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Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid air

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan: A booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and U.S. astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing. The rocket was carrying U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin. Footage from inside the Soyuz showed the two men being shaken around at the moment the failure occurred, with their arms and legs flailing. The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome…

China says Tiangong-1 space station to hit Earth on Monday

BEIJING: China’s Tiangong-1 spacecraft will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at some point on Monday, the country’s space agency said in a statement. The Manned Space Agency did not specify a time when it expects the craft to enter the atmosphere in its statement on Sunday. No one knows for sure where debris may land though many experts believe much of the station will burn up during re-entry. Beijing said on Friday that it is unlikely any large pieces will reach the ground. South Korea’s National Space Situational…

U.S.-Russian crew returns from space station: NASA TV

A capsule carrying two U.S. astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut from the International Space Station landed in snowy Kazakhstan on Wednesday after a five-and-a-half month mission, a NASA TV live broadcast showed. The Soyuz spacecraft brought back Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei, from the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Alexander Misurkin, from Russian space agency Roscosmos. The capsule landed in the snow covered steppe some 90 miles southeast of the central city of Zhezkazgan at 8.31 a.m. (0231…

SpaceX launches super-computer to space station

MIAMI: SpaceX on Monday blasted off its unmanned Dragon cargo ship toward the International Space Station, carrying a host of science experiments and the most powerful computer ever sent into orbit. "Three, two, one, and liftoff," a SpaceX commentator said as the white Falcon 9 rocket climbed into the blue sky over Cape Canaveral, Florida at 12:31 pm (1631 GMT). Three minutes after launch, the rocket separated as planned, with the long, tall portion -- known as the first stage -- arcing back toward Earth and the second…

China tests self-sustaining space station in Beijing

BEIJING: Sealed behind the steel doors of two bunkers in a Beijing suburb, university students are trying to find out how it feels to live in a space station on another planet, recycling everything from plant cuttings to urine. They are part of a project aimed at creating a self-sustaining ecosystem that provides everything humans need to survive. Four students from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics entered the Lunar Palace-1 on Sunday with the aim of living self-sufficiently for 200 days. They say…

Space station debris shield floats away during spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL: A five-foot (1.5-meter) debris shield being installed on the International Space Station floated away on Thursday during a spacewalk by two veteran US astronauts, a NASA TV broadcast showed. Peggy Whitson, who became the world's most experienced female spacewalker during the outing, told ground control teams that a bag containing the debris shield floated away at about 10 a.m. EDT/1400 GMT. At the time, Whitson, 57, and station commander Shane Kimbrough, 49, were about midway through a planned 6.5-hour…