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Astronauts break record for longest time in space by U.S.-launched ship

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The crew of four astronauts who arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) using a SpaceX Crew Dragon back in November have broken the record for most consecutive days spent in space by a U.S.-launched ship.

On Monday, The Washington Post reported that the Crew-1 astronauts beat the decades-long record Sunday after docking at the ISS on November 15. The previous record, set in 1974 by the Skylab 4 crew, was 84 days.

According to The Post, this mission is the first operational mission launched from the U.S. since the Space Shuttle was retired back in 2011. On top of that record, this mission has made history for also being the first time a privately owned spacecraft has ventured to the ISS.

The Crew-1 quartet launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and docked at the space station 27 hours later in the spacecraft they nicknamed “Resiliance.”

While there are three NASA astronauts part of Crew-1—Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and Shannon Walker—the fourth crewmate is Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They are scheduled to stay for about six months on the low-Earth orbital station.

Glover tweeted that the crew spoke over video chat with Edward Gibson, a member of the crew that in 1974 flew to Skylab, the United States’ first space station.

The news of this record being broken comes after a no-crew prototype of SpaceX’s Starship last week crashed and exploded while attempting to land during a test flight, after another crash in December. In response, the Federal Aviation Administration said it will oversee an investigation into last week’s crash, per The New York Times.

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk plans to send the Starship to Mars as part of his longtime dream of eventually colonizing the Red Planet with humans, however, more work still needs to be done to perfect the technology.

RELATED: Elon Musk: I’m ‘highly confident’ SpaceX’s first crewed Mars mission will launch in 2026, maybe as early as 2024

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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