The Andromeda Strain - the 1971 movie, but how real for a 21st century return to  Earth of Mars samples? Credit: Universal Pictures

Here’s a new story from me up on   Ebola Outbreak May Hold Lessons for Handling Samples from Mars by Leonard David,’s Space Insider Columnist October 30, 2014 10:00am ET


China’s experimental mooncraft is on target to return back to Earth on November 1st. Adjustments to the trajectory of the spacecraft have been made, with other nudges expected. Doing so will set up the craft to made a skip-reentry into Earth’s atmosphere, slowing it down from a speed of 11.2 kilometers per second – then […]

Doomed for destruction is DebriSat, a nonfunctional, full-scale representation of a modern satellite, shown here prior to test at the Range G target tank at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex in Tennessee.  Credit: U.S. Air Force/Jacqueline Cowan

A new story from me, up today on   Mock Satellite Destroyed to Study Space Junk Collisions   By Leonard David,’s Space Insider Columnist October 28, 2014 07:00am ET   

Credit: NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, 2014

A new NASA report provides an introduction and overview, and a look into the future, of the emerging “space ecosystem” and American private-sector space activities. Titled Emerging Space: The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight, the report is by the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist, 2014. The report is available from NASA’s Emerging […]

An early Nimbus satellite undergoes vibration testing at NASA

Researchers are recovering valuable data by perusing stashed away and nearly forgotten images from 5 decades old NASA Nimbus data tapes and black and white film. The upshot is that they are finding treasures in the pictures. Experts at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Snow and Ice Data Center — part of the Cooperative Institute for Research […]

Credit: OECD

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has unveiled their new report: The Space Economy at a Glance 2014. This new report provides a statistical overview of the global space sector and its contributions to economic activity. The new edition provides indicators and statistics based on both official and private data, in over forty […]

Long March-3C rocket lifts off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center carrying China

An advanced Long March-3C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province has hurled toward the Moon China’s robotic test vehicle. Launched early Friday (local China time), the spacecraft will fly around the Moon for half a circle and return to Earth in a test of reentry technologies to be used […]


Here’s my new story and update on China’s next robotic trek to the Moon – while technical details are skimpy, this mission should sharpen the country’s lunar sample return program: China Poised to Launch Next Moon Mission on Thursday By Leonard David,’s Space Insider Columnist October 22, 2014 07:00am ET  

China’s Hainan launching site is approaching operational status. Early work on China’s newest spaceport is shown here in full swing with rocket assembly towers in view. Credit: China Space Website

China’s new launch complex is the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan province. Construction of that facility began in 2009 and is now completed. It will soon become operational, China’s People’s Daily reported last week. The center is designed to handle next-generation rockets, the lofting of large space station modules – as well as deep […]


Feeble but hanging on. That’s the diagnosis from China regarding the country’s Yutu moon rover. According to China’s Xinhua news agency, the lunar robot has undergone 11 periods of dormancy with its functions “gradually degrading,” said Yu Dengyun, deputy chief designer of China’s lunar probe mission. “Yutu has gone through freezing lunar nights under abnormal […]