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.
An atomic rocket has the potential to move more mass a much greater distance than traditional chemical propulsion. SpaceX will have its Falcon Heavy rocket in service within a year or two, making it the most powerful launch platform since the retirement of NASA’s Saturn V. But even the Falcon Heavy will only be able to lift 37,000 pounds (16,800 kg) to Mars.
The jets will fly 70 miles apart, one in front of the other as they fly through the total eclipse zone that runs from Oregon to South Carolina. The jets, however, are launching from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. They’ll meet up with the eclipse 50,000 feet above Missouri, and will keep with it as it passes over Illinois and Tennessee.
On August 6 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars and kicked off a new era of Martian exploration. It was NASA’s fourth rover mission to Mars over the past 20 years; previous missions successfully landed the Sojurner, Spirit, and Opportunity rovers. Curiosity represented a far more difficult undertaking than its predecessors.