NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2560 duties. Reports Susanne Schwenzer, a planetary geologist at The Open University, Milton Keynes, U.K., due to no reception of “decisional data” from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars rover teams decided to make the best use of the time and energy available using the untargeted […]

Houston: Space City USA by Ray Viator; Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas, 2019; hardcover:  224 pp. 222 color, 6 b&w photos, $37.00. Given the development of new spaceports around the world, this volume celebrates Houston, Texas as “mission control” for America’s on-going spaceflight program. Recall those words from Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong on […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now carrying out Sol 2559 duties. “Our drive away from our long-time home at the “Glen Etive” drilling site was successful, and set us up nicely at our next exploration site, one of the “Culbin Sands” megaripples,” reports Michelle Minitti, a planetary geologist at Framework in Silver Spring, Maryland. Scuff […]

  The China Manned Space Agency is pressing forward on its space station construction plans, “hiring” individuals to help shape the country’s next phase of human spaceflight. China’s Xinhua news agency reports that preparations are underway for the upcoming “high-density” space missions to construct China’s space station. Additionally, the Long March-5B carrier rocket is set […]

  NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2558 tasks. The rover has made a wheel scuff at “Culbin Sands,” reports Fred Calef, a planetary geologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Curiosity purposely ran over a megaripple (fine grained sandy ripple with a coarser pebble coating), Calef notes, to create a “scuff” which churned […]

    NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2557. Reports Ashley Stroupe, Mission Operations Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the rover is taking its last views of the Glen Etive 2 drill sample. A recent plan had the robot cleaning out the remaining sample within the drill and doing contact science analysis […]

  Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) in Louisville, Colorado has received the largest piece of technology to make up Dream Chaser. It’s the most advanced high-temperature composite space frame ever built, according to SNC. Reports Eren Ozmen, chairwoman and president of SNC: “Our team has been looking forward to this day for a long time so […]

“Planned new rocket carries hope for China’s manned lunar landing program,” is the headline on a China Global Television Network (CGTN) story. The Xinhua news agency-sourced story notes that Chinese space engineers have taken a key step in designing a new generation launch vehicle that could help start China’s manned lunar exploration program, citing the […]

Earth’s Moon is peppered with potential ready and waiting subsurface habitats in the form of lava tubes. These features are good candidates for permanent human shelters. Moreover, these underground niches could reduce hazards to crews from lunar temperature swings, radiation, seismic activity, and meteorite impacts. Evidence for their existence under the surface of the Moon […]

      A new study sheds light on how old deposits of water ice at the Moon’s south pole might be. Observations are mounting regarding ice deposits in craters scattered across the Moon’s south pole, also dubbed as “cold traps.” However, when or how that ice got there remains puzzling. A new study published […]