On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first human-made object to orbit the Earth. Precisely 60 years later, space-faring nations face a much different space environment; one that’s more diverse, disruptive, disordered, and dangerous. Today’s space domain presents a number of asymmetries that differ from other domains, creating a specific deterrence […]

“Back in the saddle again,” reports Michelle Minitti, a planetary geologist at Framework in Silver Spring, Maryland. On Sol 1864, Curiosity successfully got a move on from the robot’s inadvertent layover stop. The result is that the science team has a new workspace, and a new view of the structures exposed in the “Vera Rubin […]

Sky watchers are on the lookout for China’s Tiangong-1 space lab – and the seeing is good. Tiangong-1 (“Heavenly Palace”) was hurled into Earth orbit in late September 2011. It was used for six successive rendezvous and dockings with spacecraft, Shenzhou-8 (uncrewed), Shenzhou-9 (piloted) and Shenzhou-10 (piloted) as part of China’s human space exploration activities. […]

A new report, Commercial Space Mining: Economic and Legal Implications, is a scholarly assessment of commercial space mining activities in the broader context of the emerging space economy. The paper finds that entrepreneurs are increasingly looking at outer space for providing terrestrial solutions, and Western entrepreneurs in particular are working towards setting up basic infrastructure […]

    Transforming the exotic environment of the Red Planet demands talented technologists, scientists, and architects. Enter the Mars City Design group, bridging the gap between leading educators, scientists and engineers, with a splash of artistic vocations within entertainment, media and other professions.       Project exhibition Last month, winners of Mars City Design […]

    NASA’s stalwart Opportunity Mars rover is a busy planetary prowler since it landed in Meridiani Planum back on January 25, 2004. The robot has now chalked up roughly 28 miles (45.04 kilometers) of travel. Opportunity is continuing winter exploration of “Perseverance Valley” on the west rim of the Noachian-aged Endeavour Crater.   Popping […]

    NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is now carrying out Sol 1864 duties. The research plan calls for the robot to return to wheeling about at Vera Rubin Ridge. “Curiosity will finally be back on the move. The rover made an unexpected stop of nearly two weeks in the current location due to several things […]

On November 1, there was a “contentious” nomination hearing for Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) to be NASA Administrator, split along partisan lines. Bridenstine answered questions for most of the two-and-a-half hour hearing. Democratic Senators questioned his credentials and viewpoints about climate change, sexual harassment and other issues that could affect how he runs the agency […]

  A new Solar Power Satellite (SPS) concept has been advocated and dubbed CASSIOPeiA, short for Constant Aperture, Solid-State, Integrated, Orbital Phased Array). This SPS design has no rotating (or otherwise moving) parts, yet maintains a constant solar collecting area directly facing the Sun while its retrodirective microwave beam is steered to an Earth-based rectifying […]

  Next year promises to be a milestone-making period of time in space exploration. In 2018, just under a 100 missions are expected to take off, leaving in their wake a number of questions, such as, with private companies getting increasingly involved in the space race, who will be rocketing to success? Will NASA lead […]

Griffith Observatory Event