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Japanese spacecraft fired cannonball into asteroid

March 30th, 2020 at 11:44 am » Comments Off

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 spacecraft fired a copper cannonball into Ryugu, an 850 meter-wide near-Earth asteroid. The 2 kilogram “Small Carry-on Impactor,” a bit larger than a tennis ball, hit the asteroid at approximately 7,200 kilometers/hour and blew out a 14.5 meter wide crater with a depth of .6 meters. After a […]

Human settlements in space are closer than we think. Here’s what it will look like

March 25th, 2020 at 11:24 am » Comments Off

From vast spaceships orbiting close to Earth to tunnels the size of Los Angeles under the surface of the moon  European Space Agency’s plan for the Moon Village. “We already have, or at least understand, the technology needed for a moon base,” says Lewis Dartnell, an astrobiologist from the University of Westminster in London. “The […]

The next challenge for getting to Mars: What happens to the human body in space

March 24th, 2020 at 12:57 pm » Comments Off

From NASA’s Moon to Mars program to Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to send a million people to Mars by 2050, the race is on to get human feet on the red planet. With increasingly sophisticated rockets and robotics, the technological challenges standing in the way of this goal are fast being eroded. But there might […]

Elon Musk says he’s ‘definitely going to be dead’ before humans ever reach Mars — unless the pace of innovation picks up

March 16th, 2020 at 11:04 am » Comments Off

An illustration of a woman orbiting Mars inside a SpaceX vehicle. Elon Musk/SpaceX Elon Musk said he’s “definitely going to be dead” before humans reach Mars unless innovation speeds up. The SpaceX CEO made the comments on Monday while speaking to attendees of the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC. Musk said the biggest obstacle […]

Here are all the ways to visit space this decade (if you’re extremely rich)

March 7th, 2020 at 11:26 am » Comments Off

Glamping in zero gravity will cost a few millions bucks at least. Have you always dreamt of leaving Earth? Are you a member of the two, or better yet three commas club? Well it’s a great time to be alive because after decades of delays, the space tourism industry may finally be taking off. Not […]

SpaceX will launch private citizens into orbit

February 27th, 2020 at 12:08 pm » Comments Off

SpaceX is planning to send up to four private citizens into space to take a trip around Earth sometime at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. The spaceflight company announced an agreement on Tuesday with Space Adventures, a space tourism business that has helped seven different private citizens take trips to (and from) […]

The sun is still a burning mystery. That may be about to change.

February 16th, 2020 at 12:38 pm » Comments Off

The historic launch of the new European Solar Orbiter helps foster a golden age for understanding our nearest star. On Sunday evening, a rocket lit up Florida’s nighttime sky as it ferried a spacecraft toward a first-of-its-kind adventure to the sun. Even though our home star smolders every day in our skies, humans have only […]

Spin launch’s ginormous centrifuge plans to slingshot rockets into space

February 7th, 2020 at 12:20 pm » Comments Off

One of the greatest obstacles in launching spacecraft off our planet is the tremendous volume and cost of fuel required to achieve escape velocity and break out of Earth’s gravity well into the vacuum of outer space. Aerospace firms have offered a number of novel solutions to this dilemma, but we’re still stuck with the […]

ESA opens oxygen plant, making air out of moondust

February 1st, 2020 at 1:57 pm » Comments Off

  Oxygen and metal from lunar regolith. Credit: Beth Lomax – University of Glasgow ESA’s technical heart has begun to produce oxygen out of simulated moondust. A prototype oxygen plant has been set up in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory of the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, based in Noordwijk in the […]

SpaceX is about to launch a historic mission with actual people on board Crew Dragon

January 31st, 2020 at 2:27 pm » Comments Off

SpaceX is poised to launch its first astronauts into space this spring: Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.  Their flight on the company’s Crew Dragon spaceship will mark the first time an American spacecraft has carried NASA astronauts since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. Behnken and Hurley’s liftoff is expected to launch a new […]

China plans 39 million-mile race to Mars to catch up with NASA

January 23rd, 2020 at 1:16 pm » Comments Off

“Mars Base 1” is a Mars simulation center in the Gobi desert. China is taking its rivalry with the U.S. to another planet. The Chinese space agency is preparing a mid-year mission to Mars, marking the most ambitious project on an exploration checklist intended to achieve equal footing with NASA and transform the nation’s technological […]

China makes major breakthrough in space propulsion technology

January 20th, 2020 at 12:48 pm » Comments Off

The 20-kW Hall thruster in operation at a laboratory of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation  China has made a major breakthrough in the development of the Hall-effect thruster (HET), an important space propulsion technology. Researchers from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) have developed the country’s first HET with an input […]

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