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NASA Reveal New SLS Moon Rocket

NASA Reveal New SLS Moon Rocket

NASA‘s highly-anticipated Space Launch System (SLS) moon rocket has been revealed to the public for the first time since its construction.

On Thursday, the 5.75 million-ton megarocket began its slow-motion journey out of its assembly plant towards the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a test run of a countdown and live launch. The dummy rehearsal, known as a “wet dress rehearsal” is likely to occur on April 3rd.

If the dress rehearsal goes well, a mission titled Artemis 1, an uncrewed 26-day long trip around the moon, could occur within the next couple of months assuming there are not any further delays. Towards the end of May could be seen as a possibility however a more likely date would be either in June or July. This is part of NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024 and in the long term prepare the way for humans to launch missions to Mars.

‘humanity’s giant leap’

Agency Administrator, Bill Nelson, said: “The Artemis generation is preparing to reach new frontiers,” he told the spectator crowds gathered at Kennedy.

“This generation will return astronauts to the Moon and this time, we will land the first woman and the first person of colour on the surface, to conduct ground-breaking science.

“Nasa’s Artemis programme will pave the way for humanity’s giant leap (to) future missions to Mars.”

SLS cost approximately $37 billion to develop therefore many hope that the reveal of this long-awaited rocket will boost NASA’s hopes of launching humans into areas of space that have not yet been visited before. However, due to the size of the rocket, SLS will also have the capabilities to not only send astronauts far beyond Earth but additionally send much equipment and cargo to crews that could remain up in space for extended periods.

While NASA is progressing the SLS, entrepreneur Elon Musk is assembling an even larger vehicle at his R&D facility in Texas. He titles his rocket, the Starship.

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SpaceX launches Four Amateur Astronauts on Inspiration4 Mission

SpaceX Launch Amateur Astronauts on Inspiration4 Mission

Four astronauts have blasted off on a private flight from Florida to orbit the earth for three days in a historic mission as the world’s first crew of ‘amateur astronauts’.

The Dragon capsule contains the Inspiration4 crew containing one billionaire entrepreneur and three “ordinary citizens”, took off from the Kennedy Space Center at 1:02 am CEST in the Dragon capsule provided by the SpaceX rocket company. This is the first time a spacecraft will have no professional astronauts on board as Jared Issacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski prepare to spend their next three days circling the earth before returning back to earth this weekend.

The launch signals yet another step in the new era of commercial space travel and tourism coming after the launches of Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. The Dragon is on a “free flight” that will reach a target altitude of 575km (360 miles), higher than the International Space Station and the Hubble Telescope with the capsule orbiting the earth once every 90 minutes at a speed in excess of 17,000mph.

The Inspiration4 venture was founded and established by one of the crew, Billionaire Jarden Issacman, to raise awareness and support for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He paid an undisclosed fee to SpaceX for the chance to fly with the three others who include 29-year-old Hayley Arceneaux, a health worker who overcame bone cancer as a child.

Despite the amateurs on board, the craft is being controlled remotely from the ground by a designated pilot. Another one of those on board, Sian Proctor, a former NASA astronaut and professor of geoscience, has expressed how proud she is being part of the historic mission.

“There have been three black female astronauts that have made it to space and knowing that I’m going to be the fourth means that I have this opportunity to not only accomplish my dream, but also inspire, and inspire the next generation of women and girls of colour,” she said.

The final crewmember is 42-year-old Chris Sembroski, a data engineer at Lockhead Martin, a US defence company.

Someone who isn’t onboard is SpaceX founder Elon Musk, but the mission is being witnessed as the next step towards fulfilling his ambition to reach new targets and areas within space.

“If we’re going to go to the moon again and we’re going to go to Mars and beyond we’ve got to get a little outside of our comfort zone and take that next step in that direction,” said Isaacman.

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The Ultimate Dorm Room Space Saver

It’s time to head back to school for a new year, hit the books, and enjoy all that college life has to offer. But it also means leaving the comforts of home behind and squeezing all of your favorite things into a tiny dorm room or apartment. The struggle against clutter is real.

The Stuff ‘n Sit

Stuff ‘N Sit by Creative QT is a perfect stylish, yet functional accessory for your dorm room. It gives you a place to store your stuff while also adding a touch of style to even the smallest places. Stuff ‘N Sit is a durable canvas bean bag stuffed with—your stuff! It can be used to store extra pillows for guests, blankets, and all of those clothes you can’t squeeze into your tiny closet. All this while creating extra seating for friends and a comfy place to curl-up with some required reading and a latte.

What to Stuff It With

Stuff ‘N Sit has a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from that will match your décor perfectly. From stripes to solids, polka dots to daisies and extra-large to small, there are plenty of patterns and sizes to fit every room.  To use the Stuff ‘N Sit, simply fill it with the soft things that need a place to go and zip it up to create a plush bean bag chair in a matter of minutes. It’s the perfect cozy study spot or hang out space for you or your friends, and it instantly creates extra storage.  It’s a win-win!

How to Style It

We recommend placing it at the foot of your bed, next to your desk, or in the floor of your closet where you can pull it out when you need to use it as a chair. It could also work well in a common area to store extra blankets to keep you and your roomies warm during long study sessions or game nights.

Don’t worry about it getting dirty if you spill something on it. The Stuff ‘N Sit is machine washable and comes with a LIFETIME WORKMANSHIP GUARANTEE. Its strong, soft cotton fabric, and extra-long reinforced zipper will hold up for life. We stand behind the quality workmanship of this premium bean bag.

