China’s Chang’e-6 lunar mission has ended, successfully bringing to Earth its celestial bounty – the world’s first sample from the Moon’s far side — after a 53-day journey in space. The Chang’e-6 probe was launched on May 3 with the return capsule of onboard lunar specimens parachuting into Siziwang Banner, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous […]

China’s Chang’e-6 mission is coming to full stop within a planned landing area at Siziwang Banner in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The multi-tasking Earth-to-Moon and return mission is hauling a stash of lunar samples collected in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin. 53-day journey Chang’e-6 is a spacecraft comprising an orbiter, a lander, an […]

In 1974, Princeton University professor and space visionary, the late Gerard O’Neill, proposed use of an electromagnetic rail gun to lob payloads from the moon. “Mass drivers” based on a coil gun design were adapted to accelerate a non-magnetic object. One application for mass drivers was tossing into space lunar-derived materials for building space colonies, […]

  Heart failure in space is the focus of new research that could influence the future of space tourists on their microgravity journeys. This work involves a mathematical model of the heart and lung system to simulate how microgravity could affect an individual, particularly those not well-groomed for the experience. Non-professional astronauts The research paper […]

It was a one-of-a-kind memorable moment for a throng of well-wishers including this reporter, all in nose-up, sky squinting position at California’s Mojave Airport back on June 21, 2004. Let loose from its White Knight mothership, the rocket engine propelling SpaceShipOne roared to life, skillfully controlled by test pilot Mike Melvill. That pioneering flight lasted […]

Planting a telescope on Phobos – one of the two moons circling Mars – is seen as providing significant support for eventual human exploration of the Red Planet. A powerful space telescope situated on Phobos offer unique advantages for observing Mars and other solar system objects. Such a spot-landed facility – roughly a 10-meter-class telescope […]

The Moon is coming into sharp focus given this week’s first United Nations Conference on Sustainable Lunar Activities in Vienna, Austria. Taking part are astronauts, heads of space agencies, the scientific and legal communities, and industry to address common approaches, priorities, and expectations for the peaceful, sustainable, and cooperative exploration of the Moon. The conference […]

  China’s Chang’e-6 far side sampling mission is near departure time as it circles the Moon awaiting the proper Moon-to-Earth alignment. Launched on May 3, the mission’s sample toting returner/capsule hardware is projected to parachute to Earth on June 25, wrapping up a 53-day undertaking. Touchdown of the lunar collectibles is scheduled for a landing […]

China’s new set of lunar collectibles, scooped up by the country’s Chang’e-6 Moon sample mission, owes a tip of the space helmet visor to a research team at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). In collaboration with the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), a “Surface Sampling and Packing System” for the task was set […]

End-of-life, human-made space scraps that fall into Earth’s atmosphere are leaving behind a train of tiny particles that are eating away at our fragile biosphere. The new work has been published in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters pointing to the increasing number of satellite constellations, the byproducts of which on re-entry catalyze chemical reactions […]