Latest Technology News: Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket blasts a hole in the ionosphere

The Falcon 9 rocket was launched on July 19. (AFP file photo)

A rocket launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX has punched a temporary hole in the ionosphere surrounding our planet, according to a report by The Falcon 9 rocket was launched on July 19 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. According to the company’s website, it is a reusable two-stage rocket for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads to Earth orbit and beyond. SpaceX also said it was the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket. Falcon 9 performed 240 launches and 198 landings.

Photos from the July 19 launch showed a faint red glow, which was studied by space physicist Jeff Baumgardner of Boston University. After reviewing footage from the launch, he said the red glow indicates a hole has been punched in the ionosphere.

“It’s a well-studied phenomenon when rockets burn their engines 200 to 300 km above the Earth’s surface,” Baumgardner said.

“I have reviewed the images from the July 19 launch. This shows the second stage engine burning 286 km near the peak of region F at this time of day. So it is entirely possible that an ionospheric ‘hole’ was made,” he added.

The ionosphere is at the edge of space and is filled with charged particles called ions. According to NASA, this is why geomagnetic storms cause auroras, as solar plasma reacts with ions to create the spectacular colors seen in the sky.

A similar event involving the same rocket also happened earlier. According science timeFalcon 9 launched from Vanderberg Space Force Base carrying the FORMOSAT-5 payload on August 24, 2017.

Due to its low weight, the rocket launched along a vertical trajectory rather than traveling parallel to the Earth’s surface, creating shock waves. As a result, he ruptured a hole in the plasma of the ionosphere.

The same thing happened again when the Falcon 9 rocket launched on June 19, 2022, the outlet added.

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