The next time astronauts land on the moon, they will ride to the lunar surface in a spacecraft that looks a lot different than the Apollo-era landing module last used in 1972. Lander concepts proposed by SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics — which won a combined $967 million in NASA funding Thursday — take wildly different approaches to carrying crews to the moon.
A twin-engine Northrop Grumman Antares rocket climbed into orbit Saturday from Virginia’s Eastern Shore carrying a Cygnus supply ship bound for the International Space Station with a compact electron microscope, a flame combustion experiment, a range of biological investigations, fresh cheese, fruit and vegetables for the research lab’s three-person crew.
The launch of a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket with an automated commercial space station cargo vessel from Virginia was aborted less than three minutes before takeoff Sunday after engineers detected unusual readings from a ground support sensor. Northrop Grumman and NASA officials said the next launch attempt is scheduled for no earlier than Thursday.