An automation process is geared to resolving a key bottleneck in boosting the annual production of Pu-238 toward NASA’s goal of 1.5 kilograms of Pu-238 per year by 2025. Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, near Knoxville, is automating the production of neptunium oxide-aluminum pellets.   Pu-238 provides a constant heat source through […]

The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy has compiled an extensive collection of current and historical documents on U.S. and international space policy, law, and regulation. Many of these documents are difficult to find and previously had not been brought together in a single online source. This archive is designed to serve as […]

The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a one-year contract with ArianeGroup to study and prepare for a mission to go to the Moon with the aim of mining regolith. ArianeGroup with Arianespace joined forces with a German start-up, PTScientists, which will provide the lunar lander, and a Belgian SME, Space Applications Services, which will […]

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa2 is being readied for its first asteroid Ryugu touchdown and collecting samples next month. First touchdown The first Hayabusa2 touchdown (TD1) is planned for the week of February 18. A backup week is March 4. JAXA Hayabusa2 team members have decided that another target marker will not be […]

A recent posting by NASA has indicated that the U.S. space agency and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) are coordinating efforts focused on the farside landing of China’s Chang’e-4. That robotic spacecraft touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on January 3rd. In particular, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is expected to image the […]

  NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is wrapping up Sol 2294 duties. But reports Melissa Rice, a planetary geologist at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington: “Sometimes the best laid plans of rovers go astray.” After wrapping up looks at the Rock Hall drill site, the plan was for Curiosity to start driving towards the clay-bearing […]

  The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) began in 2017 to produce a series of unclassified Defense Intelligence overviews of major foreign military challenges faced by the United States. A new volume — CHINA MILITARY POWER: Modernizing a Force to Fight and Win — provides details on China’s defense and military goals, strategy, plans, and […]

  A new study has been issued — Planetary Protection Classification of Sample-Return Missions from the Martian Moons – Phobos and Deimos. Currently, the Committee on Space Research of the International Council of Scientific Unions’ (COSPAR for short) planetary protection policy does not specify the status of sample return missions from Phobos or Deimos. Although […]

  NASA has posted a January 19th story regarding its campaign to return to the Moon with global partners. This past month, the article explains, NASA held discussions with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) to explore the possibility of observing a signature of the landing plume of their lunar lander, Chang’e 4, using the […]

  NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is wrapping up Sol 2293 duties. The robot’s last day at Rock Hall saw scientists gathering last data at this location. Reports Brittney Cooper, an atmospheric scientist at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Claire Newman, also an atmospheric scientist at Aeolis Research in Pasadena, California: Scientists had a 2.5 […]

Griffith Observatory Event