Tag Archives: space program

Bezos Makes Last-Minute $2B Discount Offer To NASA

The Verge reports: Jeff Bezos is offering NASA a discount of at least $2 billion for the agency to give his space company a lucrative human lunar landing system contract that his rival, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, won earlier this year. Bezos’ new offer is the latest in an escalating string of efforts to win the contract for Blue Origin. In …

Read More »

SpaceX Lands Contract For NASA Mission To Europa

Reuters reports: Elon Musk’s private rocket company SpaceX was awarded a $178 million launch services contract for NASA’s first mission focusing on Jupiter’s icy moon Europa and whether it may host conditions suitable for life, the space agency said on Friday. The Europa Clipper mission is due for blastoff in October 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket owned by Musk’s …

Read More »

Branson Craft Lands After Touching “Edge Of Space”

The Washington Post reports: For 20 years, Richard Branson has yearned to ride his spaceplane to the edge of space. On Sunday, he did it. The suborbital trip gave the British billionaire, his three crewmates and two pilots a glimpse of the Earth from more than 50 miles up and a few minutes of weightlessness before the vehicle they were …

Read More »

LIVE VIDEO: Virgin Galactic’s First Commercial Flight

ABC News reports: Richard Branson will boldly go where no space baron has gone before on Sunday, when he steps onto the supersonic space plane from his rocket venture, Virgin Galactic. Branson’s brief joy ride is more than two decades in the making. He founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 with the goal of creating a winged spacecraft capable of taking …

Read More »

FAA Okays Virgin Galactic For Passenger Spaceflights

CNBC reports: Virgin Galactic announced Friday that the Federal Aviation Administration granted the company the license it needs to fly passengers on future spaceflights, a key hurdle as the venture completes development testing. “The commercial license that we have had in place since 2016 remains in place, but is now cleared to allow us to carry commercial passengers when we’re …

Read More »

Insurers Won’t Yet Cover Commercial Space Tourism

Reuters reports: Launching one of the richest individuals on earth into orbit has proved a leap too far for insurers, who are not ready to price the risk of losing Jeff Bezos or his fellow space travelers. And while insurers are well known for offering cover for even the most outlandish of risks, at a price, potential accidents in space …

Read More »

FAA Mulls Proposal For Alabama Spaceport [VIDEO]

The Birmingham News reports: The Federal Aviation Administration is considering a plan to land commercial space vehicles in Alabama. The agency recently released information about a proposal by the Huntsville airport and Nevada-based Sierra Space to use the site roughly 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of downtown to land ships that resemble a small space shuttle with upswept wings. The …

Read More »

Mystery Bidder Pays $28M For Seat On Bezos Rocket

The BBC reports: A mystery bidder has paid $28m (£20m) for a seat on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s first crewed spaceflight by the billionaire’s Blue Origin company. This winning bid was made at Saturday’s auction, with Blue Origin tweeting that the winner’s identity would be revealed in the coming weeks. The bidding process attracted interest from more than 140 countries. …

Read More »

Internet Has Thoughts About Jeff Bezos’s Rocket

The New York Post reports: Jeff Bezos is getting shafted online over the shape of his big rocket. “Is it me, or does Jeff Bezos’ rocket look like a giant penis?” one person tweeted alongside a photo of Blue Origin, the craft the 57-year-old world’s richest man will fly into space next month. “I thought ‘penis’ as soon as I …

Read More »

China Becomes Third Nation To Land On Mars [VIDEO]

The New York Times reports: The United States now has company on Mars. A Chinese spacecraft descended through the thin Martian atmosphere and landed safely on a large plain on Saturday morning, state media reported, accomplishing a feat that only two other nations had before. The landing follows China’s launch last month of the core module of a new orbiting …

Read More »

Chinese Rocket Debris Crashes Into Indian Ocean

NBC News reports: Debris from a rocket launched by China crashed back to Earth on Sunday, landing in the Indian Ocean, according to China’s space agency, after days of speculation over when or where it could end up. Parts of the Long March 5B rocket re-entered the atmosphere at 10:24 a.m. Beijing time (10:24 p.m. ET), the China Manned Space …

Read More »

Space Agencies Track Coming Crash Of Chinese Debris

The Guardian reports: The White House has called for “responsible space behaviours” as a debris from a Chinese rocket, thought to be out of control, is expected to crash back to Earth on Saturday, US time. The US Space Command is tracking debris from the Long March 5B, which last week launched the main module of China’s first permanent space …

Read More »

SpaceX Capsule Splashes Down Safely In Gulf [VIDEO]

CNN Business reports: A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule soared back from outer space Sunday morning and made a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico, returning four astronauts from a record-setting mission to the International Space Station. The astronauts — NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency — had boarded their …

Read More »

NASA Halts SpaceX Work Amid Challenge To Contract

Reuters reports: U.S. space agency NASA has told Elon Musk’s SpaceX to halt work under a contract it won to develop a lunar spacecraft, pending the outcome of challenges by rival bidders at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the agency said on Friday. NASA’s decision means SpaceX has to stop any work specifically related to the moon program contract until …

Read More »

SpaceX Launches Four NASA Astronauts Into Orbit

CNBC reports: SpaceX launched another group of astronauts for NASA early on Friday morning, with Elon Musk’s company now having sent 10 astronauts to space in under a year. The Crew-2 mission, the company’s second operational mission for NASA and its third to date, reached orbit successfully after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:49 a.m. EDT. …

Read More »

NASA Helicopter Makes First Flight On Mars [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports: NASA successfully flew its four-pound helicopter from the surface of Mars early Monday, the first powered flight of an aircraft on another planet, a feat NASA officials compared to the Wright brothers first flight in 1903. At about 3:30 a.m., the twin, carbon-fiber rotor blades began spinning furiously, and the chopper, called Ingenuity, lifted off the …

Read More »

SpaceX Wins $3B NASA Contract For Moon Spacecraft

Reuters reports: NASA said on Friday it has awarded billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s private space company SpaceX a $2.9 billion contract to build a spacecraft to fly astronauts to the moon, picking it over Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc. The bid by Tesla Inc chief Musk beat one from Amazon.com Inc’s founder Jeff Bezos, who had …

Read More »

Biden To Tap Former Sen. Bill Nelson To Head NASA

Politico reports: President Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida to lead NASA, settling on a longtime booster of the space program to lead the agency’s return to the moon, according to three people familiar with the decision. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that she had seen the reports, but did not …

Read More »

NASA’s Mars Rover Leaves Tracks In First Test Drive

Reuters reports: NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab’s picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a …

Read More »

SpaceX Rocket Has “Rapid Unplanned Disassembly”

Changing America reports: A prototype of SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft that the private rocket company is hoping to one day send to the moon and Mars successfully landed for the first time following a high-altitude flight test on Wednesday. Several minutes later, the stainless steel rocket ship was destroyed in a fiery explosion on the landing pad. Despite the explosion, the …

Read More »