Astra test-fires rocket ahead of 1st Florida launch (video)

Astra took another step forward in preparing for its first-ever launch of operational satellites. The California company performed a “static fire” test with its Rocket 3.3 vehicle at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Saturday (Jan. 22), briefly igniting the launcher’s first-stage engines while keeping it anchored to the pad. The test is part … Read more

Thomas Pesquet: 1st French astronaut to command the International Space Station

Thomas Pesquet is a European Space Agency astronaut who was the first person from France to command the International Space Station. While Pesquet’s background is in spacecraft design and control, he is also well-known for engagement activities in space such as playing music or performing regular tours of the International Space Station (ISS). He even … Read more

Researchers detect 1st merger between black holes with eccentric orbits

Scientists have for the first time confirmed the merger of two highly eccentric black holes.  Egg-shaped eccentric orbits form when two black holes spiral towards each other and collide under each other’s strong gravitational influence. Therefore, highly eccentric orbits may suggest black holes repeatedly snack on other black holes in densely populated areas, like the … Read more

Axiom’s 1st private crew launch to space station delayed to March

Houston-based Axiom Space now plans to launch its first space mission to the International Space Station on March 31, more than one month later than its initial target. NASA quietly made the announcement Tuesday (Jan. 18) at the bottom of an International Space Station blog post otherwise focused on a recent Russian spacewalk at the … Read more

These Ancient ‘War Donkeys’ Were Likely The 1st Human-Bred Hybrid Animals

Mesopotamians were using hybrids of domesticated donkeys and wild asses to pull their war wagons 4,500 years ago – at least 500 years before horses were bred for the purpose, a new study reveals.   The analysis of ancient DNA from animal bones unearthed in northern Syria resolves a long-standing question of just what type of animals … Read more

James Webb Space Telescope has unfolded 1st wing of massive golden mirror

The iconic golden mirror of NASA’s massive new observatory is taking shape. The James Webb Space Telescope unfolded the panel that carries the three leftmost segments of its hexagonal gold-coated primary mirror on Friday (Jan. 7). Nearly two weeks after the observatory’s launch, the successful maneuver brings the telescope close to its final form. “Webb’s … Read more

SpaceX lofts 49 Starlink internet satellites to orbit in 1st launch of 2022

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX successfully launched its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year Thursday (Jan. 6), sending a new stack of Starlink satellites into orbit from Florida, before nailing a landing at sea.  The previously flown Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 4:49 p.m. EST (2149 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at … Read more

1st orbital test flight of SpaceX’s Starship Mars rocket pushed to March at the earliest

We’ll have to wait a bit longer for the orbital debut of SpaceX’s Starship Mars rocket. SpaceX had been aiming to launch Starship on its first orbital test flight in January or February, provided that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wrapped up a programmatic environmental assessment (PEA) of the company’s South Texas launch site … Read more

An exclusive 1st look at ‘Star Trek: Discovery – The Book of Grudge’ from Hero Collector

Those talented folk at Hero Collector — the same people who make all those incredible models (and accompanying books) of sci-fi spacecraft — have launched a truly unique book; an extremely colorful and entertaining work based on Grudge the cat’s enlightening perspective of all things USS Discovery. “Star Trek: Discovery – The Book of Grudge” will be … Read more

NASA clears Axiom crew for 1st private mission to International Space Station

The astronauts launching with the first private crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) next year have cleared all their medical evaluations.  NASA and its international partners approved the four-person crew for Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), which is scheduled to launch on Feb. 28, 2022. The Ax-1 crew includes Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark … Read more