Credit: ESA

Europe is ratcheting up the strategic significance of the Moon in a global space exploration endeavor. For example, in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Space Exploration Strategy it spells out the mission theme of “sustainable exploration of the Moon is integrated in the strategic exploration approach for Europe.” A guiding principle in Europe is to […]

Curiosity Mastcam Left image taken on August 25, 2015, Sol 1085.    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

“Curiosity is currently making her way through some beautiful exposures of the Stimson unit,” reports Lauren Edgar of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. The rover completed a roughly 20-foot (6-meter) drive on Sol 1087 and Curiosity is in a good position for possible contact science early next week, Edgar adds. Weekend work […]

Credit: Planetary Resources, Inc.

Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company, has developed an informative list of several interesting and valuable near-Earth asteroid prospecting and mining targets in the Solar System. According to the group, many of these targets are valued in the trillions of dollars. How they go about selecting the targets – and the technology they are developing […]


    Wheel watching 2015 continues with this new striking image of the Curiosity rover’s continuing issue in dealing with wear and tear due to the Red Planet’s rocky terrain.

Where to land the NASA Mars 2020 rover? Scientists and engineers gathered at an August workshop to assess where best to land the Red Planet robot. Credit: NASA/JPL

  Work is underway to develop NASA’s next nuclear-powered Mars rover. The Mars 2020 mission is largely based on the successful Mars Science Laboratory project that plopped down the Curiosity rover on the Red Planet in August 2012. However, there are a variety of distinctions. The Mars 2020 robot would explore a select site that’s […]

Curiosity Mars rover took this Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) image on August 26, 2015, Sol 1085.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

  Handlers of the Curiosity rover report a further march of the Mars machinery – a nearly 128-feet (39-meter) drive on Sol 1085. That drive has left the rover in another “target-rich area,” reports Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) observations were made on the brighter […]

Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has announced the selection of space pilot Nicola Pecile joining the spaceliner’s commercial flight team led by Chief Pilot Dave Mackay. Pecile has logged more than 5,400 flight hours in 132 types of aircraft including gliders, general aviation aircraft, multi-engine non centerline thrust aircraft, military jet trainers, tactical high performance […]

Credit: AAS

Very exciting day for me! Just notified that I have been selected to receive the American Astronautical Society’s “Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History” in the category of journalism. Myself and three others — Quest – The History of Spaceflight (publishing); David Hardy (artist) and Mark Wade (web) — are the first recipients […]

While the International Space Station (ISS) flies over Europe, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko controls the German Aerospace Center’s ROKVISS robot in a laboratory in Oberpfaffenhofen with the Kontur-2 joystick. Credit: ROSKOSMOS /O. Kononenko.

This autumn the first “tele-handshake” will be performed between the International Space Station (ISS) and Earth. The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics at Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) is leading the experiment. A preliminary test of the human-machine interaction took place on August 18, 2015. From the ISS, cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko controlled the […]

A panorama combining images from both cameras of the Mastcam on NASA

  Over last weekend, NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars was productive, relaying back to Earth loads of data – including up-close inspection of “Ravalli” making use of its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Ken Herkenhoff of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona reports the robot made a nearly 70-foot (22-meter) drive on Sol […]