Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
NASA to make second attempt at debut moon rocket launch on Saturday
NASA aims to make a second attempt to launch its giant next-generation moon rocket on Saturday, Sept. 3, five days after a pair of technical issues foiled an initial try at getting the spacecraft off the ground for the first time, agency officials said on Tuesday. But prospects for success on Saturday appeared clouded by weather reports predicting just a 40% chance of favorable conditions that day, while the U.S. space agency acknowledged some outstanding technical issues remain to be solved.
Russia calls ageing space station “dangerous” as it plans successor
The International Space Station (ISS) is dangerous and unfit for purpose, Russia’s space chief said on Thursday, as Moscow pushes ahead with plans to quit the project and launch its own station. Yuri Borisov, head of the Roscosmos agency, said mass equipment failures and ageing parts were endangering crew safety on the 24-year-old station.
NASA orders five more astronaut missions from Musk’s SpaceX in $1.4 billion deal
SpaceX will launch five more astronaut missions to the International Space Station for NASA at the end of the decade under a $1.4 billion contract order, the U.S. space agency said Wednesday, taking the company’s total contracted missions for its Crew Dragon astronaut capsule to 14. The latest boost to SpaceX’s NASA contract is part of the agency’s effort to ensure a steady run of astronaut flights to the space station as Boeing, the other company with a similar crew transportation contract, has struggled to complete development of its Starliner space capsule.
NASA nears second attempt to launch Artemis moon rocket on debut test flight
Ground teams at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday began a final full day of launch preparations on the eve of a second attempt to send NASA’s giant, next-generation moon rocket on its debut test flight, five days after technical problems foiled an initial try. Mission managers were still “go” for a Saturday afternoon liftoff of the 32-story-tall Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and its Orion space capsule to kick off NASA’s moon-to-Mars Artemis program, successor to the Apollo lunar missions a half-century ago, NASA officials said.
(With inputs from agencies.)