China, space junk and more: Senators voice spaceflight concerns
The risk of collisions in space, the fate of the United States in orbit after the space station retires and continuing debates over NASA's path back to the moon dominated a two-hour hearing on Thursday (Oct. 21) held by a Senate committee focused on space and science.space.com
Lifelong space enthusiast becomes latest civilian to buy his way into space
It is unclear who might join Whitson and Shoffner on their mission. An Axiom spokesman said that would be revealed at a later date. But recently, the Discovery Channel announced it was hosting a competition for a seat on a future Axiom mission to the space station. Former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine also said last year that Tom Cruise was working with the company to shoot scenes for a movie on the station.washingtonpost.com
Biden picks former senator who flew in space to lead NASA
President Joe Biden has chosen Nelson, a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle to lead NASA. Scott Applewhite, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – President Joe Biden has chosen a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle right before the Challenger accident to lead NASA. Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate Bill Nelson as the space agency's administrator. “There has been no greater champion, not just for Florida’s space industry, but for the space program as a whole than Bill,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement. Plenty of qualified candidates,” retired space shuttle director and program manager Wayne Hale tweeted earlier this month.
Get ready for the Perseverance Mars rover landing with this epic NASA documentary
It's "Mars madness" day for space fans as the life-seeking Perseverance rover mission targets an epic landing on the Red Planet today (Feb. 18). You can watch the Mars landing live here and on Space.com's homepage, courtesy of NASA. Related: How to watch NASA's Perseverance rover land on MarsLive updates: Follow the Perseverance Mars rover's landing! Join our forums here to discuss the Perseverance Mars rover landing. Perseverance rover's Mars landing: Everything you need to knowNASA worked hard to get the Perseverance launch finished on time with these new changes.space.com
US still committed to landing Artemis astronauts on the moon, White House says
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday (Feb. 4) that President Joe Biden will carry on the Artemis program to land humans on the moon in the coming years. (Image credit: NASA via collectSPACE.com)Psaki's comments, which were in answer to a reporter's question, did not mention NASA's 2024 target for the first crewed Artemis moon landing , a deadline set by the Trump administration. In December, before Biden took office, NASA named an "Artemis team" of 18 astronauts who are eligible for flight assignments, including the Artemis 2 flight around the moon that's currently scheduled for 2023, the Artemis 3 landing mission slated for 2024, and future opportunities in Artemis. Related: What is NASA's Artemis Program? Late in his tenure, Bridenstine said full funding for NASA's human landing systems would be "needed to achieve a 2024 moon landing," and meeting that goal would become "more and more difficult" with less money.space.com
Former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine joins Acorn private equity firm
NASA's former chief Jim Bridenstine just joined a private equity firm that invests in the aerospace and defense sectors. Related: Outgoing NASA chief Jim Bridenstine calls for unity in space exploration pursuits"Innovation is found in small and mid-market companies," Bridenstine, Acorn's new senior adviser, said in a statement Monday (Jan. 25). "I'm excited to join this firm and work with disruptors that provide needed innovation to the aerospace and defense industries." The Biden administration appointed senior-level NASA official Steve Jurczyk as acting administrator on Jan. 21, one of 34 acting leaders announced hours after the presidential inauguration. View DealOutgoing NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine peers at the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, prior to a hot fire test Jan. 16, 2021, of the core stage for the agency's Space Launch System rocket.space.com
Outgoing NASA chief Jim Bridenstine calls for unity in space exploration pursuits
Bridenstine said in November that he would step down as NASA chief when the Biden administration took over, according to an Aerospace Daily & Defense Report. Related: Presidential visions for space: From Ike to Biden"That is a terrible way to look at space exploration," he added. That won't happen without internal NASA unity and buy-in from political leaders, which will be required for a long-term effort like Artemis, he said. In that video, he also thanked NASA's employees for all their hard work, saying that serving as NASA chief was "a job of a lifetime." Jurczyk will serve in this role until President Biden's choice for NASA chief , which he has not yet named, is sworn in.space.com
Halted rocket test could stall NASA moon shot, redo possible
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 photo made available by NASA, the core stage for the first flight of NASA's Space Launch System rocket undergoes a hot fire test at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, NASA blamed the automatic shutdown on the strict test limits. All four engines fired for barely a minute, rather than the intended eight minutes, on the test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA said it can adjust the test limits if a second test is deemed necessary, to prevent another premature shutdown. The Artemis program is working to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, a deadline set by the Trump administration.
