NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now in Sol 1544, still plagued by a problem in its drilling equipment. Among a set of possible drill issues being assessed: a brake on the drill feed mechanism did not disengage fully or that an electronic encoder for the mechanism’s motor did not function as expected. Curiosity is […]

China’s latest set of space travelers — astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong – held a press briefing on Wednesday. It was their first public appearance since the return of the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft on November 18, after a three-week quarantine period. The Shenzhou-11 piloted spacecraft blasted off on Oct. 17, 2016, then latched up […]

Take a trip down Mawrth Vallis – a dried-up outflow channel Mars. This visual trek comes courtesy of the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) operated by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) on board the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. Digging down Mawrth Vallis is one of the potential […]

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is one of NASA’s most complex and expensive projects, at an anticipated cost of $8.8 billion. Now in the midst of significant integration and testing that will last the two remaining years until the planned October 2018 launch date, the JWST project will need to continue to address many challenges and identify problems, some likely to be revealed […]

Now in Sol 1542, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover continues to be plagued by a drill anomaly issue. Investigation of the issue is continuing with more diagnostic tests planned. “Again, no mobility or other arm activities will be planned, so the science team added only remote sensing observations,” reports Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science […]

Credit: Eyal Gever

Put aside the sci-fi axiom that nobody can hear you scream in space…but what about laughter? Israeli artist Eyal Gever is working on “#LAUGH (2016)” — a global collaborative art project — to be launched into Earth orbit. It is set to become the first piece of art to be fabricated on a zero-gravity 3D-printer […]

Virgin Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity) touches down after flying freely for the first time after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve (VMS Eve) on December 3, 2016 in the Mojave Desert. Credit: Virgin Galactic

  The sky above the Mojave Air and Space Port in California on December 3 was the site of Virgin Galactic’s first drop test of Spaceship Unity (VSS Unity). VSS Unity’s test flight also marks the first time that a vehicle built by Virgin Galactic’s sister organization — The Spaceship Company — has flown fully […]

Mars true-color globe showing Terra Meridiani. Credits: NASA/Greg Shirah

  NOTE: Frank White is the author of the seminal work — The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution — first published in 1987, re-issued in 1998 with a third edition of the book released in 2014. The Overview Effect is an on-going phenomenon that impacts various aspects of world culture in the New Space […]

Curiosity Front Hazcam Right B image taken on Sol 1536, December 1, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The report from ground zero on Mars is that the Curiosity rover has encountered a drill fault. The robot is now in Sol 1537, and reports Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona: “Unfortunately, the much-anticipated rotary-only drilling experiment did not even start due to a drill fault that is currently […]

Credit: ISECG

The International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) has just published the summary of its upcoming Science White Paper: “Scientific Opportunities Enabled by Human Exploration Beyond Low-Earth-Orbit.” The science white paper will inform the next edition of the Global Exploration Roadmap, expected in late 2017. The paper was developed by ISECG agencies together with a Science […]

Griffith Observatory Event