’s Disinfectant Comments
President Trump’s April 23 musing that injections of disinfectant could help defeat the coronavirus did not do much for his reputation as a reliable arbiter of public health. What’s harder to determine is how many people—if any—took his advice and in some way ingested the toxic chemicals. The most recent bulletin from the American Association of Poison Control Centers...
FRIDAY 8. MAY 2020
Human Urine Could Help Make Concrete on the Moon, Says European Space Agency
(Berlin) — The European Space Agency said Friday that human urine could one day become a useful ingredient in making concrete to build on the Moon.
The agency said researchers in a recent study it sponsored found that urea, the main organic compound in urine, would make the mixture for a “lunar concrete” more malleable before it hardens into its sturdy final form.
It noted that...
THURSDAY 7. MAY 2020
Insect Experts Say People Should Calm Down About the Threat of ‘Murder Hornets’
Insect experts say people should calm down about the big bug with the nickname “murder hornet” — unless you are a beekeeper or a honeybee.
The Asian giant hornets found in Washington state that grabbed headlines this week aren’t big killers of humans, although it does happen on rare occasions. But the world’s largest hornets do decapitate entire hives of honeybees,...
WEDNESDAY 6. MAY 2020
Astronomers Identify New Black Hole, Closest Ever to Earth
Meet your new but shy galactic neighbor: A black hole left over from the death of a fleeting young star.
European astronomers have found the closest black hole to Earth yet, so near that the two stars dancing with it can be seen by the naked eye.
Of course, close is relative on the galactic scale. This black hole is about 1,000 light-years away—and each light-year is 5.9 trillion miles...
MONDAY 4. MAY 2020
Will Coronavirus Be the Death or Salvation of Big Plastic?
It was supposed to be a blockbuster moment for the U.S. plastic industry. With an abundance of cheap natural gas at hand, thanks to the country’s fracking boom, U.S. energy giants were pouring billions of dollars into building new plants to turn that gas into plastic. As the world was poised to slowly turn away…
FRIDAY 1. MAY 2020
NASA’s Biggest Space Launch in Years Is Coming Up — But It Wants You to Stay Home to Watch
NASA Chooses Three Landers to Return Americans to the Moon
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA and SpaceX on Friday urged everyone to stay home for the first home launch of astronauts in nearly a decade because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Top officials warned the public against traveling to Florida for the May 27 launch of two NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station.
It will be the first launch of astronauts from...
It’s been nearly half a century since the U.S. had a spacecraft capable of landing human beings on the moon. As of today, it has not one, but three—if everything goes right.
NASA officials announced on April 30, in a teleconference with space-industry leaders, the three finalists it has chosen to build the 21st century version of the Apollo-era’s well loved lunar excursion...
THURSDAY 30. APRIL 2020
Alabama High School Student Names NASA’s First Mars Helicopter
(NORTHPORT, Ala.) — An Alabama high school student named NASA’s first Mars helicopter that will be deployed to the Red Planet later this summer.
Ingenuity, the name submitted by Vaneera Rupani, was selected for the 4 pound (1.8 kilograms) solar-powered helicopter, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday. The name coined by the junior at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport was...
MONDAY 27. APRIL 2020
James Beggs, NASA Administrator Who Resigned After Challenger Disaster, Dies at 94
(BETHESDA, Md.) — Former NASA administrator James M. Beggs, who led the agency during the early years of the space shuttle program and resigned after the Challenger disaster killed seven astronauts in 1986, died Thursday at his home in Bethesda, Maryland. He was 94.
Congestive heart failure is suspected to be the cause of his death, according to one of his sons, Charles Beggs.
SATURDAY 25. APRIL 2020
Astronomer Files Trademark Lawsuit Against American Girl, Alleging Astronaut Doll Copies Her Likeness
(MADISON, Wis.) — A Chicago astronomer has sued the maker of American Girl dolls, alleging the Wisconsin company stole her likeness and name to create its astronaut doll.
The federal trademark lawsuit filed in Madison this week by Lucianne Walkowicz asks American Girl and its parent company, Mattel, to stop selling the Luciana Vega doll, described as “an aspiring astronaut ready to...
FRIDAY 24. APRIL 2020
Meet Violet, the Robot That Can Kill the COVID-19 Virus
In just a few months, the COVID-19 pandemic has crossed borders and oceans, killing thousands, sickening millions, and forcing millions more to reckon with the economic and personal chaos of closures and lockdowns.
Yet as the global infection count rises, the crisis has also given rise to acts of ingenuity. The pandemic has set off a global race for both an effective vaccine and for the...
THURSDAY 23. APRIL 2020
Will Low Oil Prices Help or Hurt the Fight Against Climate Change? That Depends on Us
There are countless ways the current coronavirus pandemic has reshaped efforts to tackle climate change and will continue to do so for years to come. One of the chief challenges and opportunities for politicians, policymakers and climate activists is the period of low oil prices that has come about as a result of COVID-19.
For the first time in history, oil prices entered negative territory this...