SpaceX to make history in first astronaut launch - CGTN
(Scroll left and right to learn more) Elon Musk's SpaceX is set to launch the first crewed spaceflight by a private company on Wednesday, May 27. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be piloting the Crew Dragon capsule to their destination, the International Space Station. The launch window for SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida begins at 4:33 p.m. on May 27. It is the first crewed flight for NASA since its space shuttle program ended in 2011. If Wednesday's launch is canceled for any reason, the backup dates are May 30 and May 31. If the test succeeds, SpaceX will be certified by NASA for additional crewed missions to the ISS. SpaceX said Tuesday that it has raised $346 million in new funding ahead of the launch. Check out The China Report, our new weekly newsletter. Subscribe here!
NASA, SpaceX make final preparations for historic launch - CGTN
Two NASA astronauts will fly on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on Wednesday, the first launch of American astronauts on an American rocket from American soil since 2011.
Two NASA astronauts will fly on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, the first launch of American astronauts on an American rocket from American soil since 2011. The mission team concluded the launch readiness review for the upcoming mission, dubbed Demo-2, on Monday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, at a prelaunch briefing. NASA and SpaceX key managers have given the "go" for the launch, she said, adding the team continues to make progress toward the mission. Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, is scheduled for Wednesday at 4:33 p.m. Eastern Time from Kennedy's Launch Complex 39A. The two astronauts are scheduled to arrive at the ISS about 24 hours after launch. The spacecraft is designed to do this autonomously, but astronauts aboard the spacecraft and the station will be monitoring approach and docking, and can take control of the spacecraft if necessary, according to NASA. After successfully docking, Behnken and Hurley will be welcomed aboard the station and will become members of the Expedition 63 crew. They will perform tests on Crew Dragon in addition to conducting research and other tasks with the space station crew. The mission duration has not been announced yet. NASA said it will be determined based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch. (Cover image: An illustration of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket during the uncrewed In-Flight Abort Test for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. /SpaceX)
COVID-19 vaccine hunt: The Agenda in full - CGTN
COVID-19 shares 80 percent of its characteristics with the SARS virus, which has been studied for nearly two decades. Experts say there is real hope a vaccine is within reach.
If the world is ever to return to anything like normality, experts agree we need to find a vaccine for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Scientists across the globe are working towards just that with more than a hundred vaccines now at various stages of development, and a handful of those already being trialed in humans. On this week's Agenda with Stephen Cole, we examine the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine, and consider when we might find that golden bullet. Jerome Kim, Director General of the International Vaccines Institute in Seoul explained to us exactly how you go about looking for a vaccine, and described the unprecedented efforts going into finding a solution to the crisis. We also speak to Wu Xiaohong an English teacher in Wuhan, and her son, Lu Genglin both of whom are taking part in a vaccine trial in their home city where the virus was first detected. And we hear from Stephen Kissler at the Harvard School of Public Health and Evan H Bloch from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who tell us just why a vaccine is so vital and detail some of the other therapies being used in the battle against coronavirus.
China installs antenna reflector for Mars exploration mission - CGTN
China successfully integrally hoisted and installed the antenna reflector for its Mars exploration mission in Wuqing District, north China's Tianjin Municipality on Saturday.
China integrally hoisted and installed the antenna reflector for its Mars exploration mission in Wuqing District, north China's Tianjin Municipality on Saturday. As the key equipment for receiving the data from the Mars exploration, the high-performance antenna is 72 meters high and weighs 2,700 tons. Composing of 1,328 high-precision panels, it is about the size of nine basketball courts with the diameter of its main reflector of as long as 70 meters. New technologies have been applied in the design of the antenna, according to Li Hongwei, deputy director of the 39th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation. "We use the umbrella structure to support such a huge reflector, which weighs 450 tons, and hoisted it integrally," Li said. The successful hoisting and installation lasted for over one hour. Further improvement of the antenna body and equipment debugging will be carried out. China's first Mars exploration project will receive data signals from as far as 400 million kilometers away, an increase of 1,000 times compared with that of the country's lunar exploration. The 70-meter-aperture antenna is the largest one in the Mars exploration data receiving system built by the National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It will constellate with two established antennas from Miyun District in Beijing and one from Kunming city, southwest China's Yunnan Province, for receiving data from the Red Planet. "The signal from Mars is so attenuated that without this large-aperture antenna, the task cannot be accomplished," said Li Chunlai, deputy chief designer of China's first Mars exploration project. "For receiving the signal from the farthest point, we will probably have to use the 50-meter and 40-meter antennas in Miyun, and the 40-meter antenna in Kunming together at the same time, and synthesize the data so as to complete the data reception mission." Launched in 2018, the antenna project will build the largest single-aperture fully movable antenna in Asia, providing a solid foundation for deep space exploration in China China set up its first Mars exploration mission in 2016, aiming to launch a Mars probe in 2020 and complete orbiting, landing and roving in one mission.