In a few days, the European Space Agency’s BepiColombo spacecraft is to conduct an Earth flyby before heading towards Venus – and in doing so the probe will scan the Moon using a unique instrument. Earth’s Moon will be observed for the first time in the thermal infrared and examined for its mineralogical composition using […]

      Chinese researchers are working on a new system designed to prevent rocket boosters from falling unpredictably in areas with human activity. China Central Television (CCTV) reports that the first accurate landing of a Long March 3B booster was made possible with a parachute control system. The system was tested on March 9 […]

  NASA has scripted a 21st Century plan for sustained human presence on the Moon. In a report to the National Space Council, NASA’s Artemis program sets the stage for a sustained lunar surface presence. To do this, the report calls for development of an Artemis Base Camp at the South Pole of the Moon. […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has just started Sol 2722 operations. Lucy Thompson, a planetary geologist at University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada explains that the primary focus of a two-sol plan is to prepare the drill bit assembly to dump the remaining “Edinburgh” drilled sample (portion to exhaustion), so that it can be […]

  NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has just begun performing Sol 2721 duties. The priority for the recent sol 2720 plan was to drop off and analyze a sample of the Edinburgh drill hole in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite. “But we’ve got plenty of remote sensing in the plan too, much of […]

  Soviet Space Graphics: Cosmic Visions from the USSR by Alexandra Sankova (in collaboration with the Moscow Design Museum), Phaidon; April 2020; Hardback; 240 pages, $39.95. This book is a well-timed retro-fire into space history – and an absolute wonderful read. The volume offers insight into the Soviet sociopolitical landscape, a behind-the-scenes view of how […]

    SpaceX has released a Starship Users Guide. Potential Starship customers can use this guide as a resource for preliminary payload accommodations information. This is the initial release of the Starship Users Guide and it will be updated frequently in response to customer feedback. The Starship Program leverages SpaceX’s experience to introduce a next […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2720 tasks. “Curiosity’s drill campaigns are like poetry in fixed verse,” says Melissa Rice, a planetary geologist at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. A predefined set of activities has to occur in a sequence: first Curiosity must assess an outcrop for drilling, then drill and extract […]

  The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has issued a space threat assessment 2020 report. This informative study notes that in the last year, more states are considering the development of offensive and defensive counterspace capabilities to protect space systems from attacks. “Nations are moving to reorganize their national security space enterprise, as […]

Stratolaunch has rolled out new information regarding use of its humongous carrier craft to advance the nation’s ability to design and operate hypersonic vehicles. This air-launch approach to hypersonic testing features use of Talon-A, a fully reusable, autonomous, liquid rocket-powered Mach 6-class hypersonic vehicle. Talon-A is 28 feet (8.5 m) in length, has a wingspan […]