DARPA picks Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin to build nuclear spacecraft

[…] To speed up the pace of NTP tech development, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected a trio of companies to build and demonstrate a nuclear-based propulsion system on a spacecraft above low-Earth orbit by 2025. The prime contractors include Jeff Bezos’ private space project Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, and General Read more about DARPA picks Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin to build nuclear spacecraft[…]

Blue Origin launches and lands space rockets without exploding. Unlike SpaceX.

Blue Origin has successfully completed a test launch and landing of its reuseable New Shepard rocket with an advanced capsule design, bringing the outfit one step closer to eventually sending up paying passengers. The test flight, codenamed NS-15 as it’s the 15th to date, was conducted at 1651 UTC (1151 CDT) at a Blue Origin Read more about Blue Origin launches and lands space rockets without exploding. Unlike SpaceX.[…]

Northrop’s servicing robot extends the life of an orbiting satellite by five years

Intelsat’s IS-10-02 communications satellite was running low on fuel — it’s been in orbit since 2004, after all, and has already exceeded its original mission lifespan by five years. Thanks to Northrop Grumman’s Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2), however, it gained another five years of life and will stay operational instead of being decommissioned. MEV-2 launched Read more about Northrop’s servicing robot extends the life of an orbiting satellite by five years[…]

Sierra Nevada Corporation resurrects plans for crewed Dream Chaser spaceplane, inflatable space station

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has unveiled plans for an enormous inflatable space station tended by cargo and crew carrying versions of its Dream Chaser spaceplane. “There is no scalable space travel industry without a spaceplane,” said SNC chair and owner Eren Ozmen. That’s handy, because with the retirement of the Space Shuttle, the Dream Chaser Read more about Sierra Nevada Corporation resurrects plans for crewed Dream Chaser spaceplane, inflatable space station[…]

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Imagine is its shiny, next-gen spaceship

Virgin Galactic took to YouTube to reveal, briefly, its first SpaceShip III, which will start ground tests and “glide flights” later this year. It’s an eye-catching vessel, channeling that Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Naboo starship look in a wonderful way. It’s finished with a mirror-like material that’s meant to reflect its surroundings, whether that’s Read more about Virgin Galactic’s VSS Imagine is its shiny, next-gen spaceship[…]

Another successful flight for SpaceX’s Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing

SpaceX continued its rich tradition of destroying Starship prototypes with SN11 succumbing to an explosive end during a high-altitude flight test. Originally planned for 29 March, the test flight from the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Texas, had been postponed until this morning because a Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) had been unable reach the site Read more about Another successful flight for SpaceX’s Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing[…]

Having Lost Its Original Atmosphere, This Planet Is Now Growing a New One

[…] Whereas Earth has always been a terrestrial, rocky world, GJ 1132 b began its life as a gaseous, Neptune-like planet. But as new research shows, a nearby red dwarf obliterated its original hydrogen- and helium-rich atmosphere with powerful radiation, so GJ 1132 b, having been stripped down to its rocky core, is now technically Read more about Having Lost Its Original Atmosphere, This Planet Is Now Growing a New One[…]

SpaceX Mars prototype rocket nails landing for the first time – then explodes

SpaceX rocket prototype, known as SN10, soared over South Texas during test flight Wednesday before swooping down to a pinpoint landing near its launch site. Approximately three minutes after landing, however, multiple independent video feeds showed the rocket exploding on its landing pad. SpaceX’s SN10, an early prototype of the company’s Starship Mars rocket, took Read more about SpaceX Mars prototype rocket nails landing for the first time – then explodes[…]

Swarm Announces Commercial Availability of Industry’s Lowest-Cost Global Satellite Data Service

Swarm, developer of the world’s lowest-cost live satellite communications network, today announced that the Swarm network is now commercially live and available for customers to begin using. Swarm is the first low-cost satellite provider to offer commercial services to every point in the world, and companies in markets ranging from agriculture, to logistics to maritime Read more about Swarm Announces Commercial Availability of Industry’s Lowest-Cost Global Satellite Data Service[…]

Musk see: Watch SpaceX’s latest Starship rocket explode while trying to touch down • The Register

The latest prototype of SpaceX’s Starship rocket, the SN9, burst into flames as the vehicle attempted to land on Earth on Tuesday. All eyes were on the craft after its predecessor, the SN8, exploded during touchdown in December in Boca Chica, Texas. You can watch today’s detonation in the video below. The accident occurs after Read more about Musk see: Watch SpaceX’s latest Starship rocket explode while trying to touch down • The Register[…]

Virgin Orbit launches rocket off a 747 aircraft, puts satellites into orbit

A 70-foot rocket, riding beneath the wing of a retrofitted Boeing 747 aircraft, detached from the plane and fired itself into Earth’s orbit on Sunday — marking the first successful launch for the California-based rocket startup Virgin Orbit. Virgin Orbit’s 747, nicknamed Cosmic Girl, took off from California around 10:30 am PT with the rocket, Read more about Virgin Orbit launches rocket off a 747 aircraft, puts satellites into orbit[…]

Japanese Researchers Are Working to Create Wooden Satellites

You might think metal satellites burn up on re-entry, but as it turns out, it’s not that simple. “We are very concerned with the fact that all the satellites which re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere burn and create tiny alumina particles which will float in the upper atmosphere for many years,” Takao Doi, an astronaut and Read more about Japanese Researchers Are Working to Create Wooden Satellites[…]

Mysterious water rich asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system

