October 23, 2020

NASA selects proposals to demonstrate in-space refueling and propellant depot tech

October 16, 2020

NASA has selected 14 companies for contracts of more than $370 million to advance technology for human missions to the moon and Mars. Most of the money will support flight demonstrations by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and other companies that could lead to in-space refueling and propellant depots for reusable lunar landers and deep space transportation vehicles.

Blue Origin completes successful suborbital space shot

October 13, 2020

Blue Origin launched its New Shepard suborbital rocket to the edge of space Tuesday from the company’s remote desert test site in West Texas on an experimental flight to test precision lunar landing technology for NASA.

Crucial first fueling test on tap for SLS core stage later this month

October 9, 2020

If all goes according to plan, engineers in southern Mississippi later this month will load cryogenic propellants into the core stage of a rocket NASA says will launch astronauts back to the moon, exposing its tankage and internal plumbing to extreme operating conditions hundreds of degrees below zero for the first time. The fueling test — a major milestone in its own right — is a precursor to a high-stakes eight-minute test-firing of the Space Launch System’s four shuttle-era main engines planned as soon as November.

NASA lays out $28 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon in 2024

September 21, 2020

NASA officials released a nearly five-year, $28 billion plan Monday to return astronauts to the surface of the moon before the end of 2024, but the agency’s administrator said the “aggressive” timeline set by the Trump administration last year hinges on Congress approving $3.2 billion in the next few months to kick-start development of new human-rated lunar landers.

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.

SLS booster test-fired in Utah

September 2, 2020

Northrop Grumman test-fired a five-segment solid-fueled booster for NASA’s Space Launch System Wednesday at the company’s test facility in Promontory, Utah.

Elon Musk offers update on SpaceX’s Starship mega-rocket

September 1, 2020

SpaceX founder Elon Musk detailed progress on the company’s next-generation Starship program Monday, saying the huge rocket could “probably” attempt its first launch into Earth orbit next year, and adding that the Starship will fly hundreds of missions before SpaceX puts people on-board.

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