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Inside Space (Apr 10th, 2018)

Engineering and testing errors by Northrop Grumman are to blame for the loss of a secret U.S. spy satellite, a new report says. Investigators apparently have found that a payload adapter modified by the aerospace and defense firm failed to deploy during the Zuma mission in January. The satellite never reached orbit after failing to separate from the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket it was attached to. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in its report. The satellite was estimated to have cost $3.5 billion. — CNET

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NASA on April 16 is set to launch TESS — its next spacecraft designed to look for exoplanets. TESS (or Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) will replace the Kepler telescope, which launched in 2009 and is expected to run out of fuel within the next few months. Researchers think TESS will find thousands of planetary systems. The full scope of what TESS' mission is unknown. "I don't think we know everything TESS is going to accomplish. To me, the most exciting part of any mission is the unexpected result, the one that nobody saw coming," Goddard Space Flight Center's Stephen Rinehart said. — TECH TIMES

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Researchers are trying to understand why Jupiter's Great Red Spot is shrinking. Observations of the storm date to the 1600s. But it wasn't until the 1870s that more regular observations of the giant storm were made. In the 1920s, researchers began noticing that the recognizable storm was decreasing. While the length of the storm is rare for what researchers know about Jupiter weather, the storm began similarly to others on the planet. “We think what happens is they hit a stable size, and that’s when it should stop and just kind of stay that size, unless something breaks it apart,” NASA scientist Amy Simon said. — THE ATLANTIC

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No, Buzz Aldrin didn't see aliens in space. A story circulating on the internet claims that a lie-detector test proves Aldrin — one of the first humans to walk on the Moon — saw a UFO. The claim is loosely based off of a Reddit AMA thread from three years ago in which the retired astronaut explained a moment during his Apollo 11 trek to the Moon when he observed a shiny light that appeared near his spacecraft. A company known as The Institute of BioAcoustic Biology claims it was able to distinguish a deeper meaning for Aldrin's explanation. — LIVE SCIENCE

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Two percent of Americans say they think the Earth is flat, a new study says. Another 5 percent say they used to think the Earth was round but now are having doubts. Of those who think the Earth is or could be flat, about 52 percent identify as "very religious." The survey polled 8,215 people and was conducted by YouGov. The idea that the Earth could be flat dates to the Bronze Age. But Greek philosophers and mathematicians later found the Earth was, indeed, round. While many scientists haven't publicly weighed in, other experts have. "The serious science community feels it's so basic that they don't want to waste their time debunking it. But this is a scary thing. The danger isn't that people don't believe the Earth is round, it's the lack of scientific literacy," said David Falk, an assistant professor of astronomy at Los Angeles Valley College. — OUTER PLACES

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Move over Marriott.

There's a new luxury hotel concept that aims to let travelers feel like the Jetsons. Sort of.

Houston-based Orion Span wants to build Aurora Station — the first-ever luxury hotel in space. The company expects to be ready to welcome guests in 2022.

But don't look for a room on Hotel Tonight. The price for a 12-day stay per person will be $9.5 million, which factors out to $791,666 per night. Hopefully that includes Wi-Fi and room service.

Reservations are now being accepted with an $80,000 refundable deposit.

We can't wait to read those Trip Advisor reviews.

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