It is encouraging to see that NASA is leaning more towards integrating commercial capabilities into how space science missions are implemented, especially for cubesats and small satellites. It is imperative that NASA embrace the many commercial capabilities that are becoming available in the small-sat market, which may reach $20 billion/year globally in the next few years.
"Great for role playing space exploration missions," Lego said in a press release announcing the set on Wednesday (Oct. 18). "Explore the professions of some of the groundbreaking women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with the Lego Ideas Women of NASA set." [Gallery: First Photos of Lego’s "Women of NASA" Set]
NASA is in discussions about potential roles it could play on an upcoming series of Russian robotic lunar missions, including landers and sample return spacecraft. Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division, told attendees of the annual meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) here Oct. 11 that he recently returned from a trip to Russia that included talks about cooperation on those future Russian lunar missions.
As you get older, some of your joints might get a little crunchy. The same is apparently true of robots. NASA has just sent two astronauts out on a multi-hour spacewalk to repair the International Space Station’s aging Canadian-built robotic arm, part of which broke down in late September. While the arm still works for certain applications, it will need to be fully operational in advance of the station’s upcoming supply drop next month.
Earlier this month, NASA said it was prepared to shift its focus away from Mars, and toward the Moon, whenever the current administration gave the “go” for logistical launch. Now the organization will have to put their plans into motion, because the present administration just announced a renewed effort to get back to the Moon, and beyond.
OSIRIS-REx took a picture of the Earth-moon system on Monday (Sept. 25), a few days after performing a "gravity-assist" flyby of our planet that boosted its speed and helped set its course toward the 1,640-foot-wide (500 meters) asteroid Bennu.
Initially a long-shot candidate, Bridenstine won the support of the private space industry with his work on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and advocacy for public-private cooperation in space-based communications and exploration. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Bridenstine would become the first Oklahoman to lead NASA and one of the few NASA administrators without a science or space background. Bridenstine is a military pilot who formerly headed the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.
Scientists in the United States are nervously watching from the sidelines as the annual budget skirmish heats up in Congress this week. Legislators are back in Washington DC from their August recess with an urgent list of tasks to complete before the country's fiscal year closes at the end of September. In addition to passing a budget to fund the government, they must also raise the debt ceiling so that the country does not default on its loans, and discuss providing emergency-relief funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
For the first time since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011, NASA says it may soon have the capability to send astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil. Critical milestones are on the horizon for Boeing and SpaceX, the space agency's commercial crew partners: Flight tests of their spacecraft, including crewed missions, are planned for 2018.
Imagine more than 600 days in space; that's 21 months cruising the cosmos, or close to two years without flush toilets or pizza. On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission.