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Just how durable is the new iPhone 6?

SquareTrade, a company that provides extended protection plans, compared the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to the iPhone 5S and Samsung's Galaxy S5.

Watch Live as MAVEN Meets Mars!

MAVEN Meets Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: NASA.

MAVEN Meets Mars on Sept. 21, 2014. Credit: NASA.

Watch here live, below, for the Mars orbital insertion of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft, on Sunday, September 21 (or early Sept. 22 depending on your time zone) from 9:30 to 10:45 p.m. EDT, 01:30 to 02:45 UTC). The NASA TV broadcast feed will originate from the Lockheed Martin Facility in Littleton, Colorado, and will feature live camera views of mission control, interviews with senior NASA officials and mission team members, and mission video footage. The spacecraft’s mission timeline will place the spacecraft in orbit at approximately 9:50 p.m. EDT (01:50 UTC).
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Spectacular Nighttime Blastoff Boosts SpaceX Cargo Ship Loaded with Science and Critical Supplies for Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule packed with science experiments and station supplies blasts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 1:52 a.m. EDT on Sept. 21, 2014 bound for the ISS.  Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon cargo capsule packed with science experiments and station supplies blasts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at 1:52 a.m. EDT on Sept. 21, 2014 bound for the ISS. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blazed aloft on a spectacular middle of the night blastoff that turned night into day along the Florida Space coast today, Sept. 21, 2014, boosting a commercial cargo ship for NASA and loaded with 2.5 tons of ground breaking science experiments, 20 ‘mousetronauts’ and critical supplies for the human crew residing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The SpaceX Dragon cargo vessel on the CRS-4 mission for thundered to space on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1:52 a.m. EDT Sunday, Sept. 21, just hours after a deluge of widespread rain showers inundated the central Florida. (...)
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La cápsula Dragon de SpaceX despega con carga para la Estación Espacial

El despegue, con cohete Falcon 9, se produjo a la 1.52 de la mañana (5.52 GMT), aunque la cápsula Dragon necesitará unos dos días para acoplarse con la EEI. EFE/NasaWashington, 21 sep (EFE).- La cápsula Dragon de la empresa SpaceX despegó hoy de Cabo Cañaveral (Estados Unidos) con cerca de 2.300 kilos de material experimental y víveres para los astronautas de la Estación Espacial Internacional (EEI).



[in Agencia EFE]
NASA Craft, Nearing Mars, Prepares to Go to Work
The orbiter, called Maven, will keep tabs on a comet passing by and analyze the planet’s upper atmosphere to learn how it has changed.






First 3-D Printer Has Entered Outer Space
SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL—A SpaceX cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday, carrying the first 3-D printer for astronauts in orbit.

In all, the unmanned Dragon capsule is delivering more than 5,000 pounds of space station supplies for NASA.

Dragon should reach the space station Tuesday. It’s the fifth station shipment for the California-based SpaceX, one of two new commercial winners in the race to start launching Americans again from home soil.

The space station was soaring over the South Pacific when the SpaceX Falcon 9 thundered into Florida’s pre-dawn sky. Sunday’s weather was ideal for flying, unlike Saturday, when rain forced a delay. The rocket was visible for nearly three minutes as it sped out over the Atlantic, with the Orion constellation as a backdrop.

“What a beautiful morning it was,” said Sam Scimemi, NASA’s space station division director.

Sunday was a red-letter day for NASA in more ways than one.

Besides the flawless launch, the space agency’s Maven spacecraft was on the verge of reaching Mars. The robotic explorer was scheduled to go into orbit around Mars late Sunday night.

The space station-bound 3-D printer was developed by Made in Space, another California company. It’s sturdier than Earthly models to withstand the stresses of launch, and meets NASA’s strict safety standards. The space agency envisions astronauts one day cranking out spare parts as needed. For now, it’s a technology demonstrator, with a bigger and better model to follow next year.

A $30 million device for measuring ocean winds is also flying up on Dragon, along with 20 mice and 30 fruit flies for biological research and metal samples for a golf club manufacturer looking to improve its products.

Much-needed spacesuit batteries are on board as well, along with the usual stash of food, clothes and electronic gear. Routine U.S. spacewalks were put on hold following last year’s close call with an astronaut’s flooded helmet. That problem was solved, then the battery fuses were called into question. NASA hopes to resume spacewalks next month.

NASA is paying SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. to make regular station deliveries. The SpaceX service began two years ago.

Just this past week, SpaceX — led by billionaire Elon Musk — won an even bigger and more prestigious contract to transport U.S. astronauts to the orbiting outpost, along with Boeing. Dragon rides could begin as early as 2016 or 2017.

NASA’s ability to launch its own crews ended with the shuttle program in 2011. Russia has been providing rides on its Soyuz spacecraft for a hefty price.

Another American astronaut is scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz later this week, along with two Russians, one of them a woman, a rarity for Russia. They will join the one American, one Russian and one German already in orbit.

SpaceX was delighted with Sunday’s success and the road ahead, and could hardly wait for the party to begin.

“Nothing like a good launch,” observed Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX. “It’s just fantastic.”

From Sept. 16: 

SpaceX Launches Fourth Cargo Mission to Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a cargo spacecraft to the international space station early Sept. 21, demonstrating a rapid turnaround between launches that the company expects to become more routine in the future

WATCH LIVE @ 9:30 pm ET: NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives Mars
NASA's MAVEN orbiter will arrive at Mars on Sunday, Sept. 21, after a 10-month voyage and you can watch it live online here starting at 9:30 p.m. ET (0130 Sept. 22).
[in spaceflight]
Falcon 9 launches Dragon cargo spacecraft
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully placed into orbit early Sunday a Dragon cargo spacecraft...
NASA's Mars spacecraft to begin orbit of Red Planet
Washington (AFP) Sept 21, 2014
A NASA spacecraft that aims to study the upper atmosphere of Mars and reveal how its climate changed over time is poised to begin orbiting the Red Planet on Sunday.After a 10-month journey, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) probe is making its final approach to Mars and will begin circling Earth's neighbor after 9:30 pm Sunday (0130 GMT Monday).MAVEN's findings are exp
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