Credit: National Geographic

  The next frontier in space exploration is Mars, the red planet—and human habitation of Mars isn’t much farther off. In October 2015, NASA declared Mars “an achievable goal;” that same season, Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s The Martian drew crowds into theaters, grossing nearly half a billion dollars in the first two months. Now […]

Credit: NASA

What kind of map is needed to best aide human explorers strutting about on Mars? An international call is open to students, cartographers, and graphic artists from all countries to participate in planning the first human mission to Mars. The International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Planetary Cartography is organizing a competition for creating maps […]

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1326, April 29, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is just about to enter Sol 1328 as of this posting. Ryan Anderson, a planetary scientist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, reports: “After a nice rest on Sol 1325, Curiosity was charged up and ready for lots of science!” That Sol 1325 was used primarily to […]

On April 27, James Lovell spoke at MIT as a special guest, invited by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Photo: Bill Litant

It was 46 years ago this month that the words “Houston…we’ve had a problem” shot across space to ground controllers on Earth. On April 14, 1970, just 56 hours into the Apollo 13 mission to the Moon, those words were uttered by crew members aboard the spacecraft. Apollo 13 was to be NASA’s third landing […]

Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Just how crowded is it out there…or are we Earthlings a one-off species? A just issued paper has tackled this long-standing puzzler. The research attempts to assign a new empirically valid probability to whether any other advanced technological civilizations have ever existed. Bottom line: unless the odds of advanced life evolving on a habitable planet […]

Credit: NASA

A new NASA technical memorandum has taken a hard look at the prospect of sustainable colonization of Mars, one that is safe, affordable, and nurtures independence of residents on the Red Planet from Earth. Frontier In-Situ Resource Utilization for Enabling Sustained Human Presence on Mars has been authored by Robert Moses and Dennis Bushnell of […]

Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA). Credit: ESA–Stephane Corvaja, 2016

  The European Space agency is pressing forward on its vision to establish a “Moon Village,” a product of international collaboration between space faring nations. This village would be a permanent lunar base for science, business, mining and even tourism. The Moon Village concept was advocated by Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General of the European Space […]

Credit: UNISEC Global

Given the growing aspirations of the smallsat community, a big concern is the mounting risk posed by orbital debris – and the potential contribution to the nagging problem by pico/nano/micro-satellites developers. A contest is underway to suggest devices for expedited or controlled re-entry at the end of a satellite’s mission life. To that end, the […]

Credit: Satellite Applications Catapult

A low cost, domestic launch capability will be of significant strategic value to the space sector of the United Kingdom, according to a new report published by the Satellite Applications Catapult. The “IGS Low Cost Access to Space” report focuses on the UK’s expertise in the small satellite market – a growing segment of the […]

China flag

China is celebrating a “National Day of Space Flight,” spotlighting the launch of its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong No. 1, on April 24, 1970. Surrounding the festivities, Chinese space officials have pointed to a number of upcoming and projected space initiatives – such as Moon and Mars spacecraft launches, piloted space flight and space […]