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  1. NASA has selected its deep space hardware—now comes the fun part "This isn’t a dream any more." Enlarge / NASA's Kathy Lueders, left, and SpaceX's Hans Koenigsmann track the Demo-2 crew mission in 2020. SpaceX is helping to enable NASA to think less about transportation and more about exploration. No NASA official would ever admit this in public, but the 2010s have been a frustrating decade for human spaceflight. After the space shuttle retired in 2011, as most everyone knows, NASA had no way to get its astronauts in
  2. NASA suspends SpaceX’s $2.9 billion moon lander contract after rivals protest SpaceX won’t receive NASA funding until the GAO resolves two formal protests A digital illustration of SpaceX’s Starship lunar lander sitting on the Moon’s surface, as proposed to NASA under its Artemis program. Image: SpaceX NASA has suspended work on SpaceX’s new $2.9 billion lunar lander contract while a federal watchdog agency adjudicates two protests over the award, the agency said Friday. Putting the Human Landing System (or HLS) work on hold unti
  3. NASA Crew-1 Dragon set to return to Earth with Saturday splashdown The American space agency NASA has announced that it will be live streaming the return to Earth for the NASA SpaceX Crew-1 mission from the International Space Station. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi are set to splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico at 11:36 a.m. EDT on Saturday, May 1. The Crew Dragon spacecraft which will be returning the astronauts is dubbed Resilience and will undock from the ISS at 5:55 p.m. following the hatch closur
  4. NASA says its Mars helicopter is ready for a historic first flight This is all experimental, so it's quite possible that Ingenuity will fail. Enlarge / NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is seen here in a close-up taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras aboard the Perseverance rover. NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA has resolved the issues with its Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars and is ready to fly. The space agency announced on Saturday that it will attempt to fly the small, 1.8k
  5. NASA: Don't expect humans to fly around Mars on big helicopters "Get to the chopper!" is one phrase astronauts won't be yelling on Mars. NASA's experimental Ingenuity helicopter hopes to take flight on Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU Space fans are eagerly awaiting updates on when the Ingenuity Mars helicopter might attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. That gives us time to imagine the possibilities for flying on other worlds. If Ingenuity is successful, could it become a prototype for a Mars chopper that would carry humans? Unfortu
  6. NASA Gets a Quick Peek at a Mysterious Layer of the Sun A new map of the chromosphere’s magnetic field could help us predict solar weather patterns—and anticipate flares that wreak havoc on the power grid. Photograph: Lin Yen Ting/Getty Images Imagine for a minute that you have been transported to the middle layers of the sun’s atmosphere. The sun’s surface, the “visible disc” scientists call the photosphere, boils below you, red-hot plasma heated to 10,000 degrees
  7. Watch new dramatic videos from NASA’s Perseverance rover landing on Mars Incredible footage of NASA’s latest descent to the Red Planet NASA on Monday released a trove of video footage showing its Perseverance rover landing on Mars after plunging through the planet’s atmosphere, unveiling the most in-depth views of a Mars landing ever. Mission teams at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California got back 30 gigabytes of data and over 23,000 ima
  8. NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars The science mission will launch the first drone to fly on another planet, attempt making oxygen in space, and search for signs of ancient life. Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech In the Mission Support Area at Lockheed Martin’s campus in Littleton, Colorado, masked people sat close to computers, flying three spacecraft in orbit around Mars. These three—Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Maven, and Odyssey—were all tasked, in on
  9. NASA’s Perseverance rover beams back first images from its wild landing NASA is teasing an incoming trove of dramatic videos with the first set of still images from its new rover The first image showing Perseverance being lowered to the Martian surface by its rocket-powered Skycrane. Photo: NASA/JPL NASA just released a cache of tantalizing photos from its Perseverance rover after landing on Mars Thursday, with one showing the rover getting dropped off by the rocket-powered platform it used to gently descend on the R
  10. Acting NASA chief says 2024 Moon landing no longer a “realistic” target "We are reviewing the program for the most efficient path forward.” Enlarge / Engineer Steve Jurczyk has been serving as NASA's acting administrator since Jim Bridenstine resigned on January 20. NASA's acting administrator said Wednesday evening that the goal of landing humans on the Moon by 2024 no longer appears to be feasible. "The 2024 lunar landing goal may no longer be a realistic target due to the last two years of appropriations, which d
  11. Report: NASA’s only realistic path for humans on Mars is nuclear propulsion "It's the kind of technology challenge that NASA was built for." Enlarge / NASA originally studied nuclear thermal propulsion in the 1960s. Here is concept art for the Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) program. NASA 21 with 20 posters participating Getting humans to Mars and back is rather hard. Insanely difficult, in fact. Many challenges confront NASA and other would-be Mars pioneers when planning missions to the re
  12. NASA picks SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch two key pieces of the Lunar Gateway The decision prompted some contractual hiccups Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images NASA chose SpaceX’s heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket to launch the first two elements of the agency’s Lunar Gateway, a planned outpost orbiting the moon. The two Gateway pieces, a propulsion module and astronaut living quarters, were originally designed to launch separately, but NASA picked SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy as a one-trip solution for $332 million.
