Science News Roundup: NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft reaches asteroid; Russia launches first manned voyage to ISS after Soyuz failure
Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
SpaceX launches biggest U.S. 'rideshare' mission with 64 satellites
Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from California on Monday carrying 64 small satellites into low orbit around the Earth, which the company called the largest-ever "rideshare" mission by a U.S.-based rocket. The mission, dubbed SSO-A, also marked the third voyage to space for the same Falcon 9 rocket - another milestone for SpaceX's cost-cutting reusable rocket technology.
NASA deep space probe reaches asteroid deemed potential Earth threat
NASA's deep space explorer Osiris-Rex flew on Monday to within a dozen miles of its destination, a skyscraper-sized asteroid believed to hold organic compounds fundamental to life as well as the potential to collide with Earth in about 150 years. Launched in September 2016, Osiris-Rex embarked on NASA's unprecedented seven-year mission to conduct a close-up survey of the asteroid Bennu, collect a sample from its surface and return that material to Earth for study.
Russia launches first manned voyage to ISS since rocket accident
A Russian-made Soyuz rocket blasted a three-man crew into orbit on Monday, beginning the first manned voyage to the International Space Station since a mission in October was aborted in midair because of a rocket malfunction. The Soyuz lifted off at 1131 GMT from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques.
(With inputs from Reuters)
(With inputs from agencies.)