Massive moon rocket test firing aborted after early engine shutdown
The four first stage of NASA Space Launch System moon rocket was test fired Saturday at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, but an engine shutdown about a minute after ignition, triggering an abort. The SLS rocket put on a spectacular show while its four RS-25 engines were firing, sending billowing clouds of steam into the sky above the Stennis Space Center. The engine nozzles then were to be hydraulically moved to verify the flight computer's ability to steer the huge rocket as required. But about 50 seconds after engine ignition, a test controller called out "MCF on engine 4," using an acronym that stands for "major component failure." The fully assembled SLS rocket will weigh 5.75 million pounds, stand 322 feet tall and generate 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, making it the most powerful operational rocket in the world.cbsnews.com
NASA receives $23.3 billion for 2021 fiscal year in Congress' omnibus spending bill: report
NASA's Artemis program to land humans on the moon by 2024 faces fresh challenges after a fiscal 2021 NASA spending bill allocated less money to the human landing system than what the agency requested. Congress released an omnibus spending bill Monday (Dec. 21) allotting $23.3 billion to NASA. While NASA will receive $642 million more than fiscal year 2020, the bill falls about $2 billion short of the agency's $25.246 billion request, according to SpaceNews. Allocating $1.1 billion for space technology programs, at the same level as 2020 but much less than the administration's $1.6 billion request. The 2021 U.S. spending bill also included $2 billion for Space Force, the newest branch of the American armed forces.space.com
First 'Guardian' in space: NASA astronaut on ISS enters Space Force
Col. Michael Hopkins, a NASA astronaut, recites the U.S. Space Force oath of enlistment while on the International Space Station on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. Hopkins voluntarily transferred to the Space Force after 27 years serving in the Air Force. "Today you will be the first Space Force astronaut [who] will be living in space. (Image credit: USSF)Hopkins earlier said that his decision to switch services came as a result of his experience working with what had been Air Force Space Command, but has now been transferred to the Space Force. At least one other member of NASA's active astronaut corps, Air Force Col. Nick Hague, has also requested to transfer to the Space Force.space.com
First woman, next man on moon will come from these NASA 18
The first woman and next man on the moon will come from this elite group. Vice President Mike Pence introduced the astronauts Wednesday at the close of his final meeting as chairman of the National Space Council. The space agency is aiming for a moon landing by 2024, although the chances of that happening are growing increasingly dim. Half of the NASA astronauts have spaceflight experience. “The history is awesome, but we’re here to look toward the future,” Acaba told reporters after the announcement.
Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97
Gen. Charles Yeager talks to members of the media following a re-enactment flight commemorating his breaking of the sound barrier 65 years earlier, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, at age 97. Yeager died Monday, his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. ___This version corrects that Yeager flew an F-15, not an X-15, when he was 79.
SpaceX's Crew-1 astronaut launch for NASA: Live updates
The Crew-1 mission is commanded by NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins with fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover as pilot. Space Station Spots Crew-1 Dragon SpaceX's Crew-1 Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience is seen from a distance of 200 kilometers in this zoomed-in view from the International Space Station on Nov. 16, 2020. Trump and Biden Hail SpaceX Launch President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have both issued statements via Twitter on today's successful Crew-1 astronaut launch by SpaceX. Astronauts entering Crew Dragon The Crew-1 astronauts have begun entering their Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft. Crew-1 astronauts arrive at launch site The four-astronaut crew of SpaceX's Crew-1 mission for NASA have arrived at their Kennedy Space Center launch site for their planned Nov. 14 launch to the International Space Station.space.com
NASA launches SpaceX to International Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station on Sunday on the first full-fledged taxi flight for NASA by a private company. It is due to reach the space station late Monday and remain there until spring. NASA policy at Kennedy Space Center requires anyone testing positive for coronavirus to quarantine and remain isolated. Even the two astronauts on the first SpaceX crew flight stayed behind at Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA turned to private companies to haul cargo and crew to the space station, after the shuttle fleet retired in 2011.
