Japan’s Hayabusa2 asteroid explorer deployed the Small Carry-on Impactor (SCI) on April 5. That successful operation involved a 4.4 pound (2 kilogram) copper mass that collided with asteroid Ryugu. The gravel released from the surface of Ryugu was photographed by the deployable camera, DCAM3. However, the images from DCAM3 do not show how Ryugu’s surface […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2387 duties. “The drilling planned for last weekend was successful,” reports Ken Herkenhoff, a planetary geologist at the USGS in Flagstaff, Arizona. The recent top priority for the robot is to drop portions of the Kilmarie sample onto a closed Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument Suite […]

A crucial flight of China’s Long March-5B carrier rocket is slated for launch in the first half of 2020, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO). The maiden flight of this class of Long March booster is critical to China’s human and robotic space exploration plans. China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reports that […]

China has opened Mars Base 1 Camp in Jinchang City of northwest China’s Gansu Province, an expansive facility to popularize science and boost interest in space exploration. Located in the Gobi desert of Jinchang some 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Jinchang’s urban area, the simulation camp will become an astronaut training facility in the future. […]

  A discarded upper stage from a rocket launched nearly a decade ago has fragmented, adding to ongoing growth of orbital debris encircling Earth. The large Atlas V Centaur upper stage, for an as-yet-unknown reason, broke up between March 23 – March 25. At a recent meeting of space debris specialists, Vladimir Agapov of Keldysh […]

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule mishap on April 20 is sure to be a hot topic at the forthcoming meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. Established by Congress in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA Administrator on safety matters, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) is holding its second quarterly […]

  A catalog of the bacteria and fungi found on surfaces inside the International Space Station (ISS) has been presented in a study published in the open access journal Microbiome. The study — Characterization of the total and viable bacterial and fungal communities associated with the International Space Station surfaces – reveal a diverse population […]

  A Dutch radio antenna on the farside of the Moon has successfully provided its first data. The Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer (NCLE) is onboard China’s Queqiao relay satellite in a halo orbit about the Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange point. From that position, Queqiao is enabling communications between the China’s Chang’e-4 farside lander and Yutu-2 rover and […]

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has invited international partners for cooperation on the country’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission and an asteroid exploration effort. China announced its cooperation plan for the future Chang’e-6 mission, offering to carry a total of over 40 pounds (20 kilograms) of solicited payloads. The orbiter and lander of the Chang’e-6 mission […]

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now performing Sol 2383 duties. A recent drill pre-load test was successful, so a go has been given for a drill attempt at “Kilmarie,” reports Abigail Fraeman, a planetary geologist at NASA/JPL in Pasadena, California. The new drill location is nearby the last drilling area at “Aberlady.” Recent imagery taken […]

Griffith Observatory Event