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  1. NASA wants to buy Moon rocks from private companies Can you prove you’ve bagged lunar dirt? NASA will pay you An artistic rendering of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lander, contracted to take payloads to the Moon for NASA’s CLPS program. Image: Astrobotic NASA is officially in the market for Moon rocks — and it’s willing to pay any company that’s capable of scooping them up. Today, the space agency is putting out a call for proposals from companies, challenging them to snag small samples of rocks
  2. NASA wants a big budget increase for its Moon plans. Is Congress biting? Space agency needs Christmastime funding for landers to keep Moon plan on track. Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says that competition is good for the Artemis Moon program. NASA 77 with 45 posters participating The odds of NASA sending humans back to the Moon by 2024 are long—not zero, but pretty close.Probably the biggest near-term impediment the space agency faces is funding. Specifically, NASA requires an additional $3.2 bill
  3. Launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission delayed until November The mission will bring three NASA astronauts and a JAXA astronaut to the International Space Station The crew access arm leading to the Crew Dragon, atop the Falcon 9 Image: SpaceX NASA has delayed the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission until early- to mid-November, the agency announced Saturday. The mission eventually will bring three NASA astronauts and an astronaut from Japan’s JAXA space agency to the International Space Station.
  4. Seven countries join NASA to explore the Moon peacefully, transparently “The law right now prohibits us from engaging China on bilateral activities.” Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks during a State of NASA address on Feb. 10, 2020. NASA 56 with 39 posters participating NASA appears to be making good progress in building international support for a plan to return humans to the Moon in the 2020s. On Tuesday, during the virtual meeting of the International Astronautical Fou
  5. NASA makes a significant investment in on-orbit spacecraft refueling In-space fueling technologies enable a new paradigm for spaceflight. Enlarge / If one wants to have Starships on Mars, one first has to refuel them in Earth orbit. SpaceX 2 with 2 posters participating NASA has reached an agreement with 14 US companies to develop technologies that will enable future modes of exploration in space and on the surface of the Moon. NASA says the value of these awards for "Tipping Point" technologies is more than $370
  6. Safety panel has “great concern” about NASA plans to test Moon mission software “Flight systems should be developed for success with a goal to test like you fly.” Enlarge / Teams at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility move the Core Stage toward a barge in January that will carry it to a test stand in Mississippi. NASA An independent panel that assesses the safety of NASA activities has raised serious questions about the space agency's plan to test flight software for its Moon missions. During a Thursday
  7. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s first new space potty in decades — a $23 million titanium toilet better suited for women — is getting a not-so-dry run at the International Space Station before eventually flying to the moon. It’s packed inside a cargo ship that should have blasted off late Thursday from Wallops Island, Virginia. But the launch was aborted with just two minutes remaining in the countdown. Northrop Grumman said it would try again Friday night if engineers can figure out what went wrong. Barely 100 pounds (45 kilograms) and just 28 inches (7
  8. Today NASA’s got a time-lapse video ready to roll to show the tail end of an exploding star. This video includes a whole lot of data and imagery captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, showing views from as far back as the year 2018. This imagery shows the fading of the light of a supernova in the spiral galaxy know as NGC 2525. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured what they described as the “quick, fading celebrity status of a supernova, the detonation of a star.” This star was located approximately 70 million light-years away from our own vantage point here on Earth.
  9. NASA’s new Mars rover is about to embark on a hunt for ancient alien life Perseverance’s biggest goal is to dig up samples to bring back to Earth one day OnOn July 30th, a six-wheeled NASA rover the size of an SUV will embark on its journey to Mars — the beginning of a quest to decode the secrets of the Red Planet’s past. Equipped with a suite of instruments and a sophisticated drilling system, the rover is tasked with answering a question that has confounded scientists for centuries: has Mars ever hosted life? The rover, named Perseverance, is one of NASA’s most amb
  10. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully returns NASA astronauts back to Earth Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley safely returned to Earth inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule this afternoon, bringing their historic two-month mission at the International Space Station to an end. The spacecraft carrying the two astronauts splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48PM ET, where recovery boats were waiting nearby to receive the crew.