SpaceX's Elon Musk says he's tested positive for COVID-19 on eve of NASA astronaut launch
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speak with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken prior to a scrubbed launch on May 27, 2020. Live updates: SpaceX's Crew-1 astronaut launch for NASARelated: NASA urges COVID caution for spectators of SpaceX Crew-1 launchSomething extremely bogus is going on. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk speaks with NASA personnel after the successful launch of Demo-2 on May 30, 2020, in the Launch Control Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. You can watch SpaceX's Crew-1 launch for NASA live here at Space.com on Saturday beginning at 3:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT). Editor's note: This story was updated at 7:30 p.m. EST on Nov. 13 with the new Crew-1 launch date of Nov. 15 and to add comments from Benji Reed and Norm Knight.space.com
SpaceX crew flight delayed until Sunday; Musk gets mixed COVID-19 results
Friday’s postponement news came after SpaceX chief Elon Musk disclosed he had gotten mixed test results for COVID-19 and was awaiting the outcome of a more definitive test. “I can assure everyone that we’re looking good for the (crew) launch and all of the critical personnel involved,” said SpaceX’s Benji Reed, senior director for human spaceflight. “So ‘Elon Musk Tests Negative for Covid’ is an equally correct title,” he tweeted. The upcoming crew flight comes just three months after the end of the test flight with Hurley and Bob Behnken, both NASA astronauts. NASA and SpaceX are especially eager to retrieve this first-stage booster; it will be used for the next crew launch.
Here's how to watch SpaceX launch the Crew-1 astronaut mission for NASA this week
NASA is all set for its first operational commercial crew mission with SpaceX, and will celebrate by broadcasting numerous events for the launch, dubbed Crew-1 . Crew-1 will carry four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), one more than the standard three-person crew of a Russian Soyuz. Participating Crew-1 astronauts are Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins (NASA), pilot Victor Glover (NASA), mission specialist Shannon Walker (NASA) and mission specialist Soichi Noguchi (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). Live updates: SpaceX's Crew-1 astronaut launch for NASACrew-1 follows on from the shorter, successful Demo-2 mission that launched in May to the space station with two NASA astronauts, demonstrating that a SpaceX Crew Dragon could safely ferry people to space. Blast-off for Crew-1 is scheduled for 7:49 p.m. EST Saturday (Nov. 14) (0049 GMT Sunday, Nov. 15) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.space.com
Jim Bridenstine will step aside as NASA chief when President-elect Biden takes over: report
"You need somebody who has a close relationship with the president of the U.S. ... somebody trusted by the administration …. including OMB [Office of Management and Budget], National Space Council , National Security Council," Bridenstine told Irene Klotz, space editor for Aviation Week, Aerospace Daily & Defense Report's parent publication. For example, Bridenstine seems optimistic about NASA and American space exploration more broadly going forward. including OMB, National Space Council, National Security Council. “There is a political agreement that America needs to do big things in space exploration, that we need to lead the world ...space.com
Astronauts head to launch site for SpaceX’s 2nd crew flight
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Four astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Sunday for SpaceX’s second crew launch, coming up next weekend. There will be double the number of astronauts as the test flight earlier this year, and their mission will last a full six months. “Make no mistake: Every flight is a test flight when it comes to space travel. It will be a speedy trip to the space station, a six-orbit express lasting under nine hours. “Every time there’s a Dragon launch, there will be two Dragons in space,” said Reed, director of crew mission management.
Russian space chief disses NASA's Artemis moon landing plans
The head of Russia's space agency criticized NASA's plans to return to the moon of being "too U.S.-centric" as the heads of seven space agencies met virtually at the 71st International Astronautical Congress. "In our view, the lunar Gateway in its current form is too U.S.-centric," Rogozin said at the virtual meeting, through an interpreter. The Gateway is a lunar orbit space station meant as an outpost for visits to the lunar surface by astronauts. Related: Europe will help build NASA's moon-orbiting Gateway space stationRogozin did not completely close the door on the Gateway, however, expressing the hope that the design of a docking module allows for visits. The ILRS is to be constructed across a similar timeline to that of NASA's crewed Artemis program.space.com
Only collaboration will get humans to the moon and Mars rock to Earth, space leaders say
Space agencies are at a crucial pivot point as international consortiums embark on ambitious endeavors like returning samples from Mars and sending human missions to the moon, according to a recent panel discussion. The Artemis work builds upon decades of space agency cooperation on the International Space Station, Bridenstine said during the panel. "This collaboration is critically important," Bridenstine said of NASA's Artemis work with ESA. The equipment can also analyze samples of the moon on site, which has been done at Mars before — for example, on NASA's Curiosity mission . "Space exploration is really a pillar in nurturing and sustaining industrial excellence," Zeminiani said.space.com
NASA spacecraft makes historic attempt to snag samples of asteroid Bennu
