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SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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From Space.com, NASA, SpaceX declare Crew-2 astronaut mission 'go' for Thursday launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA has given SpaceX the official go-ahead for the launch of its next crew mission to the International Space Station.

That mission, called Crew-2, will blast off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 6:11 a.m. EST (1011 GMT) on Thursday morning (April 22) from NASA's historic Pad 39A and Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be the second flight of this particular Crew Dragon. The capsule, named "Endeavour," first carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to and from the space station last year for the Demo-2 test flight.

It will also be the second flight for the first stage booster, which previously ferried the Crew-1 astronauts to the space station on Nov. 18, 2020. Strapped inside the Dragon will be four veteran crewmembers: NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
Meanwhile, Boeing pushes second Starliner test flight to late summer
The second test flight for Boeing's Starliner crew capsule, known as the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission, won't lift off until late this summer. After months of delays, NASA and Boeing have pushed the launch from April to no earlier than August, citing severe weather and technical problems with the spacecraft's avionics.

Boeing would be ready to launch the uncrewed Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station in May if an earlier opportunity should arise, the company said in a statement. However, a May launch would depend on the schedule of other space station servicing missions, the availability of the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket and the Eastern Range spaceport, the company added.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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I read elsewhere that Starliner might not be able to fly until early next year due to lack of available docking ports. Between crew rotation and cargo supply missions, ISS doesn't have any that aren't spoken for and that align with Boeing's timeline. I can't remember if that pertains to Demo-2 or only to their first crewed flight.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Kraken wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:56 pm I read elsewhere that Starliner might not be able to fly until early next year due to lack of available docking ports. Between crew rotation and cargo supply missions, ISS doesn't have any that aren't spoken for and that align with Boeing's timeline. I can't remember if that pertains to Demo-2 or only to their first crewed flight.
This probably explains that late August launch date. I expect that Bill Nelson, at his confirmation hearings, will be asked about the logic of continuing to fund the Starliner effort.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Bill Nelson's confirmation hearing is ongoing, and the level of derp has been significant.







Some good news regarding the recent HLS award:

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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A couple of stories of interest from Space.com

Tiny newfound 'Unicorn' is closest known black hole to Earth
Astronomers have apparently found the closest known black hole to Earth, a weirdly tiny object dubbed "The Unicorn" that lurks just 1,500 light-years from us.

The nickname has a double meaning. Not only does the black hole candidate reside in the constellation Monoceros ("the unicorn"), its incredibly low mass — about three times that of the sun — makes it nearly one of a kind.

"Because the system is so unique and so weird, you know, it definitely warranted the nickname of 'The Unicorn,'" discovery team leader Tharindu Jayasinghe, an astronomy Ph.D. student at The Ohio State University, said in a new video the school made to explain the find.
How long would it take to walk around the moon?
From our vantage point on Earth, the moon looks small. But if you were to hop in a spaceship, don a spacesuit and go on an epic lunar hike, how long would it take to walk all the way around it?

The answer depends on myriad factors, including how fast you can go, how much time every day you spend walking, and what detours you'll need to take to avoid dangerous topography.

Such a trip around the moon could take longer than a year, but in reality, there are a lot more challenges to overcome.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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It used to be that there was a theorized hard limit in mass between neutron stars and black holes.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” -Thomas Jefferson
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Bakhtosh wrote: Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:13 pm Lyrids meteor shower tonight
https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/m ... /list.html
Damn, I just washed my hair too :wink:

Sadly, the ambient lights around here at night pretty much preclude meteor watching :?
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Russia says it's leaving ISS in 2025, and will build its own little space station for some reason.
the Russian station, unlike the ISS, would most likely not be permanently crewed because its orbit path would expose it to higher radiation. But cosmonauts would visit, and it would also use artificial intelligence and robots.

He said Russia was ready to consider allowing foreign crews to visit, “but the station must be national … If you want to do well, do it yourself”.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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From nasaspaceflight.com, SpaceX heads toward launch of first reused crew vehicle in a decade with Crew-2, Endeavour :dance:
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour will begin its second mission Friday, with a crew of four astronauts on a long-duration trip to the International Space Station. Liftoff, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, is expected at 05:49:02 EDT / 09:49:02 UTC on Friday, 23 April 2021.

The Crew-2 mission will see Endeavour carry NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to join the Expedition 65 crew aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It will be the third crewed mission overall for SpaceX and its Crew Dragon vehicle following its Demo-2 flight last year and the Crew-1 mission which remains in orbit.
From space.com, How to see SpaceX's predawn Crew-2 launch from the US East Coast early Friday :pop:
People across most of the eastern United States have a great opportunity, weather permitting, to witness a SpaceX rocket launch four astronauts to the International Space Station early Friday (April 23). It may be an amazing spectacle, but you'll have to wake up before dawn to see it.

SpaceX's upcoming Crew-2 astronaut mission for NASA will launch a Falcon 9 rocket nearly parallel to the U.S. East Coast. Liftoff is set for 5:49:02 a.m. EDT (2249:02 GMT) from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to send the Falcon 9 and its Crew Dragon spacecraft on the right course to reach the space station.

