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  • NASA executive hired to lead 2024 moon mission quits after 6 weeks

    05/24/2019 1:17:50 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 44 replies
    Sirangelo has resigned, and Reuters reports that his "ouster was sealed by increasing skepticism that 2024 was a realistic deadline for moon landings." This also comes after a proposal from NASA to create a separate directorate for lunar missions was rejected by lawmakers. Bridenstine said on Thursday that "given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities."
  • SpaceX Rockets Were Imperiled by Falsified Reports: Engineer accused of forging signatures

    05/23/2019 1:07:39 PM PDT · by billorites · 14 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | May 23, 2019 | Maria Armental and Micah Maidenberg
    Elon Musk’s space venture last year discovered that an employee at one of its contractors falsified product-quality reports for components intended for its rockets, generating concerns among officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, according to federal investigators. The complaint, filed in federal court on Tuesday, accuses engineer James Smalley with falsifying reports and parts certifications at his former company, PMI Industries LLC. Rochester, N.Y.-based PMI Industries provided precision machining services for parts used to build space flight vehicles for Mr. Musk’s closely held Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX. NASA, the Air Force and other federal agencies have...
  • NASA Invites Public to Submit Names to Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover

    05/22/2019 12:17:54 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 23 replies
    NASA ^ | May 21, 2019 | RELEASE 19-041
    Although it will be years before the first humans set foot on Mars, NASA is giving the public an opportunity to send their names — stenciled on chips — to the Red Planet with NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which represents the initial leg of humanity’s first round trip to another planet. The rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020, with the spacecraft expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. The rover, a robotic scientist weighing more than 2,300 pounds (1,000 kilograms), will search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet's climate and geology,...
  • NASA Covers for SpaceX

    05/22/2019 9:26:23 AM PDT · by rktman · 12 replies ^ | 5/22/2019 | Andrew E. Harrod
    Video footage of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon space capsule exploding on the ground during an April 20 test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was leaked online by the next day. Yet SpaceX and NASA are unacceptably dragging their feet in explaining this taxpayer-financed fiasco in the American space program and thus continued SpaceX’s worrisome undue influence on government. SpaceX’s April 20 press release with its “anomaly” euphemism was immediately contradicted by images provided by a photographer from a local Florida publication covering a surfing festival on a beach near Cape Canaveral. In the telling photos, toxic reddish smoke...
  • A New Hypersonic Jet Could Get You From New York to London in 90 Minutes

    05/21/2019 8:54:08 PM PDT · by EdnaMode · 43 replies
    Mental Floss ^ | May 21, 2019 | Jake Rossen
    For impatient travelers, the next wave of air transportation could be a game-changer. Aerospace company Hermeus Corporation recently announced that it has obtained funding to pursue development of a plane that could travel five times faster than the speed of sound, getting passengers from New York to London in just 90 minutes. But it won't be a cheap flight, and the idea isn't without some baggage. The venture, which was founded by former employees of private space travel companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, is seeking to craft a plane that can travel at Mach 5...
  • Secret Nasa plans for lunar base and 37 rocket launches to the Moon ‘revealed by leak online’

    05/21/2019 9:45:38 PM PDT · by cba123 · 49 replies
    The Sun UK ^ | Today | Harry Pettit, Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter
    NASA'S official plans to build a permanent base on the Moon have seemingly leaked online, revealing how and when astronauts will return to the rocky world for the first time in 50 years. Please see link for full article.
  • Here’s Looking at You! Astrobee’s First Robot Completes Initial Hardware Checks in Space

    05/20/2019 11:35:37 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | 05/16/2019
    NASA astronaut Anne McClain performs the first series of tests of an Astrobee robot, Bumble, during a hardware checkout. To her right is the docking station that was installed in the Kibo module on the International Space Station on Feb. 15. Bumble, and another robot named Honey, launched to the space station on Apr. 17, aboard Northrop Grumman’s eleventh commercial resupply services mission from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. When needed the robots will be able to return to their docking station on their own and recharge their battery power. Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will provide...
  • Trump Announces Budget Update to Fund Special Olympics, Manned Mars Mission

