January 20, 2018

President Trump makes moon missions NASA’s near-term goal

December 11, 2017

In a brief White House ceremony Monday, President Trump formally directed NASA to set its sights on sending astronauts back to the moon followed by eventual flights to Mars as part of a new national space policy intended to make sure America “once again leads and inspires all of humanity” on the high frontier.

Astronauts wrap up spacewalk, accomplishing all primary tasks

October 20, 2017

Staging NASA’s third spacewalk in 15 days, two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station Friday and installed a new high definition camera, replaced a degraded camera on a recently attached robot arm grapple fixture, finished lubricating the mechanism and carried out a variety of other “get-ahead” tasks.

Neutron star collision an astronomical gold mine

October 17, 2017

On Aug. 17, gravity waves rippled through the solar system, slightly squeezing and stretching the space Earth occupies, the result of a catastrophic collision of two compact-but-massive neutron stars, producing a so-called “kilonova” explosion that seeded the local environment with a flood of heavy elements ranging from gold and platinum to uranium and beyond, scientists said Monday.

Astronauts stage second spacewalk in five days

October 10, 2017

Five days after work to replace the grapple fitting on one end of the space station’s robot arm, commander Randy Bresnik and flight engineer Mark Vande Hei ventured back outside the lab complex Tuesday to lubricate the new arm mechanism, to replace a degraded camera and to carry out a variety of lower-priority chores.

Spacewalk concludes with successful robot arm repair

October 5, 2017

Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station early Thursday and performed what amounted to hand transplant surgery on the lab’s Canadian-built robot arm, removing a crippled grapple fixture on one end of the space crane and replacing it with an on-board spare.

Pence calls for a return to the moon as a stepping stone to Mars

October 5, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence, chairing a revived National Space Council, said Thursday the United States will once again send astronauts to the moon, using Earth’s satellite as a critical stepping stone for eventual flights to Mars, and vowing to beef up national security space assets to counter rapidly escalating threats from adversaries.

Elon Musk revises Mars plan, hopes for boots on ground in 2024

September 29, 2017

SpaceX plans to begin construction of a new rocket and spacecraft next year that could lead to human landings on Mars as early as 2024, scaling up technologies currently being perfected with the company’s Falcon 9 family of boosters to ensure reliability, reusability and, as a result, realistically low costs, founder Elon Musk said Friday.

Cassini crashes into Saturn, ending 20-year mission

September 15, 2017

Dutifully beaming back data to the very end, NASA’s long-lived Cassini probe slammed into Saturn’s atmosphere at some 77,000 mph Friday, blazing like a shooting star as it was ripped apart and incinerated in the final chapter of an enormously successful mission.

Cassini races toward fiery mission-ending plunge into Saturn

September 14, 2017

Thirteen years after reaching Saturn, NASA’s nuclear-powered Cassini spacecraft raced through its 294th and final orbit Thursday, collecting priceless data while hurtling toward a kamikaze-like plunge into the ringed planet’s atmosphere Friday, going out in a blaze of glory to wrap up an “insanely” successful mission.

Soyuz docks with space station, adding three to lab’s crew

September 13, 2017

Lighting up the pre-dawn sky, a Soyuz rocket roared to life and streaked into orbit Tuesday carrying a Russian cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, boosting the lab’s crew back to six and the U.S. complement to four NASA-sponsored astronauts.

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