You can watch the launch online here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA and SpaceX, starting at 1:30 a.m. EDT (0630 GMT). You'll also be able to watch it directly from NASA and SpaceX webcasts. But if you want to see the launch with your own eyes, you'll have to know when and where to look (and have good weather, as well).
Too early for me, I think. Depending on the wind, the launch rumble might not even wake me up :sleeping-sleeping:
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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It'll be 3:49 am for me, and I'm contemplating getting up. Astronauts!
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Zaxxon wrote: Thu Apr 22, 2021 10:44 pm It'll be 3:49 am for me, and I'm contemplating getting up. Astronauts!
Or are we just assuming there will be astronauts?

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Saw that on TV as a kid. Much preferred Hanger 18.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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SpaceX at something less than T-7.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Woohoo! First stage landed, 2nd nominal do far.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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The video cut out at the fun part of the first stage return! But safe on the drone ship. And everything else is nominal for Dragon. Nice!
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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And we should be getting some footage today of Ingenuity’s short lateral test flight.it’s a great day to be in the space exploration business!
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Apparently had I been out running as I normally would have been (hurt my back on Monday and have been resting up), the launch was visible with the naked eye from my part of SC. Oops.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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From our local cable news station, which does a lot of space coverage: SpaceX, NASA launch Crew-2 astronauts to the ISS. Has lots of photos and a discussion of the "jellyfish effect" seen on pre-dawn or post-sunset launches.
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Shot from downtown Orlando:
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Zaxxon wrote: Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:17 am Berger has a thoughtful article about the implications of last week's HLS award this morning.
I agree with his premise and I would argue that the bet on Starship will ultimately benefit planetary exploration missions as well. The heavy-lift capability of Starship and Falcon Heavy would shorten a lot of the cruise time for spacecraft to get to the outer planets, thereby minimizing the amount of planetary gravity assists and mid-cruise course corrections, thus reducing overall mission cost. Indeed, NASA can still maintain partnerships with foreign space agencies, only this time it will be in terms of cooperating on payloads and joint spacecraft missions rather than deciding who gets to be the launch vehicle.

In short, I'm thinking it will be a win-win for the manned and unmanned exploration of space.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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A look at the contrail following this morning's launch.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Interstellar probe would go deeper into space than anything previous.
The farthest human-made object from Earth is Voyager 1, launched in 1977 and now over 152 astronomical units from us, in which one AU is the average distance between the Sun and Earth. In baser terms, Voyager 1 has traveled over 14 billion miles to date, while its sibling, Voyager 2, has gone over 11.7 billion miles. New Horizons, launched in 2006, is now just beyond Pluto. The proposed probe, which would launch in the early 2030s, would make it to the heliosphere boundary in 15 years, compared to the Voyagers’ 35-year schlepp to the same place. The probe would be built to last 50 years, with the ultimate goal of making it 1,000 astronomical units out, dwarfing previous strides by human spacecraft and delving into the interstellar medium—the great void beyond the reaches of our Sun.
"We want to send a robot to nowhere. It will take 15 years to get there and won't send back any nice images" doesn't sound like a winning proposal, but I'm glad it's on the drawing board at least (even though the payoff would be way past my own expiration date).
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Kraken wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:31 pm Interstellar probe would go deeper into space than anything previous.
The farthest human-made object from Earth is Voyager 1, launched in 1977 and now over 152 astronomical units from us, in which one AU is the average distance between the Sun and Earth. In baser terms, Voyager 1 has traveled over 14 billion miles to date, while its sibling, Voyager 2, has gone over 11.7 billion miles. New Horizons, launched in 2006, is now just beyond Pluto. The proposed probe, which would launch in the early 2030s, would make it to the heliosphere boundary in 15 years, compared to the Voyagers’ 35-year schlepp to the same place. The probe would be built to last 50 years, with the ultimate goal of making it 1,000 astronomical units out, dwarfing previous strides by human spacecraft and delving into the interstellar medium—the great void beyond the reaches of our Sun.
"We want to send a robot to nowhere. It will take 15 years to get there and won't send back any nice images" doesn't sound like a winning proposal, but I'm glad it's on the drawing board at least (even though the payoff would be way past my own expiration date).
Thanks for posting about this. I hadn't heard about it but I think it would be one of those cool, geeky scientific missions that deserve to be funded.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Sad news, Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins passes away at 90
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After he first took flight as an astronaut nearly 55 years ago, the space industry mourns the passing of astronaut Michael Collins.

Collins died Wednesday at 90 years old after battling cancer.

Born on Halloween in 1930, Collins became a member of the third group of astronauts recruited by NASA, who were selected in October 1963.

His first mission as the pilot of Gemini 10 launched on July 18, 1966.

“Today the nation lost a true pioneer and lifelong advocate for exploration in astronaut Michael Collins," acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurcyzk said. "As pilot of the Apollo 11 command module – some called him ‘the loneliest man in history’ – while his colleagues walked on the Moon for the first time, he helped our nation achieve a defining milestone. He also distinguished himself in the Gemini Program and as an Air Force pilot.”

