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|Rocket Lab launch; Juno probes Jupiter||May 25, 2017 8:41 PM PDT | url | discuss | + share|
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New Zealand space launch is first from a private site - Commercial space venture Rocket Lab is launching 17m (56ft)-long rockets from a private launch facility in New Zealand; unlike other companies such as SpaceX and its big 70m, $62 million Falcon cargo rockets, Rocket Lab is focusing on small, relatively inexpensive ($5 million) rockets that can get tiny new "cubesat" and things into orbit for a fraction of the price ($77,000 for a cubesat ride). Today's test flight of their "Electron" rocket reached space, but didn't quite achieve orbit as was intended, for a reason yet to be determined.
image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles (source)
Juno peers below Jupiter's clouds - A stunning, "enhanced color" image of sea-blue whorls of hurricanes at Jupiter's south pole (enlarged version from NASA above^) leads off this article about what NASA's Juno probe has been up to since it reached the giant planet on July 4th of last year. One team member describes the atmospheric phenomena at the pole thusly: "Think of a bunch of hurricanes, every one the size of the Earth, all packed so close together that each hurricane touches the other."