Space Launch System. Credit: NASA

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued two new reports on the overall status of NASA’s Space Launch System and the space agency’s next piloted program, Orion.   What GAO found in summary is that the SLS has resolved some technical issues and matured its design since GAO’s July 2015 report, but […]

Taming a resource-rich Mars can assure that future inhabitants live long and prosper. This image taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover: Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1301, April 3, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

    A NASA technical memorandum has taken a detailed look at the prospect of putting in place a sustainable colony of people on the Red Planet. Such a settlement can be safe, affordable, and nurture independence of residents on Mars from Earth. The document is titled Frontier In-Situ Resource Utilization for Enabling Sustained Human […]

Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) image taken on July 24, 2016, Sol 1410. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

  NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now in Sol 1412. Last weekend the rover made good progress, driving almost 223 feet (68 meters). Before the drive, Curiosity’s Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) and Mastcam were to observe bedrock targets “Jamba” and “Huambo” and the Right Mastcam was on tap to acquire a 3-image mosaic of a […]

Curiosity Mastcam Right image taken on Sol 1407, July 21, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Now in Sol 1409, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has focused its observations on a blocky deposit dubbed “Bimbe.” Other targets over the weekend that are under scrutiny with rover instruments are “Seeis”, “Seeheim”, “Wilhelmstal”, “Oranjemund” , “Funda” and “Zambezi”. Drive planned On Sol 1410, the rover’s Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) has an observation of the […]

Graphic above by Danielle Futselaar is the famous Drake Equation, representing the full spectrum of science undertaken at the SETI Institute. Wherever you are on Earth, the Drake Equation represents all explorations of our lives, and life beyond our home planet. Credit: Danielle Futselaar/SETI Institute

There are new developments in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI for short. In the SETI business, two game-changers are notable, explains Jill Tarter, Director, Center of SETI Research and the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI. “I’ve spent my professional life searching for alien life. Over the span of my career, I’ve seen […]

Curiosity Navcam Left B image taken on Sol 1405, July 19, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

    New imagery has become available of NASA’s Mars Curiosity, busily at work on the Red Planet. The rover is now in Sol 1406. The rover landed in Mars’ Gale Crater in August 2012. NASA recently approved an additional two-year extension, beginning Oct. 1, 2016, for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which developed and […]

Credit: Viking Mars Missions Education & Preservation Project (VMMEPP).

Four decades ago, NASA’s Viking Mars program scored nail-biting, back-to-back successes by becoming the first U.S. robotic missions to land safe and sound on the Red Planet and return images of the Martian landscape. It was a momentous moment in time. Like today’s robotic explorers, but decades ago, Viking scientists packed up their troubles, cares […]

USAF Gen. John Hyten, the head of Air Force Space Command, at 31st National Space Symposium held in Colorado Springs. Credit: The Space Foundation

  More details have been issued by the U.S. Air Force on a Space Mission Force or SMF. The objective is to prepare and present space forces as a ready force capable of operating in a “contested, degraded and operationally-limited environment.” According to the Air Force in a press statement, the SMF “will be the […]

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on Sol 1400, July 14, 2016 Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

  NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars is now in Sol 1402 activities, a weekend plan of duties ahead defined at “hefty.” According to Lauren Edgar, a research geologist at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, “we knew it would be a big plan going into the weekend.” The plan jelled as it was […]

Credit: NASA/JPL/Caltech

The building of NASA’s next Mars rover has been given a go-ahead. Launch of the Mars machinery is targeted for the summer of 2020, arriving on the Red Planet in February of 2021. In the hope of reducing risk and shaving off dollars, the 2020 rover would look much like its six-wheeled, one-ton predecessor, Curiosity, […]