OSIRIS-REx’s Asteroid Samples Are Finally Down to Earth – the first U.S. mission to attempt a sample return from a space rock—has successfully sent materials from asteroid Bennu back to Earth. Go to my new Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/osiris-rexs-asteroid-samples-are-finally-down-to-earth/

NASA has released an Independent Review Board (IRB) report looking into the space agency’s current plans and goals for the first mission to return samples from Mars – a cooperative endeavor with the European Space Agency. The IRB has expressed concerns over the mission’s budget, among other areas. After a two-month evaluation, they provided the […]

China’s Tiangong space station turned into a lecture hall as more than 2,400 students and teachers from university and primary and middle schools attended live-streaming talks from the orbiting outpost. Shenzhou-16 mission commander Major General Jing Haipeng, spaceflight engineer Colonel Zhu Yangzhu and the mission’s science payload specialist Professor Gui Haichao greeted the students. This […]

    NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at Jezero Crater has set its own milestone on September 16 – soaring to an altitude of roughly 60 feet (20 meters), chopping away at an earlier sky high record. Flight 59 image is from camera mounted in the helicopter’s fuselage and pointed directly downward to track the ground […]

NASA has issued a Final Request for Proposal (RFP) for the United States Deorbit Vehicle (USDV) – a craft to dump the International Space Station in a controlled manner at the outpost’s end-of-life to avoid populated areas. Proposals are due no later than November 17 to design, develop, manufacture, test, integrate, deliver to NASA, and […]

An experimental greenhouse in Antarctica is sprouting ideas in the development of techniques to train prospective crews headed for the Moon. More than one ton of vegetables, salad ingredients and herbs have been harvested at the EDEN ISS Antarctic greenhouse. According to the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), the EDEN […]

Early next year, the Environmental Defense Fund is launching its own spacecraft, MethaneSAT – a name that is exact about what this satellite is seeking. Methane is a troublesome gas. While far less abundant, it is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide in entrapping heat over a 100-year time period. Furthermore, methane affects air […]

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at Jezero Crater performed its 58th flight on September 11. Details posted by NASA’s JPL list the following flight statistics: Horizontal distance: Roughly 571 feet (174 meters); Maximum altitude: roughly 33 feet (10 meters); Duration of flight 106.8 seconds. Flight 59 Meanwhile, the aerial craft was slated to carry out Flight […]

New research points to how much water ice may be lurking in the Moon’s permanently shadowed areas. Given that back-to-the-Moon plans by various nations are being shaped, in part, by that resource being available to sustain operations there, new data can be welcomed, or viewed as bad news. Permanently shadowed regions on the Moon, known […]

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) SpaceX Boca Chica Project Team reports that the FAA has not authorized SpaceX’s proposed Flight 2. The report comes in the form of a September 15 update on FAA license determinations for SpaceX’s proposed Starship-Super Heavy Flight 2. SpaceX conducted a test flight of the Starship/Super Heavy at Boca Chica, […]