For the first time ever, a NASA probe has performed a sample-snagging operation on an asteroid in deep space. Members of NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample-return mission team celebrate after receiving word that the probe completed an attempt to collect samples of asteroid Bennu 207 million miles from Earth on Oct. 20, 2020. Related: NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid-sampling mission in picturesAn artist's depiction of NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft approaching asteroid Bennu for its sampling attempt. The asteroid Bennu, as seen by NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on Dec. 2, 2018. The OSIRIS-REx team will spend the next week or so assessing how much asteroid material was collected.space.com
You can watch the International Mars Society's 2020 convention online today for free
The planet Mars has been a target for space exploration for decades, but 2020 stands out with three different missions from the U.S., China and UAE now headed to the Red Planet. The International Mars Society will celebrate those missions, the search for life and more in a virtual convention this week and you can tune in live. The Mars Society's 2020 Convention is underway now and will run through Oct.18, with over 150 speakers over four days. Mars Society founder Robert Zubrin, author of 2019's "The Case for Space," will kicked the convention off with an opening plenary speech Thursday. To learn more about the Mars Society, its 2020 convention and how to join or support the group, visit its website here: https://www.marssociety.org/.space.com
NASA's new moonshot rules: No fighting or littering, please
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements. Founding members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
8 nations sign US-led Artemis Accords for moon exploration and beyond
Eight nations have signed the Artemis Accords , a set of principles outlining the responsible exploration of Earth's nearest neighbor, NASA officials announced today (Oct. 13). But he stressed that the Artemis Accords are fully consistent with pre-existing treaties, including the most important one — 1967's Outer Space Treaty (OST), which forms the basis for international space law. The Artemis Accords state that the use of space resources can benefit humanity. Such mining activities will be conducted in full compliance with the OST, the Artemis Accords stress. (The Accords already covered Mars as well as the moon ; NASA intends for the Artemis work to serve as a stepping stone for crewed missions to the Red Planet in the 2030s.)space.com
NASA moon-landing tech hitches ride to space on Bezos rocket
The sensors and computer — tested during the booster’s descent and touchdown — will hitch another suborbital ride with Blue Origin. Led by Amazon founder Bezos, Washington state-based Blue Origin is leading a team of companies to develop a lunar lander for astronauts. Tuesday’s launch was the first in nearly a year for Blue Origin: The pandemic stalled operations. Blue Origin said its staff is maintaining social distancing and taking other safety measures. Blue Origin said it needs a couple more flights before launching people — tourists, scientists and professional astronauts — on short hops.
NASA reveals retro 'worm' logo painted on moon-bound Artemis rocket
"I'm excited to share the first photos of the NASA worm and ESA [European Space Agency] logo that will be on the Artemis I mission. I am looking forward to seeing the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft take flight with these iconic symbols," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter on Wednesday (Sept. 30). Linked to a bygone era, the worm gradually gained a retro-cool status, leading to NASA returning the logo to flight earlier this year. NASA’s "worm" logo and the European Space Agency's (ESA) logo have been added to the aft wall of the Orion spacecraft's crew module adapter for the Artemis I mission. The worm was also recently added to the Artemis I Orion, along with the ESA logo.space.com
US military eyes nuclear thermal rocket for missions in Earth-moon space
The U.S. military aims to get a nuclear thermal rocket up and running, to boost its ability to monitor the goings-on in Earth-moon space. The money will support DARPA's Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program, whose main goal is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system in Earth orbit. Such improvements in propulsion technology are needed for "maintaining space domain awareness in cislunar space — the volume of space between the Earth and the moon," the DRACO description reads. "We are proud to support DRACO and the development and demonstration of NTP, a significant technological advancement in efforts to achieve cislunar space awareness," Gryphon CEO P.J. DARPA is not alone in seeing great promise in NTP systems.space.com
Astronauts take shelter as space station dodges orbital junk
The International Space Station, photographed by Expedition 56 crewmembers from a Soyuz spacecraft in October 2018. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev executed a flyaround of the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of the station before returning home after spending 197 days in space. The International Space Station just dodged a fast-moving hunk of orbiting junk. Controllers maneuvered the station away from a potential collision with a piece of debris today (Sept. 22) at 5:19 p.m. EDT (2119 GMT). The station has now made three such moves in 2020 alone, Bridenstine said today in another tweet, stressing that "debris is getting worse!"space.com
NASA and US Space Force team up for planetary defense, moon trips and more
NASA and the United States Space Force are banding together for the future of human spaceflight. Today (Sept. 22), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John "Jay" Raymond announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between NASA and the U.S. Space Force. This agreement officially joins the two entities in collaboration with regard to "human spaceflight, U.S. space policy, space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research and planetary defense," NASA said in a statement . Space Force looks forward to future collaboration, as NASA pushes farther into the universe for the benefit of all." And that's why it was important to create the Space Force, that's why it's important for NASA to partner with the Space Force."space.com
