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Home News Science & Astronomy Starship collapses, an interstellar comet breaks apart, and more than 12,000 aspiring astronauts apply for the latest NASA call. All this, and more top stories this week from Space.com.Starship prototype collapses(Image credit: SPadre.com)SpaceX’s newest Starship prototype appeared to collapse during a pressure tank test, according to video footage from Texas…

Craig Smith

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Starship collapses, an interstellar comet breaks apart, and more than 12,000 aspiring astronauts apply for the latest NASA call. All this, and more top stories this week from Space.com.

Starship prototype collapses

SpaceX's Starship SN3 prototype collapses during cryogenic pressure test on April 3, 2020 at the company's Boca Chica, Texas facility.

(Image credit: SPadre.com)

SpaceX’s newest Starship prototype appeared to collapse during a pressure tank test, according to video footage from Texas on April 2. CEO Elon Musk pledged to do a data review of the incident in the morning to find out more, but said the test configuration may be to blame. Starship is the spacecraft SpaceX plans to eventually use for Mars missions and other deep-space flights.

Full Story: SpaceX’s Starship SN3 prototype collapses in pressure tank test

Interstellar Comet Borisov snaps off a piece

Imagery of interstellar Comet Borisov captured by the Hubble Space Telescope suggests that a piece broke off the object’s nucleus between March 23 and March 28, 2020. (The middle photo was taken with a different filter than the two on the sides, explaining its different appearance.)

(Image credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble/STScI/Jewitt et. al)

New images of Comet Borisov suggest that a piece of the interstellar object broke off the nucleus in March, according to data from the Hubble Space Telescope. This likely isn’t a large piece, as the data suggests only about 0.1% to 1% of the comet broke off the main body – the equivalent of a car losing a side mirror. Follow-up observations with Hubble will make astronomers more confident in understanding what is happening with Borisov.

Full story: Interstellar Comet Borisov is no longer in one piece

BepiColombo makes one last flyby of Earth

Earth and the moon as seen by BepiColombo on March 5, 2020, as the mission began preparing for its flyby of Earth.

(Image credit: ESA/BepiColombo/MTM, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

The Mercury-bound BepiColombo mission will swing by Earth on April 10 to pick up speed for its eventual planetary destination. The joint European-Japanese mission is expected to arrive in 2025 after multiple planetary flybys — this opportunity will be the last to see it from Earth. Space.com has a guide for skywatchers to prepare for the cosmic opportunity. 

Full story: Europe’s Mercury-bound BepiColombo will swing past Earth soon! Here’s what you need to know

Thirty-Meter Telescope protest changes over coronavirus concerns

A view of Maunakea in Hawaii, captured in a video published by the community of Maunakea protesters called Pu'uhonua o Pu'uhuluhulu in December 2019.

(Image credit: Pu’uhonua o Pu’uhuluhulu/Youtube)

The Pu’uhonua o Pu’uhuluhulu community in Hawaii has asked elders and “those with a higher risk of respiratory illness” to stay away from protests on the dormant Maunakea volcano. The community has been taking part in protests there over construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope, but is concerned with the spread of coronavirus in Hawaii – including from visiting tourists. That said, there is still a presence of the community’s kia’i, or guardians, on the mountain.

Full story: At Thirty Meter Telescope protest, native Hawaiian elders leave mountain over coronavirus threat

NASA asks employees for ideas on fighting coronavirus

The expedition 62 astronaut crew can be seen inside the SpaceX Dragon resupply craft. The crew can be seen wearing portable breathing gear while entering to test the spaceship's atmosphere for particles and irritants that could have come loose while launching to space.

(Image credit: NASA)

NASA asked its workforce for ways to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying it wants employers and contractors to contribute expertise on an internal crowdsourcing platform called NASA @ WORK. The agency, which is coordinating with other areas of U.S. government, said it plans to focus on personal protective equipment, ventilators and figuring out how fast coronavirus could spread. Much of NASA’s workforce is logging in from home already, because the agency is trying to limit the impact of coronavirus at individual centers across the country.

Full story: NASA asks its employees for new ideas to combat coronavirus

12,000 Astronaut Hopefuls Apply for NASA Hiring Opportunity

NASA will again accept applications for new astronauts beginning March 2 through March 31, 2020. The new recruits, members of NASA's 23rd class of astronaut candidates, will train for expeditions to the space station and Artemis flights to the moon.

(Image credit: NASA)

New recruits for Artemis missions to the moon filled NASA inboxes, as more than 12,000 aspiring astronauts applied to the agency’s latest call for spaceflyers. This number of people makes the Artemis call the second-highest application group ever for NASA, which is all the more incredible since the application period was shortened to one month instead of the typical two. NASA will carefully consider applications before making final selections in mid-2021.

Full story: More than 12,000 apply to become an astronaut for NASA’s ‘Artemis Generation’

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

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Craig is a gym loving person as he spends most of the time in the gym working out because he keeps his fitness above everything. Moreover, he is good at covering news bulletins. He writes Technology news bulletins along with General US News Bulletins. He has not much experience in online journalism, but he has been learning things quickly ever since he joined.

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