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Inside Space (Mar 6th, 2018)

The Chinese space lab that's been falling to Earth for more than a year might fall sometime late this month or early April. Researchers have been following the waywardly falling Tiangong-1 space lab since China first lost control of it back in 2016. Chinese researchers vaguely estimated that it would re-enter the atmosphere in 2017. Much of the device is expected to burn up, but some pieces could survive, though it's not known where they would come down. "Even a couple of days before it re-enters we probably won't know better than six or seven hours, plus or minus, when it's going to come down. Not knowing when it's going to come down translates as not knowing where its going to come down," Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astrophysicist said in 2016. — CBS

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SpaceX early Tuesday morning launched its 50th Falcon 9 rocket. Today's rocket launched a satellite for Spain's Hispasat. The massive satellite is about the size of a public transit bus. SpaceX did not attempt to recover the first-stage booster as waves were rough. "Can’t believe it’s been fifty Falcon 9 launches already. Just ten years ago, we couldn’t even reach orbit with little Falcon 1," CEO Elon Musk tweeted. — WAPO

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A "parade" of five planets will happen this week. Spectators will have a chance to see Saturn, Mars and Jupiter in the early mornings and Venus and Mercury after sunset. The spectacle starts March 7, though not all of the planets will be visible at the same time. But those of you in the northeastern United States might be out of luck as a winter storm and other weather systems block your view. — NEWSWEEK

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It was crystal shapes, not animal tracks, that a United Kingdom researcher likely saw on Mars. Scientist Barry DiGregorio said he observed the "animal tracks" while looking at images from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover. He made similar claims in January. NASA, though, says the objects are unique crystal growth. Last month, Curiosity found dark and tiny bumps similar to items found around gypsum crystals in drying lakes on Earth. — SPACE

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Stephen Hawking thinks he knows how the universe began. On Neil deGrasse Tyson's popular "Star Talk" radio program, Hawking explained that before the big bang, there was "nothing." He likened that to the South Pole, saying, “One can regard imaginary and real time as beginning at the South Pole, which is a smooth point of space-time where the normal laws of physics hold. There is nothing south of the South Pole, so there was nothing around before the big bang.” — BGR

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How would you like Wi-Fi anywhere? Everywhere?

Well, SpaceX is working on it.

Test satellites launched into orbit last month by SpaceX could lead to the beginning of a new internet frontier. It will be a while before space-based internet access could be readily available, but it is possible — and there are a number of companies trying.

“Don’t tell anyone, but the wifi password is ‘martians,'" Elon Musk joked.

Sure beats the days of this...

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