It was a crazy idea on the face of it -- sending a $2.5 billion robot to another planet with a complex rocket sled contraption to get it safely to the surface. It worked, though, and Curiosity began its exploration of the red planet six years ago. As the rover begins its seventh year on Mars, let’s look at how it got there and where it’s going.
NASA has announced the nine astronauts that will crew the test flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Crew for the Starliner test flight are NASA astronauts Eric Boe and Nicole Aunapu-Mann and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson. NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been selected to take part in the Crew Dragon test flight.
NASA’s MUREP Innovations in Space Technology Curriculum (MISTC) awards totaling $1.4 million will help the MSI community colleges develop “crosscutting, pioneering new technologies and capabilities” to sustain the space agency’s work, according to officials. The schools receiving MISTC awards are Bronx Community College, College of the Desert, Los Angeles Pierce College, Passaic County Community College and Prince George’s Community College.
Mars has long been seen as a potential second home for humanity, but it won’t be a comfortable place to hang your hat until we’ve addressed the lack of breathable air. According to NASA, fantasies about terraforming the red planet are premature. A new analysis of Mars and its composition shows that we’re nowhere near being able to terraform the planet with current technology.
"It is truly staggering to behold how this space telescope's cost and schedule projections went from costing the same as a Space Shuttle mission around half a billion dollars with an original launch goal in 2007to now becoming an expenditure exceeding $9 billion with a new launch goal in March 2021," said Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith. "That is nineteen times the original cost and a delay of fourteen years. It's hard to get much worse than that."
As NASA prepares for a key hearing later this week on the status of the James Webb Space Telescope, an agency official says that the mission’s delays will require nearly half a billion dollars that could come from cuts in other science programs.
The seventh annual International Space Station Research & Development Conference will highlight discoveries and opportunities in microgravity research, human health in space, biology and medicine, physical sciences and materials development, and commercialization and nongovernmental use of the space station.
With its last shuttle flight seven years ago this month, NASA has been paying Russia up to $82 million a seat to ferry U.S. astronauts to and from the International Space Station. But that contract is up at the end of next year. "NASA is considering potential options, but it does not have a contingency plan for ensuring uninterrupted U.S. access,"...
Peanuts Worldwide and NASA will announce on Tuesday that they have entered into a multiyear Space Act Agreement, executives at Peanuts tell The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs. The partnership is engineered “to inspire a passion for space exploration and STEM” education among students, according to Peanuts Worldwide.
Things on Mars may have gone from bad to worse for the Opportunity rover. The dust storm on the planet shows no signs of abating, and NASA now says the rover has missed its latest check-in. That suggests its batteries are drained, and that could spell the end for this tenacious little solar-powered rover.