NASA still targeting moon's south pole for 2024 crew landing
NASA is definitely targeting the moon's south pole for a crewed landing in 2024 — but that timeline will be difficult to achieve if Congress doesn't open its purse strings, and fast, agency chief Jim Bridenstine said. "And there is no talk or trades or anything else about anything other than going to the south pole at NASA." But he said that NASA will continue asking for the $3.2 billion, stressing that getting the full amount is "critically important" to achieving the 2024 crewed landing. These two steps are very unlikely to happen before Oct. 1, when the 2021 fiscal year begins. The private sector will supply the Artemis crewed lunar lander(s), whose services NASA will procure.space.com
The 1st Artemis astronauts on the moon may not visit the lunar south pole after all, NASA says
"For the first mission, Artemis 3 , our objective is to get to the south pole," Bridenstine said. But the hoped-for resource has made the moon's south pole a priority destination. And if the agency is focused on the moon's equatorial region, a handful of sites immediately pop out as intriguing: the six Apollo landing sites , where astronauts explored between 1969 and 1972. And revisiting an Apollo landing site would have impacts beyond science, Bridenstine said. "Just the inspiration of going back to an original Apollo site would be pretty amazing as well," he said.space.com
Tropical storm may delay 1st SpaceX crew's return to Earth
On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Tropical weather barreling toward Florida could delay this weekends planned return of the first SpaceX crew. On Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. SpaceX is already preparing to launch a second crew to the space station at the end of September. NASA wants six weeks between the splashdown and the launch of the next Dragon crew, for capsule inspections and reviews.
2020's final Mars mission poised for blastoff from Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will launch to Mars arrives at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rocket scheduled to launch on Thursday will land on Mars in February 2021 and the Mars 2020 rover, named Perseverance, will study Martian geology. (AP Photo/John Raoux)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The summers third and final mission to Mars featuring NASA's most elaborate life-hunting rover is on the verge of liftoff. The rover Perseverance will follow Chinas rover-orbiter combo and a United Arab Emirates orbiter, both launched last week. First things first, though: Good flying weather is forecast for United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.
Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft
Three countries the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates are sending unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in quick succession beginning in July 2020. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Mars is about to be invaded by planet Earth big time. Each spacecraft will travel more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) before reaching Mars next February. Only the U.S. has successfully put a spacecraft on Mars, doing it eight times, beginning with the twin Vikings in 1976. The United Arab Emirates and China are looking to join the elite club.
NASA naming headquarters for 'Hidden Figures' engineer
WASHINGTON NASA is naming its Washington headquarters after Mary Jackson, the space agencys first African American female engineer whose story was portrayed in the popular film Hidden Figures.Jackson started her NASA career in 1951 as part of a segregated unit of female mathematicians at what is now Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson was later promoted to engineer and retired from NASA in 1985. Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement Wednesday. Part of the street in front of NASA headquarters is called Hidden Figures Way" and a computer research facility at Langley is named for Katherine Johnson, another of the Hidden Figures mathematicians, who died in February. A NASA facility is also named for her in West Virginia, her home state.
NASA's next Mars rover honors medical teams fighting virus
(NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASAs next Mars rover is honoring all the medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle around the world. With just another month until liftoff, the space agency on Wednesday revealed a commemorative plate attached to the rover, aptly named Perseverance. The rover team calls it the COVID-19 Perseverance plate, designed in the last couple months. If the rover isn't launched by mid-August, it would need to wait until 2022 when Earth and Mars are back in proper alignment. The United Arab Emirates and China also are preparing spacecraft for launch to the red planet by mid-August.
SpaceX opens era of amateur astronauts, cosmic movie sets
Amateur astronauts, private space stations, flying factories, out-of-this-world movie sets this is the future the space agency is striving to shape as it eases out of low-Earth orbit and aims for the moon and Mars. But the future is incredibly exciting, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren said the day before SpaceXs historic liftoff. The ticket price which includes 15 weeks of training and more than a week at the space station is about $55 million. Beginning in 2024, Axiom plans to build its own addition to the 260-mile-high (420-kilometer-high) outpost to accommodate its private astronauts. SpaceX still has to get NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken safely back to Earth this summer in its Dragon capsule.