    05/14/2019 12:22:17 PM PDT · by McQ444 · 20 replies
    Breitbart ^ | 14-05-19 | NATE CHURCH
    Trump was effusive about updates to the budget supporting the Special Olympics, and a return to space “in a BIG WAY.”“Today, I officially updated my budget to include $18 million for our GREAT @SpecialOlympics,” Trump tweeted, “whose athletes inspire us and make our Nation so PROUD!”“Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness and we are going back to the Moon, then Mars,” the President also said. “I am updating my budget to include an additional $1.6 billion so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”And despite an original proposal that cut the Great Lakes Restoration...
  • Will $1.6billion Let NASA's New Artemis Program Become Reality?

    05/14/2019 1:23:27 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 26 replies
    YouTube ^ | Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Scott Manley
    After a revised budget proposal from the Whitehouse added another $1.6billion mostly to pay to stop more SLS delays NASA announced that their plan to return to the Moon in 5 years would be named 'Artemis'. Which is of course the best name for any lunar program, so good in fact that NASA aren't the first people to use the name of this goddess for a space program. So let's have a quick tour of other projects with the same name. Realistically, the budget may not happen, for obvious political reasons, but I hope the name stays.
  • X-37B Military Space Plane's Latest Mystery Mission Passes 600 Days

    05/09/2019 7:09:09 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    livescience ^ | April 30, 2019 04:43pm ET | Mike Wall, Senior Writer |
    The reusable robotic vehicle, which looks like a miniature version of NASA's space shuttle orbiters, launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sept. 7, 2017. It's unclear what exactly the spacecraft is doing up there. X-37B missions are classified, and Air Force officials tend to speak of project goals in general terms, as this excerpt from the X-37B fact sheet shows: "The primary objectives of the X-37B are twofold: reusable spacecraft technologies for America's future in space and operating experiments which can be returned to, and examined, on Earth." Still, the Air...
  • The mystery of the ‘alien plughole’ on Mars: Scientists discover strange terraced crater...

    08/30/2015 9:36:16 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 21 replies ^ | By Ellie Zolfagharifard
    An 'alien plughole' on Mars that has baffled scientists could have a simple explanation. Astronomers claim the strange crater, which has a terraced rather than bowl pattern, has been created by water ice. To confirm their theory, researchers found an enormous slab of water ice just beneath the crater, measuring 130ft (40 metre) thick. 'Craters should be bowl shaped, but this one had terraces in the wall,' says Ali Bramson, a graduate student in the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Terraces can form when there are layers of different materials in the planet's subsurface, such as dirt, ice...
  • LI-Ion Supply Chain vs China's dominance & the current trade impasse, are they related?

    05/06/2019 7:52:37 AM PDT · by taildragger · 12 replies
    5/6/2019 | taildragger
    Two Stories that I will post links to given the amount of Websites that have Shunned FR. Futher comments in the Body section, here are the links:
  • NASA Considers Magnetic Shield to Help Mars Grow Its Atmosphere

    03/01/2017 6:58:45 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Popular Mechanics ^ | Mar 1, 2017 | Jay Bennett
    Such a shield could leave Mars in the relatively protected magnetotail of the magnetic field created by the object, allowing the Red Planet to slowly restore its atmosphere. About 90 percent of Mars's atmosphere was stripped away by solar particles in the lifetime of the planet, which was likely temperate and had surface water about 3.5 billion years ago. According to simulation models, such a shield could help Mars achieve half the atmospheric pressure of Earth in a matter of years. With protection from solar winds, frozen CO2 at Mars's polar ice caps would start to sublimate, or turn directly...
  • SpaceX still doesn’t know why its spacecraft exploded last month

