Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Apophis & Antoher Successful Private Rocket Launch

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Scientists have continued to refine the asteroid Apophis‘ future trajectory.  Their most recent calculations show a decreasing probability of a potential strike by Apophis on Earth in 2036.  Previous work had already discounted any strike in 2029.  The recent announcement holds some interesting language:

“Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million.”

So the probability decreased from 1-in-45,000 to 1-in-250,000.  Notice how much unlikelier the chance seems when the world million is used.

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Private entry into space comes closer to reality every day.  Progress is measured by relatively short-lived but attention-driven events like rocket launches.  A reusable private rocket test was successful last week.  Colorado had numerous connections to the launch, with launch services provided by UP Aerospace of Denver, CO and the program directed by Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Littleton, CO.

New Mexico is trying to secure its place in space history with the world’s first purpose-driven spaceport, currently under construction.  Lockheed Martin has already has three successful test launches from Spaceport America.  Hopefully there are many more to follow.

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