The Saturn V launches are the probably the most iconic launches of the Apollo era, a 363-foot rocket riding on a pillar of flames. But the Gemini launches were, in many ways, far more beautiful. The sleek Titan II missile launched the streamlined spacecraft into orbit on a clear flame. It also made a “bwooping” sound at the moment just before liftoff, a uniquely strange sound.
After the explosion of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday, the hunt is on to find out what went wrong. Although the company says it still isn't sure what the hell happened, the Air Force has just announced that its safety officers sent the command for the rocket to destroy itself--but that was long after it was already breaking apart from a malfunction, USA Today reports.
One of Microsoft's most ambitious projects of the last few decades is HoloLens, a prototype headset that displays holograms over the real world as you look around. Also known as augmented reality, the technology has so far-been used for mostly entertainment purposes, putting Minecraft on your tabletop, for example. But now Microsoft is teaming up with NASA to take HoloLens much further than its ever gone before: outer space, to be exact. NASA and Microsoft have already been testing HoloLens in weightless environments simulated on a plane:
SpaceX will attempt to make history on Sunday. After launching supplies to the International Space Station, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket will separate from the cargo capsule and fall back toward Earth. With any luck, it will touch down softly on a drone ship in the ocean, and usher in a new era of space exploration.