Virgin Orbit’s first night launch a success; UK mission next – Spaceflight Now

A camera on-board Virgin Orbit’s first stage captured this view of the main engine plume during the climb into space. Credit: Virgin Orbit Virgin Orbit’s air-launched rocket carried seven small CubeSats into orbit on the company’s first nighttime mission late Friday night off the coast of California, helping clear the way for teams to base … Read more

Fragile orbits of seven exoplanets could survive only limited early bombardment — ScienceDaily

Seven Earth-sized planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1 in near-perfect harmony, and US and European researchers have used that harmony to determine how much physical abuse the planets could have withstood in their infancy. “After rocky planets form, things bash into them,” said astrophysicist Sean Raymond of the University of Bordeaux in France. “It’s called bombardment, … Read more