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All systems go for Thursday rollout of NASA’s Artemis 1 moon mission

In just a few days, NASA’s immense Crawler-Transporter 2 vehicle will carry the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket and Orion spacecraft on a 4-mile (6.4 kilometers) journey to Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This rollout will deliver the rocket and Orion to the pad where they will prepare to launch on a moonbound mission, currently set for no earlier than May of this year.

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Physicists get closer than ever to measuring the elusive neutrino

Ghost-like particles called neutrinos hardly ever interact with normal matter, giving the teensy apparitions supreme hiding powers. They are so elusive that, in the decades since their initial discovery, physicists still haven’t pinned down their mass. But recently, by plopping them onto a 200-ton “neutrino scale,” scientists have put a new limit on the neutrino’s mass.

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ULA: Russia sanctions not expected to disrupt Atlas 5 operations

WASHINGTON — The Russian rocket engines that United Launch Alliance needs to complete the remaining launches of the Atlas 5 are stored in the United States. The company said the operation of the vehicle will not be affected by the economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the Biden administration in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Tonga underwater volcano eruption shattered two records

An underwater volcano in the South Pacific erupted last month and shattered two records simultaneously: The volcanic plume reached greater heights than any eruption ever captured in the satellite record, and the eruption generated an unparalleled number of lightning strikes — almost 590,000 over the course of three days, Reuters reported.

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Venus’ extreme surface heat drives swirling winds in upper atmosphere, study finds

Scientists have shown how the swirling winds and searing heat on Venus work together in a revealing new study. The surface of Venus is hot enough to melt lead with temperatures averaging 872 degrees Fahrenheit (467 degrees Celsius). This extreme heat is maintained by a thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide that traps the heat on the planet in a greenhouse effect. This atmosphere also sports acid sulfuric clouds and a perpetual, swirling windstorm. In a new study, researchers reveal new insights into this planet’s strange wind and heat.

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Sierra Space to study Dream Chaser landings in Japan

WASHINGTON — Sierra Space has signed an agreement to study future landings of its Dream Chaser vehicle at a Japanese airport. Sierra Space, working in cooperation with Kanematsu Corporation and Oita Prefecture, announced Feb. 26 the memorandum of understanding regarding landings of Dream Chaser at Oita Airport. As part of the agreement Sierra Space and Kanematsu will collaborate on potential business opportunities in Japan and elsewhere in Asia for Dream Chaser.

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