On Sept. 8, NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch for terra incognita: the unknown surface of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.
Like expeditions of old, OSIRIS-REx's mission includes mapping the exotic terrain it explores. Bennu is part of the debris left over from the formation of the solar system and is pristine enough to hold clues to that very early history.
OSIRIS-REx – which stands for Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer – will study Bennu in detail and collect a sample to send to Earth for in-depth analysis...
Tensegrity Approaches to In-Space Construction of a 1g Growable Habitat NASA Innovative Advance Concepts Phase II Award Robert Skelton Texas Engineering Experiment This proposal seeks to design a rotating habitat with a robotic system that...
Via Allen Taylor, Chuck Black
SpaceX is on schedule to fly two NASA astronauts on a test flight to the International Space Station by the end of 2017, but there is a lot of work to do to ensure the company’s new Crew Dragon spaceship is up to the task and ready in time, a SpaceX manager said Tuesday.
Benjamin Reed, director of SpaceX’s commercial crew program, said Tuesday that construction workers will install a crew access arm and other infrastructure for human spaceflights at Kennedy Space Center’s launch pad 39A this summer.
Aviation Week report’s on NASA’s contribution to SpaceX’s plan to land a Dragon spacecraft on Mars: NASA expects to spend “on the order of $30 million” helping SpaceX send a modified Dragon vehicle to the surface of Mars in the 2018 planetary launch...
Via Allen Taylor
Astrobotic Technology, the company that plans to deliver payloads to the moon, has completed a $2.5 million seed round led by Space Angels Network.
The company was originally spun out of Carnegie Mellon University in 2007 to compete for the Google Lunar XPRIZE (GLXP). As of today, they’ve secured 10 deals from governments, companies, universities, nonprofits and individuals for their first mission to the moon.
In September, 2014, a Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida carrying a Dragon spacecraft bound for the International Space Station.
The capsule carried some notable cargo, including the first 3D printer to be tested in space as well as 20 mousetronauts to study muscle loss. Yet the most far-reaching part of that mission came after the Falcon 9 deployed its upper stage and began falling back to Earth...
Bethesda, MD (SPX) Apr 26, 2016 - Recent reports indicate there are roughly 20 launch vehicles that are either ready or under development around the world designed to serve the small satellite market for payloads weighing up to 1,00...
Via Chuck Black
NASA has selected Orbital ATK Inc. of Dulles, Virginia, to begin negotiations on an agreement to use High Bay 2 in the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The prospective property use agreement, which also will include a mobile launcher platform, reflects Kennedy’s transformation to a multi-user spaceport supporting both government and commercial organizations.
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos predicts there’ll be a problem with a parachute the next time his Blue Origin venture flies its uncrewed New Shepard spaceship. He’ll make sure of it.
Flying with a bad parachute is part of Blue Origin’s plan to test the suborbital craft under stressful conditions, in preparation for flying passengers to the edge of outer space in as little as two years.
BEAM will be deployed to its full size this Thursday, May 26, and begin its two-year technology demonstration attached to the space station. The astronauts aboard will first enter the habitat on June 2, and re-enter the module several times a year throughout the test period. While inside, they will retrieve sensor data and assess conditions inside the module.
In an operation at Kennedy Space Center involving minute movements and precise placement, the pieces of the first CST-100 Starliner test article became a capsule. The test article will help verify the manufacturing method, the materials, and the parts being created by Boeing and the project’s suppliers and help study the design of the Starliner.
We’re back at Space Symposium for a conversation with SNC’s Mark Sirangelo, leader of that company’s effort to build the Dream Chaser. We’ll also hear a few moments of Bill Nye’s session at the annual gathering as he hosted Bernard Foing and Amy Mainzer.
United Launch Alliance found itself on the hot seat last month after a executive made controversial comments at a university seminar that leaked out. Jeff Foust reports that behind the controversy are insights into the transformation that company, and the broader launch industry, are undergoing.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has won a $67 million NASA contract to build an advanced electric propulsion system with double the thrust of today’s ion thrusters that could drive future expeditions to asteroids and Mars.
The high-power propulsion system will be based on Hall thrusters, which accelerate xenon gas through an intense electric field to generate thrust with better fuel efficiency than conventional chemical rocket engines.
NASA said work under the Aerojet Rocketdyne contract will lead to a propulsion system could increase fuel efficiency for space missions 10 times over existing chemically-fueled rocket thrusters.
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