Interested in SpaceX? Add SpaceX as an interest to stay up to date on the latest SpaceX news, video, and analysis from ABC News. An Earth-observation satellite built for Spain and two experimental satellites for internet service were successfully launched into orbit from California at dawn Thursday, creating a brief light show as it arced over the Pacific Ocean west of Los Angeles. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, reusing a first stage that had flown on a previous launch, lifted off at 6:17 a.m. from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Californians were hoping for a repeat of the spectacle that occurred during a Dec. 22 Falcon 9 launch during exceptionally clear twilight conditions, but this time the sky was much brighter, making the plume less brilliant.
The Broward sheriff deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned on Thursday, about a week after a school shooting there that left 17 people dead. Scot Peterson, a school resource officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s office, waited outside the school building without ever going inside, sheriff Scott Israel said during a news conference on Thursday. “What I saw was a deputy arrive at the west side of building 12, take up a position, and he never went in,” Israel said Thursday, referring to the school building where the shooter went on his rampage.
An ancient seal bearing a Hebrew script and recovered in Jerusalem may have belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. The clay seal dates back to the eighth century B.C. and was discovered in a Jerusalem excavation site, National Geographic reported. Trending: What Does the Future Hold for Skier Lindsey Vonn after Her Final Olympic Games?
President Donald Trump offered a full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association on Thursday as the organization mounted an offensive against efforts to tighten gun restrictions in the wake of a Florida school shooting that killed 17 people. Earlier Thursday morning, Trump went the furthest he’s ever gone on gun control, saying in a tweet he’d push for tougher background checks that screen for mental health, raising the minimum age of buyers to 21, and ending the sale of bump stocks. The president Thursday proposed “a little bit of a bonus” for teachers who go through “rigorous” training to carry guns in the classroom, saying he hoped they would be “people with great talent at guns” such as military veterans.
In global markets the price of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for high-tech products from iPhones to Tesla electric cars, has nearly tripled to $81,500 a tonne in two years. In Kolwezi, a mining town in southeastern DRC, Chinese entrepreneurs dominate the middle section of the market, purchasing the raw cobalt from miners and selling it on for refining. Transactions in the buying houses depend on the purity of the ore.
The arrival of plants on Earth changed the planet and its inhabitants in big ways, and a new study suggests they arrived far earlier than thought. University of Bristol researchers now say that land plants evolved from pond scum about 500 million years ago—a whopping 100 million years earlier than the history books tell us, per a release. The date we've long used is based on the fossil record, but fossils aren't so great when it comes to plants because they are far less likely to be preserved than, say, an animal with bones. Hoping to find the answer outside of the fossil record, study co-author Mark Puttick and a team of researchers looked for differences in the DNA of more than 100 plant and algal species to see when they diverged on the evolutionary scale, reports Science.
Thousands of chanting students, including survivors of the Florida school shooting, rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday, demanding changes to gun laws and threatening to remove Republicans who refuse to address new gun-control measures. A week after the massacre that killed 17 people, the students took their message into the gun-friendly halls of power in Tallahassee. Florida lawmakers have rebuffed gun restrictions since the GOP took control of both the governor’s office and the Legislature in 1999.
Kent Whitaker said he forgave his son Bart Whitaker, who is on death row and scheduled to be executed this week.
Two millennia ago, a small Greco-Roman temple in present-day Turkey awed and enthralled its residents. Was it the bloodthirsty will of Pluto, the god of the underworld? New research published on Feb. 12 in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences suggests a far earthlier explanation to the cave’s mystery: noxious carbon dioxide.
A European space probe has swung into position around Mars in preparation to analyze its atmosphere for possible signs of life. The European Space Agency said Wednesday its Trace Gas Orbiter successfully performed a delicate maneuver known as aerobraking that involved dipping into the red planet's upper atmosphere to slow the probe. The agency says the orbiter will start looking for trace gases such as methane, which can result from biological or geological activity, in April. It will also search for ice that could help future Mars landings. A NASA-made radio on board will also help relay signals from U.S. rovers on the surface back to Earth. Europe plans to land its own rover on Mars in 2021.
Students at high schools across the U.S. are staging walkouts to protest gun violence in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida. Students at many of the protests called for stronger gun control and said they’re taking action to protect schools because Congress hasn’t.
Mental decline is a natural part of aging, but for about five percent of the elderly population, their wits stay sharp well into their 80’s and beyond. At an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas last weekend, scientists from across the country came together to discuss their latest findings on the brains of super-agers, Science Alert reported. Super-agers are a small demographic of the elderly population that retain cognition on par with their far younger counterparts, sometimes up until the day that they die.