SpaceXs astronaut-riding Dragon arrives at space station
The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. Once on board the space station, Hurley said the capsule, newly named Endeavour after the retired shuttle, handled extremely well. He was the pilot on the last U.S. spaceship to visit the space station the last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in July 2011. Tremor was going to join Earthy, a plush globe delivered to the space station on last years test flight of a crew-less crew Dragon. Even so, getting the two astronauts safely to orbit and then the space station had everyone breathing huge sighs of relief.
Take 2 for SpaceX's 1st astronaut launch with more storms
The Falcon 9, with the Crew Dragon spacecraft on top of the rocket, is scheduled to liftoff from Launch Pad 39-A Saturday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. SpaceX pressed ahead with its second attempt to launch astronauts for NASA a historic first for a private company but more stormy weather threatened more delays. Elon Musks company came within 17 minutes Wednesday of launching a pair of NASA astronauts for the first time in nearly a decade from the U.S., before the threat of lightning forced a delay. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said managers were debating whether to bump the next launch attempt from Saturday to Sunday to take advantage of a slightly improved forecast at Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex reopened Thursday, after a 2 1/2-month shutdown, and within a few hours, all 4,000 tickets were snapped up for Saturdays launch attempt.
Ominous weather looms as NASA set to resume human spaceflight with SpaceX takeoff
We are go for launch! NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter earlier in the day. SpaceX and NASA will continue monitoring liftoff and downrange weather as we step into the countdown, Bridenstine added. Over the past nine years, NASA astronauts have had to hitch rides into orbit aboard Russias Soyuz spacecraft. The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a new vehicle was four decades ago at the start of the shuttle program. They are expected to remain at the space station for several weeks, assisting a short-handed crew aboard the orbital laboratory.feeds.reuters.com
Astronauts at launch pad as NASA set to resume human spaceflight with SpaceX takeoff
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken head to launch pad 39 to board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 27, 2020. We are go for launch! NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter, although looming storm clouds off Floridas coast potentially could force a postponement of the mission until Saturday. SpaceX and NASA will continue monitoring liftoff and downrange weather as we step into the countdown, Bridenstine added. The astronauts then emerged from the building, waved to family members and onlookers including Vice President Mike Pence and hopped into a Tesla vehicle to drive to the launch pad. The astronauts are scheduled to blast off from the same launch pad used in 2011 by NASAs final space shuttle flight, piloted by Hurley.feeds.reuters.com
'We are go for launch': NASA due to resume human spaceflight with SpaceX takeoff
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken head to launch pad 39 to board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket during NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 27, 2020. We are go for launch! NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine wrote on Twitter, although looming storm clouds off Floridas coast potentially could force a postponement of the mission until Saturday. SpaceX and NASA will continue monitoring liftoff and downrange weather as we step into the countdown, Bridenstine added. The last time NASA launched astronauts into space aboard a brand new vehicle was four decades ago at the start of the shuttle program. SpaceX successfully tested Crew Dragon without astronauts last year in its first orbital mission to the space station.feeds.reuters.com
Bad weather delays historic SpaceX, NASA astronaut launch
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Update 3:18 p.m.:Bad weather has postponed the SpaceX and NASA launch, officials confirmed shortly before the launch on Wednesday. Original story:All eyes will be on the skies at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon as SpaceX prepares to launch two American astronauts to the International Space Station. KSAT will have multiple livestreams of the launch via NASA. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Wednesday morning that the weather appeared to be trending toward a launch. Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will be riding aboard the Falcon rocket.
NASA chief, ahead of launch, says SpaceX capsule is 'probably the safest vehicle' to ever carry astronauts
Hours before the planned liftoff of SpaceX's first crewed flight, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told CNBC on Wednesday that the space vehicle for the mission is probably the safest to ever carry astronauts. ET Wednesday to carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. This is probably the safest vehicle astronauts have ever launched on," Bridenstine said in an interview on "Squawk on the Street" from the Kennedy Space Center. The mission, named Demo-2, is the first crewed mission in SpaceX history and the first launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil since 2011. "What NASA did, when we came up with this program to launch commercially: We did not say how to design your vehicle.cnbc.com
NASA chief "all in" for Tom Cruise to film on space station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASA is rolling out the International Space Stations red carpet for Tom Cruise to make a movie in orbit. Bridenstine said hell leaving it to Cruise and SpaceX to provide the mission details. I will tell you this: NASA has been in talks with Tom Cruise and, of course, his team, and we will do everything we can to make it a successful mission, including opening up the International Space Station," he told The Associated Press. Asked about Cruise filming on the space station, Musk told CBS This Morning, Actually, I think that remains to be seen. The question is, Can Tom Cruise make a new movie that inspires the next generation Elon Musk. And if he can do that, then were all for it.
