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  1. "Urgency is our mantra and we must do it right." Enlarge / NASA conducts a full-power, full-duration 650-second RS-25 engine test on the A-1 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center. NASA For much of March and April, in response to a desire from the Trump administration to accelerate development of the Space Launch System rocket, NASA has been looking at ways to launch the large booster in 2020 instead of further delaying it. Among the options has been skipping a "green run" test of the rocket's core stage—an all-up firing of the rocket'
  2. NASA explains why it was OK with scrubbing launch for a recovery issue. Enlarge / An infrared view of the Falcon 9 first stage landing on Saturday morning. SpaceX 3:30am ET Saturday Update: The Falcon 9 rocket launched on time early Saturday morning from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, streaking into the nighttime sky and depositing the Cargo Dragon spacecraft into a good orbit. About 12 minutes after the launch, Dragon deployed its solar panels and set course for the International Space Station. Dragon will be capture
  3. On Tuesday, Orion will fly 55 seconds before violently escaping from its rocket “We need to fly. We need to show progress." Orion and its solid rocket on the launch pad Monday morning at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base. Trevor Mahlmann Nearly five years have passed since NASA first launched its Orion spacecraft to an apogee of 5,800km above the Earth, completing a successful test flight of the capsule intended to carry astronauts to lunar orbit in the 2020s. Now, NASA is preparing for its second Orion launch, although this flight will b
  4. New report finds NASA awarded Boeing large fees despite SLS launch slips "It would be misleading for us to continue to report the June 2020 launch date." Enlarge / When will NASA's Space Launch System rocket take flight? NASA As NASA talks up its Artemis Program to return humans to the Moon by the year 2024, a new report from the US Government Accountability Office raises questions about the space agency's ability to build the spacecraft and rockets intended to carry out that mission. Instead of launc
  5. NASA’s restored Apollo Mission Control is a slice of ’60s life, frozen in amber It took two years and cost $5 million—but the results are absolutely spectacular. HOUSTON—Following the completion of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration, NASA's historic Apollo Mission Operations Control Room 2 ("MOCR 2") is set to reopen to the public next week. The $5 million in funding for the restoration was partially provided by Space Center Houston, but the majority of the money was donated by the city of Webster, the Houston suburb where the Johnson Space Center is located. A
  6. NASA will fund a revolutionary mission to fly through Titan’s atmosphere "We want to do something bold and take measured risks." On Thursday, NASA announced its next medium-class mission to explore the Solar System—a lander named Dragonfly that will fly like a drone over the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest Moon. Titan has a fascinating environment, with a hydrocarbon atmosphere much thicker than Earth's atmosphere. NASA intends to spend a couple of years exploring its complex chemistry. NASA scientists were deciding between this Titan explorer and another mi
  7. NASA's Whirlpool Galaxy views are totally trippy, spaced-out spirals The space agency's Spitzer Space Telescope gives astronomers a superpower that does more than provide psychedelic screen saver images. Four different views of the same spot on the other side of the universe. NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is able to see parts of space that are literally invisible - to our puny human eyes, that is. The above quadriptych of images shows the same thing: the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as
  8. NASA seeks to break the “tyranny of launch” with in-space manufacturing “In-space robotic manufacturing and assembly are unquestionable game-changers." Made in Space is one of the most intriguing companies in aerospace because they're not so much focused on getting into space. Rather, the company is focused on doing interesting, meaningful, and potentially profitable things once there. Its long-term goal is to build factories in space using additive manufacturing.
  9. Core issues — NASA’s large SLS rocket unlikely to fly before at least late 2021 "NASA has not been good at setting realistic budget and schedules." Enlarge / NASA Administrator James Bridenstine testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 17, 2019. Win McNamee/Getty Images As recently as last month, both NASA planning documents and officials with Boeing said the space agency was still working toward a 2020 launch of the Artemis-1 mission. This is the first launch of the large, co
  10. Ever since Apollo 11 carried the first people to the Moon, NASA has vowed that it will surpass its most historic achievement — either by returning to the Moon or by sending people to Mars. But after half a century, NASA hasn’t managed to turn their grand visions into reality, and it’s possible the agency’s most prized accomplishment, the Apollo program, may be partially to blame for the stall. “There are few things in life that we could look back on and say that have regressed since 1969,” Mark Sirangelo, who recently helped to lead NASA’s Moon return plans before departing i
  11. NASA’s inspector general has apparently had enough of meddling by Congress NASA chief says he will follow the law. Enlarge / Paul Martin, then the nominee for Inspector General for NASA, answers questions during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in 2009. NASA On Tuesday, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin wrote a rather extraordinary letter to the US senators who determine the budget for the space agency. In effect, the independent NASA official asked Congress t
  12. "This time when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay." Maxar has been selected to build and fly the first element of NASA’s lunar Gateway. Maxar Technologies NASA has chosen its first commercial partner for a proposed space station, known as the Lunar Gateway, to be built near the Moon. On Thursday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Maxar Technologies would build the first component of the Gateway—the power and propulsion element. Like the name suggests, it will provide electricity to the Gateway and help move it a
  13. NASA wants your help bringing back pieces of a potentially hazardous asteroid The Osiris-Rex mission to asteroid Bennu needs extra eyes to scope out the right spot for grabbing a sample of the rock. A view of asteroid Bennu's surface itaken by the PolyCam camera on NASA's Osiris-Rex on March 21 from a distance of 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometers). NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona Before NASA's Osiris-Rex spacecraft can reach out and grab a piece of asteroid Bennu, it needs to find a safe spot on the space rock's surface.
