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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying supplies to International Space Station explodes after launch

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Washington: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket-propelling Dragon spacecraft laden with crucial supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) exploded shortly after lift-off in Florida on Sunday.

Two virtual reality headsets to empower astronauts aboard the ISS were part of the supplies on board the SpaceX’s seventh commercial re-supply mission.

“We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo re-supply mission to the International Space Station. However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

photo courtesy: www.spacex.com
photo courtesy: www.spacex.com

The cargo included food, systems hardware, research materials, computer resources and spacewalking equipment.

It also carried a docking adaptor to prepare the ISS for future commercial missions.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 launch failure marks three cargo failures from three different launch providers in the past few months.

In April, the Russian space agency lost control of its cargo ship en route to the ISS and were forced to abandon it.

In October 2014, an Orbital-ATK Antares rocket exploded on the launch pad, preventing supplies from reaching the ISS.

“We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight,” Bolden added.

The commercial cargo programme was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles.

“We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system.”

The failure, however, does not deter the space agency from further cargo missions.

A Russian “Progress” cargo vehicle will launch from Kazakhstan on July 3 to the ISS.

“Orbital ATK, our other commercial cargo partner, is moving ahead with plans for its next launch later this year,” Bolden said.

“We will work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure and correct it to move forward,” he said.

This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge. (IANS)

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NASA Launches Interactive Website Letting Users Explore In What Ways Space Technology Impacts Their Everyday Life

The US agency's collaboration with commercial companies has helped bring space technology back to Earth for over 50 years

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NASA
NASA's new website shows how space tech impacts people's day-to-day lives. Flickr

NASA has launched a new interactive website that lets users explore how space technology impacts everyday life on Earth.

The new website, called NASA Home and City, features about 130 spinoff technologies in a virtual space, allowing users to tour through buildings and rooms to discover common items that NASA inspired or helped improve, the agency said in a statement on Tuesday.

These spinoffs are commercial products that apply NASA technology originally developed for studying and exploring space.

“Introducing NASA Home and City! A brand new interactive website where you can explore all the ways NASA benefits you in your daily life,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, said in a tweet.

“From GPS to airplanes, from baby formula to the camera in your phone, NASA technology is all around you!” he added.

NASA
This is NASA’s Latest innovation. Pixabay

The US agency’s collaboration with commercial companies has helped bring space technology back to Earth for over 50 years.

These range from water filtration systems, originally designed to purify water for the Apollo astronauts to durable wind turbines, designed with Mars in mind to the selfie taking camera, the report said.

Also read- Apple CEO Tim Cook: “New iPhones Worth The Cost”

“Our space technology continues to improve life on Earth,” said Jim Reuter, the acting associate administrator of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

“NASA Home and City is a place of discovery for people, and especially students, who have ever wondered why space exploration should matter to them,” Reuter noted. (IANS)