  11. A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot “I see it as kind of a Wright brothers moment on another planet,” says the project's chief engineer at JPL. Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech Later this week, NASA plans to launch its fourth Mars rover, Perseverance, on a six-month journey to the Red Planet. Perseverance will boot up a mission to collect samples of Martian dirt that might have traces of ancient life, so that they can be r
  12. NASA, SpaceX preparing to bring Crew Dragon home this week So far, this test flight has been a great success. Enlarge / SpaceX's Crew Dragon (center right), the Japanese HTV resupply ship (center bottom), and Europe's Columbus laboratory module appear in this photo taken during a spacewalk conducted by Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy. NASA 88 with 39 posters participating Nearly two months have passed since a Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying two astronauts blasted off the face of the Earth and delivered NASA astrona
  13. What lessons can the space agency learn as it considers a lunar return? Enlarge / SpaceX's Crew Dragon approaches the International Space Station in March, 2019. NASA Nearly five years ago, NASA faced a difficult decision. The agency had spent about $1.5 billion to help Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation design spacecraft that could carry US astronauts to the International Space Station. As it sought to build flight hardware, NASA prepared to select just two providers to move forward—both to generate a healthy competitio
  14. The resulting views from the ground were colorful. Accelerated time-lapse video of AZURE mission lighting up the sky. Late Friday night, two sounding rockets launched from a small spaceport in northern Norway. The two skinny rockets soared to an altitude of 320km, and along the way each released a visible gas to fall through, and illuminate conditions inside the aurora borealis. Some of the resulting images were stunning. This NASA-funded AZURE mission, which stands for Auroral Zone Upwelling Rocket Experiment, is one of a se
  15. "Starting a war between Alabama and SpaceX will be the end of the Moon program." Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine visits Kennedy Space Center in 2018. NASA Speaking in front of a high-fidelity model of the Apollo program's Lunar Module spacecraft, Vice President Mike Pence charged NASA with accelerating its Moon plans last week. Instead of 2028, Pence wanted boots on the ground four years earlier, before the end of 2024. This marked the rarest of all moments in spaceflight—a schedule moving left instead of to the right.
  16. NASA spent a decade and nearly $1 billion for a single launch tower "NASA exacerbated these issues by accepting unproven and untested designs." Enlarge / A long-exposure view of the mobile launcher at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA 151 with 66 posters participating A new report published Tuesday by NASA's inspector general looks into the development of a mobile launch tower for the agency's Space Launch System rocket. The analysis finds that the total cost of constructing and
  17. NASA astronauts set to return to Earth in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon on August 2nd Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are coming home soon Image: NASA NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are tentatively scheduled to return to Earth inside SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule on August 2nd. It’s the same Crew Dragon vehicle that launched the astronauts to space at the end of May — marking the first time a privately made spacecraft had carried people to orbit. For now, NASA plans for the duo, c
  18. How NASA Built a Self-Driving Car for Its Next Mars Mission It’s hard enough to get an autonomous vehicle to work on Earth. It’s even harder on another planet. Like the self-driving cars on Earth, Perseverance will navigate using an array of sensors feeding data to machine vision algorithms.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech Later this month, NASA is expected to launch its latest Mars rover, Perseverance, on a first-of-its-kind mission to the Red Planet. Its job is
  19. More quickly than anyone expected, NASA embraces reuse for human flights "With reuse, we can actually drive down costs and we can increase access." First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Weather permitting, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft will splash down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. Forecasters are closely watching conditions due to Hurricane Isaias but are hopeful the mission will find calm seas and light winds offshore from the Florida Panhandle. Unlike the Apollo missions, which ret
  20. NASA brings back its iconic “worm” logo to mark return of human spaceflight NASA administrator says he is a “huge fan” of the worm. Enlarge / This is the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts aboard. NASA 55 with 43 posters participating NASA originally planned to announce that it was bringing its iconic "worm" logo back on Wednesday, but the agency was afraid people would take it as an April Fools' Day joke. Happily, it most certainly is not. Th
  21. Here are 10 alternative ideas for what NASA could do with its Moon budget For this kind of money in space, there's a universe of things we might do instead. Enlarge / Lake Bosumtwi, located in Ghana, is situated inside a meteorite impact crater. Perhaps we should protect ourselves? (Photo by USGS/ NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images) USGS/ NASA Landsat/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images 129 with 73 posters participating One year ago, NASA embarked upon a journey to send humans back to th
  22. NASA confirms Crew Dragon almost ready, mostly paperwork left “Even though it sounds mundane, there is a load of paper that has to be verified.” Enlarge / NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken familiarize themselves with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. NASA NASA and SpaceX are closing in on the first launch of humans into orbit from US soil since 2011, when the space shuttle made its final flight. Although the space agency has not yet said so publicly, NASA is working toward a May 7 launch of a Crew Drago
  23. NASA puts a price on a 2024 Moon landing—$35 billion "In the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, there weren't entrepreneurs who were willing to invest." Enlarge / NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discusses the FY 2021 budget proposal during a State of NASA address, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Aerojet Rocketdyne's facility at Stennis Space Center. NASA Nearly 10 months after Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, the space agency has estimated how much its Artemis Program will cost. NASA says it
  24. NASA signals interest in Venus and volcanoes for next science missions Sometimes you just want to see fireworks. Enlarge / Maat Mons, one of the volcanoes of Venus, in a model created with radar data from the Magellan mission. NASA/JPL NASA scientists must not have had an easy decision this winter as they considered more than a dozen intriguing concepts for Discovery-class missions to explore the Solar System. But decide they did, selecting four missions for additional study and refinement on Thursday
  25. NASA is counting on a lot of unproven rockets for its Artemis plan Notably, the space agency seems to have taken an upgraded SLS off the table. Enlarge / It's still not clear how NASA will get its lunar lander to the Moon. NASA 87 with 35 posters participating On Thursday, NASA announced awards to begin final design and initial development of landers to carry humans down to the Moon—a big step for the Artemis Program. Building these landers to reach the lunar surface by 2024 is a big chall
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