Collins became best known as one of the three Apollo 11 astronauts. He remained in lunar orbit on Apollo 11's command module while his colleagues, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, took the first steps on the moon.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Who wants to tell him?
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Isgrimnur wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:34 pm Who wants to tell him?
Sorry bro, those moon landings were faked.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:28 pm
Isgrimnur wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:34 pm Who wants to tell him?
Sorry bro, those moon landings were faked.
Good heavens guys, I posted that very thought several posts up :D

Seriously though, Collins was a great guy, he visited the launch center several times and came by and spoke to us.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:31 pm
Jaymann wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:28 pm
Isgrimnur wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:34 pm Who wants to tell him?
Sorry bro, those moon landings were faked.
Good heavens guys, I posted that very thought several posts up :D
As did Jaymann over in the Michael Collins thread. :coffee:
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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SLS Core Stage unloads off barge, heads into VAB for stacking.

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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From NASASpaceflight.com, Florida lawmakers protect spacecraft parts from finders, keepers
On its way to a splashdown with four astronauts, SpaceX's Crew Dragon "Resilience" shed some of its parts.

Exterior panels were purposely jettisoned to expose and deploy the parachutes that lowered the capsule to a safe landing in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Panama City, Florida, on Sunday (May 2). The doors, and the drogue chutes covered by one of them, dropped into the water separate from the Dragon while SpaceX focused on recovering the spacecraft and its crew.

Despite the possible appearance the panels were discarded, they remain SpaceX property, as affirmed by the Florida legislature. A bill enrolled on April 26 not only assigns penalties for keeping any found spacecraft parts, but requires all finds be reported to local authorities.

"The recovery of spaceflight debris is an increasingly common issue in Florida. The return of these materials is necessary to evaluate vehicle safety and performance," said State Representative Tyler Sirois, who authored the "Recovery of Spaceflight Assets" legislation.

The bill confirms that commercial spaceflight companies such as SpaceX, along with other entities involved in launching rockets and spacecraft, retain ownership of their hardware, even after the mission is over. It requires that anyone who finds "reasonably identifiable" spacecraft parts report them to local law enforcement and that the authorities then make a "reasonable effort" to notify the hardware's owner.

The legislation also allows the company (or other entity) to enter private property if needed to recover the parts.

Anyone failing to surrender found parts could be charged with "misappropriation of a spaceflight asset," a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in prison or a $1,000 fine. Violators could also be ordered to pay restitution to the owner if the hardware is damaged or cannot be recovered.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Also, Rocket debris from China's space station launch is falling back to Earth — but where?
A large Chinese rocket is set to make an uncontrolled reentry back into Earth's atmosphere, but it is not yet clear exactly where or when the debris will hit our planet.

China's Long March 5B rocket is "unpredictably" falling back to Earth after launching a part of the new T-shaped Chinese space station on Thursday local time in Wenchang, according to SpaceNews. The 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe space station module is in its correct orbit after separating as planned from the core stage of the rocket, which is now expected to re-enter in a few days or about a week.

"It will be one of the largest instances of uncontrolled reentry of a spacecraft and could potentially land on an inhabited area," SpaceNews said. That said, the more likely possibility is the core stage will fall in an uninhabited place like Earth's oceans, which cover 70% of the planet. The odds of a particular individual being hit by space debris are exceedingly low, once estimated at 1 in several trillion.

Plotting the trajectory of this falling rocket stage is difficult, if not impossible because there are too many uncertainties involved in calculating the effect of the atmospheric drag on the core module. Earth's atmosphere can expand or contract with solar activity, making it hard to estimate exactly when and where the rocket will come down.

"The high speed of the rocket body means it orbits the Earth roughly every 90 minutes and so a change of just a few minutes in reentry time results in reentry point thousands of kilometers away," SpaceNews said, adding that the object's orbital inclination of 41.5 degrees means it "passes a little farther north than New York, Madrid and Beijing and as far south as southern Chile and Wellington, New Zealand, and could make its reentry at any point within this area."
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Note to self: Carry an umbrella.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Another SpaceX Starlink launch today.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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jztemple2 wrote: Tue May 04, 2021 9:10 am Another SpaceX Starlink launch today.
And looking likely to at least attempt Starship SN15 launch/land. Prob 50/50 it'll scrub, but road closures and the like are in effect.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Sixty years ago today, Alan Shepard rode a Redstone booster to become America's first man in space in the Friendship 7 capsule. It was a suborbital flight that came 23 days after Gagarin orbited the Earth, so it was a bittersweet achievement.

I was only 4 years old so it might be a false memory, but I think I remember watching it on TV. I'm sure my parents would've had it on, and I watched every manned launch through the Apollo program. If I ever missed any it's because they were after my bedtime. :lol:
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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For anyone who didn't see the news, the Chinese rocket crashed into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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If you cant do it safely you shouldn't be allowed in space.
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Re: SPACE - random thread about space stuff

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Daehawk wrote: Sun May 09, 2021 2:23 pm If you cant do it safely you shouldn't be allowed in space.
In 1979 we dropped Skylab all over Australia.
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