Before NASA decided to help SpaceX on its journey to Mars, details of which company chief Elon Musk plans to unveil on Tuesday, the U.S. space agency reviewed the plan for SpaceX’s first mission, slated to launch in 2018, and decided it has a reasonably good chance of success.
For NASA, a successful mission means that SpaceX’s Mars vehicle, called Red Dragon, flies through the Martian atmosphere with its thrusters firing in the direction of travel, a technology known as supersonic retrograde propulsion. The feather in the cap would be a propulsive landing on the Martian surface. Continue reading Odds Favor Successful SpaceX Mars Mission
NASA has finally re-established contact with a sun-watching probe that was thought to be lost in space after it abruptly went silent in 2014.
A signal from the long-lost spacecraft, called STEREO-B, was detected Sunday evening (Aug. 21) by NASA’s Deep Space Network, a collection of space tracking stations that follows the agency’s space missions across the solar system and beyond. NASA scientists had kept vigil for STEREO-B, making monthly searches for the probe until it phoned home Sunday at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT). Continue reading NASA Regains Contact With ‘Dead’ Solar Mission
The successful inflation of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) could represent a new era in expandable space habitats.
NASA on Saturday successfully expanded and pressurized an add-on room at the International Space Station two days after aborting the first attempt when it ran into problems.
The flexible habitat, known as the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), completed slowly extending 67 inches (170 centimeters) at 4:10 pm (2010 GMT) following more than seven hours during which astronaut Jeff Williams released short blasts of air into the pod’s walls from the orbiting lab using a manual valve. Continue reading Space Station Now Has Inflatable Digs
NASA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne for a $67 million contract to develop an advanced Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) system for future deep-space missions.
In a press release, NASA stated that the propulsion system could be used on robotic missions to an asteroid and in other missions related to their Journey to Mars program. Continue reading NASA invests $67 million into solar electric propulsion for deep space exploration
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — SpaceX has made good on a high-priority delivery: the world’s first inflatable room for astronauts. A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday, two days after launching from Cape Canaveral. Station astronauts used a robot arm to capture the Dragon, orbiting 250 miles above Earth. Continue reading SpaceX Delivers World’s 1st Inflatable Room for Astronauts
NASA had hoped its next Mars probe would have launched by now. Instead, the agency is mulling whether to spend an extra $150 million to fix a problem with the spacecraft and re-target liftoff for May 2018, the next time Earth and Mars favorably align for flight. Continue reading Will NASA’s InSight Mars Mission Launch in 2018?
If life on comets was possible, Lovejoy would be a popular destination – scientists have found it releases alcohol and sugar in crazy amounts. But jokes aside, the finding is important as it backs the idea that comets could have seeded life on Earth. This is the first discovery that has witnessed a comet releasing ethyl alcohol in such amounts – 500 bottles of wine every second.
Continue reading Asteroid bar: Study shows comet releases ‘500 bottles of wine every second’
The high-res images are untouched and unprocessed, showing exactly what the astronauts were facing on their trips to the final frontier. Continue reading NASA releases over 10,000 images from Apollo mission (PHOTOS)