SpaceX ready to launch NASA astronauts, back on home turf
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. A SpaceX rocket is ready to boost two NASA astronauts into orbit Wednesday, the first launch of Americans from the U.S. in nearly a decade. Riding aboard the brand new SpaceX Dragon capsule for the historic flight: veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. SpaceX is controlling the vehicle, theres no fluff about that, said Norm Knight, a NASA flight operations manager. The last time astronauts launched from Florida was on NASAs final space shuttle flight in July 2011. Development of SpaceXs Dragon and Boeings Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however, and the U.S. has been paying Russia to launch NASA astronauts in the interim.
Weather better for historic SpaceX launch of NASA astronauts
Veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were set to make history Wednesday afternoon, riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on a test flight. On the eve of the launch, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said from Kennedy Space Center that both the space agency and SpaceX have been diligent about making sure everyone in the launch loop knows they're free to halt the countdown if there's a concern. SpaceX has been launching cargo capsules to the space station since 2012. NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to transport astronauts to the space station, after commercial cargo shipments had taken off. Development of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner capsules took longer than expected, however, and the U.S. has been paying Russia to launch NASA astronauts in the interim.
NASA, SpaceX bringing astronaut launches back to home turf
Elon Musk's SpaceX is the conductor and NASA the customer as businesses begin chauffeuring astronauts to the International Space Station. The drama unfolds from the exact spot where men flew to the moon and the last space shuttle soared from Kennedy Space Center. NASAs newest test pilots, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, are launching from home turf with SpaceX presiding over the countdown. Plagued with software problems, Boeings Starliner capsule is still a year from launching with Ferguson and two NASA astronauts. In terms of launch power, the relatively small Falcon 9 has far less than the space shuttle did, another layer of safety.
Will virus keep Florida spectators from astronaut launch?
In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Floridas Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years, scheduled for May 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)ORLANDO, Fla. In ordinary times, the beaches and roads along Floridas Space Coast would be packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators, eager to witness the first astronaut launch from Florida in nine years. Earlier this month, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine asked potential spectators to watch the launch online or on TV from home. NASA astronauts have not launched from the U.S. since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. Although crowd sizes varied, a high-profile space shuttle launch could attract a half million visitors to the Space Coast.
Astronauts arrive for NASA's 1st home launch in decade
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket scheduled for May 27 will launch a Crew Dragon spacecraft on its first test flight with astronauts on-board to the International Space Station. The two are scheduled to blast off next Wednesday afternoon atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, bound for the International Space Station. They'll soar from the same pad where Atlantis closed out the shuttle program in 2011, the last home launch for NASA astronauts. Since then, the only way to the space station for astronauts has been on Russian rockets launched from Kazakhstan. Hurley and Behnken still dont know how long theyll spend at the space station: anywhere between one and four months.
NASA is working with Tom Cruise to film a movie in space
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a tweet that his agency working with actor Tom Cruise for a film on board the International Space Station. Deadline first reported that Cruise was working with NASA. That report also said that SpaceX is involved, but NASA declined to comment when CNBC asked if Elon Musk's space company was working on the project as well. SpaceX did not respond to CNBC's requests for comment.cnbc.com
Beacon of hope? NASA sees inspiration parallels between Apollo and Artemis moonshots
The space agency pulled off its famed Apollo moon landings during a time of incredible division and turmoil in the United States. Apollo offered inspiration to Americans and people around the world back then, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine noted. And the space agency has a chance to do something similar today with its Artemis program of lunar exploration, he said. Thursday's teleconference delivered some significant Artemis news: NASA has awarded contracts to three industry teams to develop crewed moon landers for the program. Eventually, the agency will procure crewed landing services from the vehicles that make it all the way through the development phase.space.com
NASA's billions of investment in SpaceX have been 'very beneficial,' agency chief says
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine believes the billions his agency has invested in Elon Musk's SpaceX have been well worth it as the company prepares to launch astronauts for the first time this month. Under the Commercial Crew program, NASA awarded SpaceX more than $3.1 billion to fund development of its Crew Dragon capsule. Boeing also received over $4.8 billion of investment from NASA to develop a competing spacecraft called Starliner. The Commercial Crew program is NASA's replacement for the Space Shuttle, which retired in 2011. "Commercial Crew is going to demonstrate cost savings if you compare it to the Space Shuttle ... We're very pleased with the level of investment that we've made and what we're getting for that investment," Bridenstine said.cnbc.com
NASA to announce companies to build Artemis moon landers today. Here's how to watch.
