NASA is gearing up for an intense few weeks of work aboard the International Space Station, staging three spacewalks, moving a docking port from one module to another to support commercial crew ferry ships and capturing an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship carrying nearly 4 tons of equipment and supplies.
The Trump administration is proposing $19.1 billion for NASA in its fiscal 2018 budget blueprint, a 0.8 percent decrease from 2017 funding levels, focusing on deep space exploration, both human and robotic, and increased public-private partnerships to lower costs and encourage private sector innovation.
With the first Apollo launch less than a month away, America’s race to the moon was in high gear. The three-man crew of the first Apollo test flight — commander Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee — strapped into the cockpit of their spacecraft on Jan. 27, 1967 — 50 years ago Friday — for a dress-rehearsal countdown.
Former astronaut Gene Cernan, a Navy pilot and veteran of NASA’s pioneering Gemini program who was the second American to walk in space and then flew to the moon twice as an Apollo astronaut, becoming the last human to leave his bootprints on its dusty surface, died Monday after a long illness. He was 82.
Two spacewalking astronauts working outside the International Space Station Friday completed work to replace aging batteries in one of the lab’s eight main solar power circuits. A second spacewalk next week, along with additional work with the station’s robot arm, will upgrade a second power channel.