SCW RUSSIAWIRE: “Russia opens criminal probe over failed rocket launch” – AFP

File Photo of Soyuz Rocket on Launchpad with Gantry, adapted from image at nasa.gov with photo credit: Bill Ingalls; adapted by Steven C. Welsh :: www.stevencwelsh.info :: www.stevencwelsh.com

“Russian investigators … opened a criminal probe into a failed rocket launch that caused a two-man crew to make an emergency landing shortly after blast-off to the [International Space Station] …. U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries …. An ‘anomaly’ with the booster led to the voyage … being aborted two minutes in, NASA said. The Russian space industry has suffered a series of problems in recent years, including the loss of a number of satellites and cargo spacecraft. [Roscosmo is headed by] Dmitry Rogozin … appointed by … Putin ….”

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NEWSLINK: “Discovery! Atmosphere Spotted on Nearly Earth-Size Exoplanet in First” – SpaceCom

File Photo of Stars in Space, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“For the first time, scientists have detected an atmosphere around a planet beyond our solar system that’s just a little bit larger than Earth. The exoplanet GJ 1132b, which orbits the dwarf star GJ 1132, is located about 39 light-years away from Earth. It has a radius about 1.4 times that of Earth and is 1.6 times Earth’s mass, according to the new study. When the planet was first discovered, researchers called it a potential Venus twin because it’s a rocky world with a very high surface temperature — and now, they’ve found that the planet and Venus might have a thick atmosphere in common, too (although it would have a different composition). ”