December 4, 2020

Hints of life renew interest in Venus, and a private mission could lead the way

September 14, 2020

The announcement Monday of the discovery of phosphine gas in the clouds of Venus — an indicator of possible life — has raised hopes among scientists for new robotic missions to renew exploration of Earth’s planetary neighbor. If Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck gets his way, a privately-funded mission could get the next crack at probing Venus’s soupy atmosphere.

Northrop Grumman ends OmegA rocket program

September 14, 2020

Northrop Grumman says it will not continue development of the OmegA rocket after the U.S. Space Force last month picked United Launch Alliance and SpaceX as the military’s two top launch contractors over the next seven years.

Chinese smallsat launcher fails

September 12, 2020

A Chinese small satellite launcher failed after liftoff Saturday, destroying a commercial Earth-imaging payload before it could enter orbit.

Stacking of next Atlas 5 rocket begins at Cape Canaveral

September 11, 2020

United Launch Alliance technicians positioned the first stage for the next Atlas 5 rocket on a mobile launch platform Friday at Cape Canaveral, a key step in preparations for an October mission that will debut a new solid-fueled booster design.

NASA challenges companies to mine lunar soil

September 11, 2020

NASA announced Thursday it plans to purchase lunar soil from a commercial company, an effort the agency’s top official said is intended to set a precedent for the transfer of ownership of extraterrestrial material and stimulate a market harvesting resources from bodies throughout the solar system.

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