A Tuesday report from The Wall Street Journal revealed how a state-owned Chinese financial firm may be getting ahold of a U.S. satellite that uses restricted technology relied on by the U.S. military through a web of financial transactions and foreign investments.
For months, Pentagon officials have been rushing to prepare plans for an independent Space Force, a sixth branch of the military ordered up by President Trump. But since Oct. 26, they have been marching to new White House orders: go back and look at different ways to reorganize the military’s space operations.
NASA’s spacecraft that landed on Mars Monday has beamed back its first clear photo of the desolate Red Planet. “There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home,” NASA tweeted late Monday, hours after its new InSight lander touched down.
After a 300 million-mile, six-month interplanetary cruise, NASA’s Mars InSight robotic lander is heading for a plain-vanilla arrival at the Red Planet on Monday — and the team behind the mission couldn’t be more pleased.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket does not have a spotless record. In the last few years, SpaceX has lost one vehicle on the launchpad and another broke apart en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Yet, SpaceX is on a roll as it nears three dozen successful Falcon 9 launches in a row. The company is also cruising toward certification to ferry astronauts to the ISS.
David Strauss, an analyst and oddsmaker at MyBookie, says NASA is the underdog and Musk is the favorite. “Bezos may have the discipline, but Musk has the infrastructure and just the right amount of craziness to make a successful mission happen,” he said today in a news release. “The days of government organizations staging trips to another planet are behind us. I would be surprised if NASA truly makes it back to the moon.”
The U.S. Space Force will include uniformed service members drawn from the Air Force, Navy and Army -- but it is not expected to include the National Reconnaissance Office mission, according an internal draft of the Pentagon’s plan to create a sixth branch of the military.
The request is the latest in a series of bureaucratic moves made inside the Pentagon in recent weeks that set the stage for the Defense Department’s formal proposal early next year to establish a Space Force -- a sixth branch of the military.
China’s lunar probes may one day threaten critical U.S. satellites, said one of the military’s top experts on space threats. “We’ve seen [reports] in open press…that say the Chinese have a relay satellite flying around…the flipside of the moon. That’s very telling to us,” Jeff Gossel, the senior intelligence engineer in the Space and Missile Analysis Group at the Air Force’s National Air and Space Intelligence Center, said at an Air Force Association event on Friday.
British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson believes Virgin Galactic is "more than tantalizingly close" to its first trip to space. "We should be in space within weeks, not months. And then we will be in space with myself in months and not years...