Brazil's defense minister said on Thursday that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX and other U.S. aerospace companies have expressed interest in launching rockets from its Alcantara military base near the equator and visited the site in December. "They were very impressed," Defense Minister Raul Jungmann told reporters. "They showed interest, but I can't say whether it will materialize." Alcantara's location makes it attractive because one-fifth less fuel is used to launch satellites into orbit along the equator compared with sites farther north or south. Besides SpaceX, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the Alcantara visit included smaller aerospace U.S. companies Vector Space Systems, which launches
Abdullahi Bego, a spokesman for the governor in Yobe state, said that authorities had no credible information that those missing from the village of Dapchi were taken by Boko Haram. Some witnesses, however, recalled seeing young girls being taken by the armed militants who also abducted 276 girls from the school in Chibok in April 2014. “I share the anguish of all the parents and guardians of the girls that remain unaccounted for,” Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted Wednesday evening.
Since 2011, NASA has been upgrading a mobile launcher originally built for the Ares I vehicle to fit its massive Space Launch System rocket. The project is well over budget—when all is said and done, the revamp of the $234 million tower is expected to cost an additional $678 million, per Ars Technica—but that might not be its only issue. As NASASpaceFlight.com reports, the 355-foot-high launch tower is now "leaning," possibly due to the recent addition of connecting arms. NASA acknowledges "some deflection and imperfections" but says the launcher is "structurally sound" and does not need any design modifications. "While NASA seems to believe this lean is not enough to require additional construction,
Neither Cruciani nor his lawyer Mark L. Furman commented outside court. Cruciani changed from a beige jail uniform into a white shirt and black pants and got into a waiting car. One former patient, Hillary Tullin, 45, called a sexual abuse hotline last year and reported that Cruciani had abused her between 2005 and 2013, authorities said.
German judges Thursday pushed back a decision on whether German cities can ban old diesel cars to reduce air pollution, with potentially dramatic consequences for a key industry and transport policy in Europe's largest economy. The court "wants to deliberate very thoroughly" on the question, presiding judge Andreas Korbmacher said, adding that the ruling will be announced on Tuesday. While a decision from the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig in favour of anti-pollution plaintiffs would not order any vehicles off the road, it could open the way for cities to do so in zones where the air is particularly contaminated by diesel exhausts.
More than half the world's oceans are being fished by large commercial vessels, particularly from China, according to the first view from space of global fishing practices published Thursday. The report in the journal Science used satellite data to track industrial fishing, and found that 55 percent of the world's oceans -- and possibly more -- are being exploited by big fishing operations. Half of the vessels are from China.
Cave paintings and artifacts like painted seashells have long been regarded as the work of early modern humans, who were thought to have more advanced cognitive abilities than Neanderthals. Dating cave paintings can be a difficult process, and unreliable techniques never allowed for the possibility that these could be the work of Neanderthals. Until now, that is. A new technique called Uranium-Thorium dating is less destructive, is more accurate and can go back further in time than other methods. U-Th dating looks at the deposits of carbonate on top of the paint, which contain traces of uranium and thorium that indicate when those deposits formed. That allows the researchers to determine an age
Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association’s Executive Vice President, told the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday that politicians and the media are exploiting the Florida school shooting to expand gun control and ultimately abolish the second amendment, striking a defiant tone in his first public remarks since the mass shooting that killed 17 people and reignited the gun control debate in the U.S. to a fever pitch. “They hate the NRA,” LaPierre said.”The elites don’t care one wit about school children.
Something is causing the Yellowstone supervolcano to stir in its sleep. A swarm of some 200 earthquakes has been detected beneath the slumbering giant since Feb. 8. The number of accompanying tremors is countless. Given the earth-shattering power of this super volcano — which is capable of covering much of the United States under a thick blanket of lava and ash — it’s enough to raise some serious eyebrows. But none of the quakes have been huge: The biggest came in at just magnitude 2.9. This means the shake was just strong enough to be felt by some people. But there was no damage to any structures. And the underground movements that caused them are not likely to have had any impact on the 60-billion-cubic-mile
An unknown assailant threw an explosive device at the U.S. embassy in Montenegro early Thursday before killing himself with another explosive. The attacker threw the device into the embassy complex, the government of Montenegro confirmed, before being killed in a second explosion. At 00:30, in front of the @USEmbassyMNE building in #Podgorica, #Montenegro an unknown person committed suicide with an explosive device.
For years, European countries have commanded the most powerful passports in the world. Now, that title belongs to Asia. The Passport Index, which ranks nations based on travel freedom and visa requirements upon entering foreign countries, declared Tuesday that South Korea now wields the world’s most powerful passport, joining Asian city-state Singapore atop the rankings. South Korea and Singapore now outrank Germany’s passport, which in recent times topped the charts.
The future of spacecraft in lower Earth orbit (LEO) looks to be an increasingly commercial affair. Bigelow Aerospace, a Las Vegas-based company that builds livable space habitats, has now created a spinoff company known as Bigelow Space Operations (BSO). BSO will market and operate any space habitats that Bigelow sells.
Allison Barrie on why American soldiers may soon be issued new, advanced night vision goggles similar to the type used by elite U.S. Special Operations forces.