The initiative is part of the agency's Artemis program, for which President Donald Trump mandated the 2024 landing date. NASA has previously said that the 2024 mission will ride the human lander that is completed first from among the contestants announced today, with a 2025 mission going to the second completed lander. The coalition will support Blue Origin's proposed lander, a variant on the uncrewed Blue Moon lander the company announced in May 2019. The selected companies aren't guaranteed any flights; today's announcement simply flags which companies will be considered eligible to take part. The agency is using the same model for cargo deliveries to the moon through its Commercial Lunar Payload Services program.space.com
Elon Musk interrupts NASA-SpaceX call during question about his coronavirus views: 'Move on'
Elon Musk is having issues with conference calls lately. Thursday afternoon, the SpaceX CEO unexpectedly spoke up during a NASA conference call after the agency's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, was asked about Musk's recent comments on the coronavirus pandemic. A day later, The Atlantic's Marina Koren asked NASA's Bridenstine for his view on Musk's statements, given the agency's notably more cautious approach to the coronavirus crisis. "What I'm in charge of is how NASA responds and I'll let SpaceX answer for how they respond to coronavirus." "We've had a number of people infected by it and, in fact, we've lost lives because of it at the agency."cnbc.com
Meet Ingenuity: Alabama teen names NASA's pioneering Mars Helicopter
The little chopper that will launch to the Red Planet this summer with NASA's Mars 2020 rover Perseverance finally has a name: Ingenuity, agency officials announced today (April 29). The moniker was submitted by Alabama 11th grader Vaneeza Rupani, as part of NASA's "Name the Rover" contest for Mars 2020. "Perseverance" won that competition , of course, but agency officials dipped back into the submission pool to hang a name on the solar-powered Mars helicopter. (Its name was just "Mars Helicopter" until today.) Video: How the Mars helicopter Ingenuity will fly the Martian skiesRelated: NASA's Mars 2020 rover Perseverance in picturesVaneeza Rupani (inset), a junior at Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Alabama, came up with the name Ingenuity for NASA's Mars Helicopter (an artist's impression of which is seen here) and the motivation behind it during NASA's "Name the Rover" essay contest.space.com
'I'll pass': Trump not interested in flying on Virgin Galactic's space plane
Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity spaceliner captured this view of Earth during the vehicle's first trip to space, on Dec. 13, 2018. President Donald Trump may be a fan of human spaceflight, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wants to visit the final frontier himself. At one point, the conversation turned to Virgin Galactic, which is wrapping up the test campaign of its newest SpaceShipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity. As I told @POTUS earlier today at the White House, rocket scientists do amazing things even when working from home. pic.twitter.com/nItZzJZG58April 24, 2020After Bridenstine explained what flying aboard VSS Unity would be like, Trump asked him, "Would you do it?"space.com
Trump checks out new NASA technology to fight coronavirus pandemic
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (right) shows President Donald Trump technology the agency has developed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, including a sterilization device and an oxygen hood, on April 24, 2020. President Donald Trump inspected new technology developed by NASA to help fight the coronavirus pandemic and its associated respiratory disease, COVID-19, on April 24. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine brought an oxygen hood, a sterilizing device and a ventilator to the White House to show Trump how the agency is working to support the pandemic response. Bridenstine told Trump. The new device provides the oxygen pressure COVID-19 patients require while protecting healthcare workers from infection, Bridenstine said.space.com
NASA is now accepting applications for new astronauts
NASA is accepting applications for aspiring astronauts. "America is closer than any other time in history since the Apollo program to returning astronauts to the Moon," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a news release. The last time that NASA took applications for new astronauts in 2015, a record-breaking 18,300 people applied. NASA said the new astronauts could live and work aboard the International Space Station, and take part in experiments that prepare for more distant space exploration. Once the agency completes its second moon landing in 2024, it plans to send astronauts to the moon every year on expeditions.