aerospace

December 09, 2019

The Air Force has hired a Michigan company to see if thrusters based on plasma could help satellites evade incoming fire, the company announced Tuesday. Conventional satellites maneuver with the help of liquid propellants, basically fuel. That can increase the weight and complexity of putting something into orbit and isn’t practical for small, cheap cube satellites.

December 02, 2019

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft that will launch to the International Space Station on the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) has taken a significant step toward launch. Starliner rolled out of Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 21, making the trek on a transport vehicle to Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

November 19, 2019

NASA is heading back to the moon, and it’s planning to use the long-delayed Space Launch System (SLS) to get there. The agency is working to assemble the first SLS rocket, which will be the most powerful in the world upon completion. Some of that power will come from four RS-25 engines on the core stage. If they look familiar, that’s because the RS-25 has a storied history in NASA’s Space Shuttle program, having first debuted in the 1970s. Now, NASA has just finished installing them on the SLS.

November 18, 2019

In October 2020 (just before the anniversary on Nov. 2), NASA's two-time space veteran Chris Cassidy will leave the orbiting complex in a Russian Soyuz with rookie Russian cosmonauts Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrei Babkin. The trio, who make up the Expedition 62/63 crew, is expected to fly up in April and remain about five months, although dates are always subject to complex scheduling. Their journey will be one of the last in the current pattern of space station operations.

November 12, 2019

When news broke of Sputnik’s trip outside our atmosphere, it sent shock waves through the American public and the U.S. government. The Defense Department immediately announced funding for the Explorer -- the vehicle that would become the first American object in space -- and Congress created NASA. But now, the United States is once again facing a potential Sputnik moment as countries like Russia, China and even India rapidly develop capabilities that threaten our use of and our access to space.

November 12, 2019

It has been a quiet fall for SpaceX, which launched a Falcon 9 rocket early August before taking a break to prepare for future missions. Now, SpaceX has successfully deployed a new batch of Starlink internet satellites, and the Falcon 9 that delivered them made history in the process.

November 11, 2019

Voyager 1 has a companion in the realm of the stars. Researchers at the University of Iowa report that the spacecraft Voyager 2 has entered the interstellar medium (ISM), the region of space outside the bubble-shaped boundary produced by wind streaming outward from the sun. Voyager 2, thus, becomes the second human-made object to journey out of our sun's influence, following Voyager 1's solar exit in 2012.

November 06, 2019

By escaping the launchpad--where a disaster like a rocket explosion could theoretically take place--and touching down nearby, the company's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft passed a crucial flight test Monday morning. It was one of two major remaining trials before NASA can certify the vehicle ready to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

October 29, 2019

The Pentagon’s secretive X-37B spaceplane landed in Florida on Sunday after a record-long orbital flight lasting more than two years, the U.S. Air Force said, capping the latest test mission for an array of military technologies.

October 23, 2019

The team, which includes Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper, plans to submit a bid to NASA for what many consider to be the most challenging component of a lunar landing: the spacecraft capable of getting humans safely to and from the lunar surface.

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