So, save some much-needed space and add uncompromised style to your dorm room with a Stuff ‘N Sit this year.  Order your new MUST-HAVE piece of furniture with FREE shipping today by clicking here

This feature is brought to you by Creative QT 

Need Motivation? Meet Astronaut Abby

Need Motivation? Meet Astronaut Abby

Abigail Harrison—known online as Astronaut Abby—is a 20-year-old aspiring astronaut, college student, influencer and creator of the non-profit, The Mars Generation.

The Mars Generation has more than 1,800 students worldwide participating in an innovative Student Space Ambassador Leadership program and has sent over 36 youths to space camp.

We spoke with Abby about her inspiring plans to be the first astronaut to walk on Mars, as well as how she is exciting others about pursuing a career in STEM and how she manages to balance college, work and her personal life.

College News: How did you know you wanted to be an astronaut? 

Abigail Harrison: I’ve wanted to be an astronaut for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of looking up at the night sky and knowing that I wanted to explore the unknown.

 CN: Who were your role models growing up?

AH: Growing up I looked up to many astronauts—especially the women! Especially prominent to me was Astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger. Not only was she an astronaut, but also an educator. It was her great passion for sharing space exploration that made me look up to her. Three years ago this came full circle when she agreed to join The Mars Generation board of advisors.

 CN: What’s so special about Mars?

 AH: Landing humans on Mars is the next stepping stone for humanity in space exploration. It’s just hard enough to make it nearly impossible, but still doable. It will push our boundaries, challenge the very things we believed to be true about our universe, and allow us to make life here on Earth better. It’s also a great opportunity to search for extra-terrestrial life.

CN: What does your future look like in regards to reaching Mars? 

AH: After graduating from Wellesley this upcoming spring with a BS/BA in Biology and Russian Area Studies, I’m planning to go to grad school for a PhD in astrobiology or planetary sciences/geophysics. Following that, I will work for a few years doing scientific research to gain experience and then I will start applying to the NASA astronaut corp. Throughout this time span, I’ll also be pursuing other skills and qualifications which will hopefully aid in becoming an astronaut and eventually getting to Mars. These skills include obtaining my pilots license (this winter break), continuing to obtain advanced certifications in SCUBA diving, studying Russian and Mandarin Chinese, skydiving licenses and anything else that can strengthen by application to the NASA astronaut corps.

CN: Can you tell us a bit about your non-profit?

AH: The Mars Generation is a 501(c)(3) focusing on educating the public about the importance of space exploration and science literacy, inspiring young people about STEM, and supporting them to pursue careers in STEM fields. We run several core programs including our Future of Space Outreach Program, Student Space Ambassador Leadership Program and our Space Camp Scholarship program that provides full paid (transportation included) scholarships to students experiencing poverty.

CN: What inspired you to start The Mars Generation?

AH: When I was 15 years old I worked with Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano as his Earth Liaison, sharing his experiences living and working in space with my social media audience. After working with Luca during his six months in space, I realized how important it is to provide inspiration and educational resources for today’s youth. If we want to see humans walk on Mars—to truly become The Mars Generation—we need to be creating a culture today that will result in a highly skilled and passionate work force in the future. Other than space exploration, educational advocacy is my greatest passion in life. 

CN: Why do you think girls are still underrepresented in STEM occupations?

AH: There’s a long standing stereotype that girls aren’t good at STEM—a stereotype which causes bias in the way girls view themselves and their performance and in the way that everyone else see’s and treats them. We often consider this kind of bias to be a thing of the past, but it’s really not. Whether consciously or subconsciously, it still exists and is hugely problematic.

CN: How can we combat this? 

AH: An incredibly important way to combat the underrepresentation of girls in STEM is to showcase women who are already doing great things in STEM fields. By having highly visible female role models we can teach today’s girls to be able to see themselves pursuing STEM fields, and today’s boys to not be surprised when they see girls excelling in STEM careers. It’s especially important that these role models are visible in pop culture and media—where they’ll have the greatest impact. 

CN: What advice would you give to young girls who are apprehensive about pursuing a career in STEM?

AH: I would tell them that it’s okay to mess up! It’s okay to try something and then decide to go a different path! I think that as girls and women we feel that we need to be better—perfect, even—at things we’re told by society that we can’t do. This is exactly the opposite attitude needed for a career in STEM! A huge part of STEM is messing up—it’s failing 99 times and then succeeding on the 100th. That’s because it’s hard, and it’s not something natural—you have to learn it. It can be really easy to be discouraged early from STEM after failing a few times if you don’t realize how normal and vital to the learning process this is. 

CN: How do you balance college, work and life obligations? 

AH: It’s hard. Balancing my personal life, my work with The Mars Generation, college, and everything else is a constant struggle. I’m constantly double tasking and trying to squeeze every last second out of my days. For example, when traveling to speak at conferences or represent The Mars Generation as an influencer at events, I frequently find myself doing homework in cars, trains, buses, airports, planes—really wherever I can. Sometimes this means getting creative with how I study or what materials I have available. Even so, there are plenty of times where I really have to ask myself: “What’s important to me? What do I want to put my time and energy into?” And that means sometimes having to sacrifice something in order to do something else well.

CN: What would be your number one piece of advice for anyone starting out at college?

AH: Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. College is such an incredible opportunity to learn—both from your classes and from your classmates. But in order to do so you have to recognize that everyone has different talents. So not being the best at something isn’t a reason to not do it, it’s a reason to ask “how can I learn?” and “who can I learn from?”

CN: What is it really like to be an influencer?

AH: Honestly it oscillates between being incredibly tiring and out of this world rewarding. Being able to share my journey towards the red planet with millions of people here on Earth has been an incredible honor.