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Science and nature

Spectacular BECO cutoff during Starliner launch

NASA and Boeing launched the Starliner Commercial Crew space craft yesterday. One of the stages is BECO cutoff where the main booster detaches from the rocket, prior to the Centaur engine starting up, and pushing Starliner into orbit.

There’s an awesome view of the rocket from the ground that shows this spectacular effect at BECO cutoff:

You can see this in the NASA video around now:

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Science and nature Useful stuff

Curiosity rover heads to Mars

This is from the Really Cool Department (Science Division). Its NASA’s Curiosity rover’s launch on an Atlas V rocket and its still the stuff dreams are made of:

What is this all about? According to the mission overview:

Scheduled to launch on Nov. 26, 2011, 7:02 a.m. PST (10:02 a.m. EST). The launch window is between Nov 25 – Dec. 18, 2011, Mars Science Laboratory is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. Mars Science Laboratory is a rover that will assess whether Mars ever was, or is still today, an environment able to support microbial life. In other words, its mission is to determine the planet’s “habitability.”

Find out more here.