Last Sunday marked the first day that a mystery space plane wasn’t circling the earth on a secret mission. A mystery space plane called the X-37B landed at the NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in central Florida on Sunday morning after a nearly 2 year mission doing what is still classified by the U.S. Air Force. The plane was launched from an Atlas 5 Rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral on May 20, 2015, for the fourth mission to use one of the Boeing-built craft that looks somewhat similar to a small version of NASA’s old space shuttles. Altogether, the program, which has at Click Here to Read more
NASA has made history by commanding its Cassini Space Probe to fly into Saturn’s space rings. This is a dangerous maneuver as the rings are made out of rocks and other materials that could not only damage the probe, but also make it unusable for any future explorations. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. The spacecraft is in the process of beaming back science and engineering data collected during its passage, via NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone Click Here to Read more
HAWTHORNE, Calif. — SpaceX plans to send two private citizens to the moon in 2018, the company announced Monday. Two people paid SpaceX to go on the mission, SpaceX top executive Elon Musk said. SpaceX has had extraordinary success and failure in the last year. Rockets have successfully been launched, then landed safely on drone ships in the last month, alongside a spectacular explosion in September on one of NASA’s launch pads. “Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration,” the Click Here to Read more
According to The Independent, NASA has announced a news conference on February 22nd, 2017 at 1pm ET. The news conference will be streamed live on NASA.GOV, NASA TV, and others. Attending the press conference will be astronomers and planetary scientists from across the world. Nasa said that the public will be able to ask questions using the hashtag #AskNasa during the conference. The agency will also hold a Reddit AMA, or ask me anything, session right after the briefing.
NASA has released an amazing photo of a moon that circles the planet Saturn. Named Tethys, the moon is mostly made of solid ice. Like the Death Star, Tethys has a large, distinctive crater that NASA has named Odysseus. But unlike the Death Star, its rock core and icy surface protects it from internal combustion, and is not some sort of giant phaser ready to shoot down planets. …BUT WE CAN DREAM, CAN’T WE????
(recode): Over the past year, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 missions have become major online spectacles, mostly because each launch has been followed by an attempt to land the rocket after takeoff. But the landing part of the show will be missing from SpaceX’s next launch, scheduled for January 30th. This mission will be an expendable one, according to a tweet from CEO Elon Musk, meaning the company won’t attempt to land the Falcon 9 post-launch. IT’S THE FIRST TIME IN A WHILE THAT SPACEX HASN’T TRIED A LANDING It’s the first time in a while that SpaceX hasn’t tried a landing. The company Click Here to Read more
(Reuters): Mid Saturday, SpaceX launched a rocket into space to deploy 10 satellites into low-earth orbit. After that, it was scheduled to return the rocket to the original launch pad, which it did, successfully. The launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:54 a.m. PST aimed to deliver 10 satellites into orbit for Iridium Communications Inc. About 10 minutes after launch, the first stage of the rocket successfully touched down on a platform in the Pacific Ocean, a feat previously accomplished by four other returning Falcon rockets. SpaceX intends to reuse its rockets to cut costs. SpaceX’s founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk’s Click Here to Read more
(TheVerge): SpaceX is hoping to get back to launching — and landing — its rockets again, a little over four months after one of its Falcon 9 vehicles exploded on a Florida launchpad. The company’s vehicle is slated to take off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12:54PM ET, carrying 10 satellites into orbit for the communications company Iridium. And as is the norm with Falcon 9 launches these days, SpaceX will attempt to land the majority of the rocket upright on one of its drone ships in the Pacific Ocean following takeoff. But most of all, the launch itself needs to Click Here to Read more
(Gizmodo.com): New years bring new beginnings, and for SpaceX, that means a return to flight after a five-month dry spell. Having officially determined the cause of the infamous Falcon 9 “anomaly” at Cape Canaveral on September 1st, the rocket company is eyeing January 8th for its first launch of 2017. SpaceX has been grounded ever since a Falcon 9 rocket loaded with a $95 million internet satellite exploded in an epic fireball last fall, taking with it a chunk of Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40. The company has spent months investigating the anomaly under the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration. Today, SpaceX Click Here to Read more
(NY Times): Three months after one of its rockets exploded on a launchpad, SpaceX hopes to resume launching in a couple of weeks. Iridium Communications, which provides communications services through a constellation of more than 60 satellites, announced Thursday that it was aiming to launch the first batch of its next-generation satellites on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 16. The launch hinges on approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is reviewing SpaceX’s investigation of the Sept. 1 launchpad explosion. A Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral, Fla., caught fire and exploded during fueling before a test firing of Click Here to Read more