  13. NASA’s Moon-Exploring Artemis Program Will Move Forward Under Biden The White House pledged its support of the ambitious lunar exploration missions. The Biden administration is on board with NASA’s Artemis program, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed at a press briefing—though she didn’t elaborate on whether or how the modern moon-exploring missions might shift under America’s new leadership. Speculation about Artemis’ fate whirled since President Joe Biden was elected. Following up on a question about the program’s potential continuation p
  14. NASA has appointed its first-ever climate advisor They'll work with the Biden administration on its climate change plan. NASA NASA has appointed its first-ever senior climate advisor, the space agency announced on Wednesday. Gavin Schmidt (pictured above), the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science (GISS), will hold the position until the agency makes a more permanent appointment. Among other duties, Schmidt’s job will involve communicating and coordinating with the wider scientific community, as well as promoting NASA’s climate-related res
  15. It’s official—NASA will subject the SLS rocket to another hot fire test "A second, longer hot fire test should be conducted and would pose minimal risk." Enlarge / The SLS core stage at NASA's Stennis Space Center after firing up for the Green Run test on January 16, 2021. Trevor Mahlmann 133 with 80 posters participating After completing a review of data collected from a hot fire test of its Space Launch System rocket in mid-January, NASA has decided it needs to test the large vehicle again. The all-up engine fi
  16. NASA and Boeing are targeting March 25 for Starliner's second unmanned orbital flight test Image via NASA Blogs Boeing and NASA have set March 25, 2021, as the date for Starliner's second unmanned flight test. Dubbed Orbital Flight Test- 2 (OFT-2), this will be the second major flight test for the spacecraft and a key developmental milestone for Boeing in its bid for the NASA Commercial Crew program. Previously, the two were targeting March 29, but the date was brought up due to multiple factors including the availability of the United Launch Alliance Atla
  17. NASA likely to redo hot-fire test of its Space Launch System core stage Of 23 test objectives, full data was received for 15 of them. Enlarge / At 4:27pm central time on Saturday, the SLS rocket core stage ignited its four RS-25 engines at NASA's Stennis Space Center. The test was to last up to eight minutes. Trevor Mahlmann for Ars 26 with 23 posters participating Following the unsuccessful completion of a Space Launch System hot fire test, NASA is likely to conduct a second "Green Run" firing in February.
  18. Watch NASA test fire its massive new rocket The Space Launch System is about to hit a major testing milestone The B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA Four huge rocket engines will roar to life on Saturday, in a crucial test for NASA’s powerful next-generation rocket. This long-awaited trial run won’t leave the ground, but it will be so powerful that officials have warned that it may be heard up to 60 miles away. Saturday’s test is the last ste
  19. NASA extends Juno, turning spacecraft into an Io, Europa, and Ganymede explorer What's up with all those volcanoes on Io, anyway? Enlarge / NASA’s Juno spacecraft soared directly over Jupiter’s south pole when JunoCam acquired this image on February 2, 2017. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/John Landino 43 with 30 posters participating NASA has announced that it will extend the missions for two of its interplanetary explorers launching during the last decade—the Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter and the InSight lander o
  20. NASA shows off the best images of Earth taken from the ISS this year There have been 20 continuous years of life on the ISS In brief: In addition to NASA celebrating 20 years of continuous human presence onboard the International Space Station (ISS), crew members took thousands of photographs of Earth during 2020. Now, the agency has revealed the best twenty images of our planet as seen from space. Chosen by the people at the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the images include Cuba and the Bahamas, the fall colors o
  21. NASA is about to have double Dragons at its space station Also, NASA has agreed to fly on a Falcon 9 that has already been used three times. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. NASA and SpaceX are making final preparations for a cargo mission that will carry nearly three metric tons of supplies to the International Space Station. This "CRS-21" mission is the 21st cargo supply mission that SpaceX will launch for NASA overall. But it is the first under a new supply contract that runs throu
  22. It's the closest astronomers have ever seen a space rock soar by without smacking into our planet. Close enough for a high-five...NASA An asteroid set a new mark on Friday for the closest pass by our planet without actually impacting. The space rock was discovered with the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System, or ATLAS, run by NASA and the University of Hawaii. It has been designated 2020 VT4, and it came within just 240 miles (386 kilometers) of Earth's surface on Friday. That's closer even than objects in low-earth orbit including the
  23. NASA objects to new megaconstellation, citing risk of “catastrophic collison” "This particular region of space tends to produce a large number of conjunctions." Enlarge / Sixty Starlink Internet communication satellites from SpaceX are seen in the night sky over Vladivostok. Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images 74 with 50 posters participating NASA has formally commented (PDF) on a request by a US company to build a megaconstellation of satellites at an altitude of 720km above the Earth's surface, citing concerns ab
  24. Today’s the big day for NASA’s mission that seeks to pluck asteroid dust “This is much more like four and a half minutes of mild anxiousness.” Enlarge / Artist’s conception of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collecting a sample from the asteroid Bennu. NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona 49 with 35 posters participating Hundreds of scientists and engineers have labored for the better part of two decades to reach this point. Now, their passenger-van-sized spacecraft is fin
  25. 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
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