There’s a giant asteroid somewhere out in the solar system, and it hurled a big rock at Earth. The evidence for this mystery space rock comes from a diamond-studded meteor that exploded over Sudan in 2008. NASA had spotted the 9-ton (8,200 kilograms), 13-foot (4 meters) meteor heading toward the planet well before impact, and Read more about Mysterious water rich asteroid the size of a dwarf planet is lurking in our solar system[…]

Space Force Troops Finally Have A Name: Guardians

he fledgling U.S. Space Force has announced the name by which its members will be called: Guardians. This is one of the last remaining organizational changes for America’s newest branch to make to give it a distinct from its parent, the U.S. Air Force. The service already has its own unique unit designations, insignias and Read more about Space Force Troops Finally Have A Name: Guardians[…]

Lunar Samples Land on Earth, Completing China’s Most Challenging ‘Space Adventure’

For the first time in 44 years, a spacecraft has brought lunar samples to Earth. With the Chang’e 5 mission complete, China now joins a very exclusive club, reinforcing the country’s role as a major player in space exploration. China is now only the third country to collect samples from the Moon and bring them Read more about Lunar Samples Land on Earth, Completing China’s Most Challenging ‘Space Adventure’[…]

Astronomers Just Found Cosmic ‘Superhighways’ For Fast Travel Through The Solar System

Invisible structures generated by gravitational interactions in the Solar System have created a “space superhighway” network, astronomers have discovered. These channels enable the fast travel of objects through space, and could be harnessed for our own space exploration purposes, as well as the study of comets and asteroids. By applying analyses to both observational and Read more about Astronomers Just Found Cosmic ‘Superhighways’ For Fast Travel Through The Solar System[…]

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, but Elon Musk says it’s the data that matters and that landed just fine

SpaceX has conducted a test of the Starship it plans to use for flights to Mars, and while the experiment ended badly the flight was judged a success. Wednesday’s flight used just the Starship – the second stage of SpaceX’s planned heavy lifter. Previous flights had seen the craft ascend to around 500 feet. This Read more about SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, but Elon Musk says it’s the data that matters and that landed just fine[…]

Japan sticks the landing: Asteroid sample recovered from Hayabusa2 probe

Vids’n’pics Japanese and Australian astroboffins have successfully recovered samples taken from Asteroid Ryugu by the Hayabusa2 probe. Hayabusa2 has had quite a ride and has more adventures ahead of it. The probe launched in 2014 and spent three-and-a-half years travelling to near-Earth asteroid 162173 Ryugu, which has a diameter of about 1km and occasionally passes Read more about Japan sticks the landing: Asteroid sample recovered from Hayabusa2 probe[…]

Scientists Discover Outer Space has as much light between galaxies as inside galaxies – it’s not black after all

Look up at the night sky and, if you’re away from city lights, you’ll see stars. The space between those bright points of light is, of course, filled with inky blackness. Some astronomers have wondered about that all that dark space–about how dark it really is. “Is space truly black?” says Tod Lauer, an astronomer Read more about Scientists Discover Outer Space has as much light between galaxies as inside galaxies – it’s not black after all[…]

AST & Science wants to launch 243 mobile broadband satellites into space used by the A Train – and NASA’s quite worried about crashes into scientific craft

AST & Science, a Texas-based company, has applied for approval to build SpaceMobile, which claims to be the “first and only space-based cellular broadband network to be accessible by standard smartphones.” Its proposed network is under review by the FCC. However, NASA reckons it will heighten the risk of contact between spacecraft within a region Read more about AST & Science wants to launch 243 mobile broadband satellites into space used by the A Train – and NASA’s quite worried about crashes into scientific craft[…]

Supermarket giant Iceland sends chicken nugget into space to mark 50th anniversary

Supermarket chain Iceland has launched a chicken nugget into space to celebrate its 50th anniversary of trading. The breaded snack was launched into the stratosphere from a location close to the company’s head office in Deeside, North Wales, as part a joint venture with Sent Into Space, a team of experts in the field of Read more about Supermarket giant Iceland sends chicken nugget into space to mark 50th anniversary[…]

Unusual molecule found in atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan, precursor to life

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is the only moon in our solar system that has a thick atmosphere. It’s four times denser than Earth’s. And now, scientists have discovered a molecule in it that has never been found in any other atmosphere. The particle is called cyclopropenylidene, or C3H2, and it’s made of carbon and hydrogen. Read more about Unusual molecule found in atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan, precursor to life[…]

NASA Discovers a Rare Metal Asteroid Worth $10,000 Quadrillion

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a rare, heavy and immensely valuable asteroid called “16 Psyche” in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Asteroid Psyche is located at roughly 230 million miles (370 million kilometers) from Earth and measures 140 miles (226 kilometers) across, about the size of West Virginia. What Read more about NASA Discovers a Rare Metal Asteroid Worth $10,000 Quadrillion[…]

Water on the Moon: Research unveils its type and abundance – boosting exploration plans

“Water” has since been detected inside the minerals in lunar rocks. Water ice has also been discovered to be mixed in with lunar dust grains in cold, permanently shadowed regions near the lunar poles. But scientists haven’t been sure how much of this water is present as “molecular water”—made up of two parts hydrogen and Read more about Water on the Moon: Research unveils its type and abundance – boosting exploration plans[…]

About 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far – that’s 360 potential collisions now and 1,260 once SL is up

To date, the company has launched over 800 satellites and (as of this summer) is producing them at a rate of about 120 a month. There are even plans to have a constellation of 42,000 satellites in orbit before the decade is out. However, there have been some problems along the way, as well. Aside Read more about About 3% of Starlink satellites have failed so far – that’s 360 potential collisions now and 1,260 once SL is up[…]