  14. NASA picks three companies to attempt Moon landings in 2020 and 2021 At least two of the three missions will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. NASA has begun to make good on its promise to use commercial companies to help with its lunar exploration efforts. On Friday, the space agency announced that it has contracted with three companies—Orbit Beyond, Astrobotic, and Intuitive Machines—to deliver scientific payloads to the Moon in the years 2020 and 2021. The announcement is significant for several reasons, not least because no private company has eve
  15. Alabama space center will manage NASA’s lunar lander program Houston's space center, which managed the Apollo Lunar Module, gets a small piece. Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will announce that Marshall Space Flight Center will manage the lunar lander program. NASA On Friday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will visit the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. At 3pm local time, he will address employees in an "all hands" meeting in Morris Auditorium to make an announcement regarding the space agency's Art
  16. NASA engineer looks to Saturn moon Titan for human colony Titan's big selling point is that you could attach wings to your arms and fly. Titan poses in front of Saturn in this mosaic image from the Cassini mission. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute Come, move to the moon: You can jump like a grasshopper. Come, move to Mars: You can bound like a bunny. Come, move to Titan: You can fly! I know which one I'd choose. NASA's Janelle Wellons is pumping up Saturn's moon Titan as a possible sit
  17. NASA is building the world's biggest rocket, but its debut might have to wait The new Space Launch System is facing delays, making the likes of SpaceX seem like a better option. NASA's Space Launch System is its next-generation rocket designed with deep space missions in mind. NASA NASA publicly floated the idea this week of setting aside its big new rocket in favor of a commercial one for a launch around the moon next year. Space Launch System (SLS) "is struggling to meet its deadline," NASA
  18. NASA hires SpaceX to help it crash an asteroid NASA's DART mission will attempt to deflect a moonlet, and a SpaceX Falcon 9 will send it on its way. NASA's DART spacecraft will blast off to the Didymos to crash into its moon. NASA The potential for an asteroid apocalypse scenario has NASA concerned enough to create the DART mission, a project that sounds straight out of a sci-fi action movie. The space agency has now cast SpaceX as a key supporting player. NASA announced Thursday that it
  19. "It feels awesome," the newest extended-stay astronaut said. Enlarge / There will be a lot of pizza nights for Christina Koch, NASA's newest extended-stay astronaut. NASA On Wednesday morning, NASA announced that Christina Koch, who is already living on board the International Space Station, will extend her mission to 328 days. By doing so, she will become the space agency's second astronaut to spend nearly a year inside the orbiting laboratory. "It feels awesome," Koch said in a video interview from the sta
  20. NASA's investing in self-healing spacesuits, spider probes and Venus landers The space agency's innovative advanced concepts program will fund 18 new projects that could change how we explore the universe. The ELaNa XI CubeSat LightSail, a citizen-funded technology demo mission launched in 2015. Further development of "lightsail" technology, which uses the energy from the sun to zip through space, is just one of the concepts funded by NASA in the 2019 round of NIAC awards. The Planetary Society Robotic "power beamin
  21. To ancient explorers, "ultima Thule," or the most distant region, was what lay past the northernmost edges of maps, beyond the borders of the known world. So when NASA chose a target for its New Horizons spacecraft that was farther than anything previously explored, Ultima Thule seemed a fitting moniker. The far-flung space rock is an inhabitant of the Kuiper belt, the ring of debris that encircles the icy outer reaches of the Solar System. Ultima Thule is so dim and so distant that scientists aren't even certain what it looks like. Some of their only information about i
  22. Nasa's Juno mission to the gas giant Jupiter has reached its halfway mark and has revealed new views of cyclones at the poles. As it orbits the planet every 53 days - Juno performs a science-gathering dive, speeding from pole to pole. Its sensors take measurements of the composition of the planet, in an effort to decipher how the largest world in our Solar System formed. Mapping the magnetic and gravity fields should also expose Jupiter's structure. But images from JunoCam - a camera that was intended to capture images that could be shared with
  23. Asteroid Peeping A lone spacecraft is hovering 12 miles above the surface of a tiny asteroid millions of miles away, closely examining its surface. And it just sent back its first readings. As part of NASA’s Origins Program, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft traveled to an asteroid called Bennu some 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) from the Sun, finally arriving at the 1,600-foot-wide (487-meter) asteroid on December 3. The goal: to uncover the secrets of the solar system by analyzing the asteroid. Their unexpected finding: Bennu or a larger parent as
  24. Congress may allow NASA to launch Europa Clipper on a Falcon Heavy New budget also offers some hope for Human Landing System. Enlarge / A full-scale prototype of the high-gain antenna on NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft. NASA 131 with 49 posters participating The US House of Representatives released its proposed fiscal year 2021 budget for NASA on Tuesday, funding the agency at $22.63 billion. This is the same amount of funding that was enacted for NASA's budget this year. This is just the
  25. NASA’s most iconic building is 55 years old and just getting started “This building is not a monument.” First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all 9+ images. NASA's Kennedy Space Center is now nearly six decades old—it was formally created on July 1, 1962 as a separate entity from Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Construction began soon after. At the time, the "Launch Operations Directorate" under Wernher von Braun and his team of German scientists was based at Marshall. But NASA's leaders realized t
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