    05/02/2019 4:54:41 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    The Verge ^ | May 2, 2019, 4:55pm EDT | Mary Beth Griggs
    Before the explosion, the test was proceeding according to plan, Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX’s vice president of Mission Assurance, said at a press conference about SpaceX’s upcoming resupply mission to the ISS. The capsule was tethered in place for the test, which was designed to make sure that the system’s thrusters were working properly. Koenigsmann said that the capsule powered up “as expected” and then sets of smaller thrusters on either side of the vehicle called Dracos fired for five seconds each. Those tests “went very well” said Koenigsmann. Then it was time to test the SuperDracos, the thrusters designed to...
  • Today 9:20 am PST Launch - Blue Origin

    05/02/2019 9:12:06 AM PDT · by gaijin · 9 replies
    YouTube live ^ | May 2, 2019 | Author
    Live coverage of Blue Origin launch at ~9:20 am PST today: In 9 min from the time of this threat post.
  • Blue Origin to Launch Test Flight of Its New Shepard Spacecraft Today! How to Watch

    05/02/2019 7:01:09 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7 replies ^ | 05/02/2019 | Mike Wall
    Blue Origin's New Shepard suborbital vehicle will launch on its 11th test flight this morning (May 2), and you can watch the spaceflight action live. The reusable rocket-capsule combo is scheduled to lift off from Blue Origin's West Texas testing ground at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT; 8:30 a.m. local Texas time). The uncrewed flight will carry 38 microgravity research payloads to suborbital space and back, company representatives announced via Twitter Wednesday You can watch live here at, courtesy of Blue Origin, or directly via the company's website. New Shepard is designed to carry paying customers, offering them great...
  • SpaceX’s Unnerving Silence on an Explosive Incident

    04/30/2019 2:05:56 PM PDT · by Yossarian · 29 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | 4/30/19 | MARINA KOREN
    (...) More than a week after the explosion, SpaceX remains silent about the incident. At this moment, even an “anomaly” in its test capsule should rattle the engineers, astronauts, and administrators invested in Dragon’s success. SpaceX was well on its way to launching American astronauts into space, a historic first in U.S. spaceflight history. (...) Barely two months ago, the same capsule was docked to the International Space Station, circling Earth. It arrived without people—this was only its first flight, after all—but plenty of fresh supplies, and the astronauts on the station opened the hatches and floated in. Several days...
  • Marsquake! NASA's InSight Lander Feels Its 1st Red Planet Tremor

    04/23/2019 9:16:37 PM PDT · by amorphous · 24 replies
    Space.Com ^ | 23 April 2019 | Meghan Bartels
    Scientists just felt the Red Planet move under their feet — robotically from millions of miles away, on the stark surface of Mars. On April 6, NASA's InSight lander sensed its first confirmed marsquake, a phenomenon scientists suspected, but couldn't confirm, occurred on the neighboring planet. Measuring the Martian equivalent of earthquakes, seismic waves traveling through the interior of the planet, was among the lander's key science goals. "We've been waiting months for our first marsquake," Philippe Lognonné, the principal investigator for the seismometer instrument, said in a statement released by the French space agency, which runs the instrument with...
  • Mars 'remains in embryonic state'

    05/27/2011 5:31:54 PM PDT · by decimon · 14 replies
    BBC ^ | May 27, 2011 | Jennifer Carpenter
    Mars formed in record time, growing to its present size in a mere three million years, much quicker than scientists previously thought.Its rapid formation could explain why the Red Planet is about one tenth the mass of Earth. The study supports a 20-year-old theory that Mars remained small because it avoided collisions with planetary building material. The new finding is published in the journal Nature. In our early Solar System, well before planets had formed, a frisbee-shaped cloud of gas and dust encircled the Sun. Scientists believe that the planets grew from material pulled together by electrostatic charges - the...
  • Mars 2020 Rover Assembled and Tested Ahead of Launch Next Year

    04/20/2019 4:11:34 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 3 replies
    space,com ^ | 04/20/2019 | Elizabeth Howell
    NASA's next Mars mission is slowly coming together in a "clean room" in California. Technicians at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory assembled the capsule that will keep the Mars 2020 rover secure for its wild ride to the Red Planet's surface. After leaving Earth next summer, Mars 2020 will spend about seven months flying towards the Red Planet before a spectacular entry at its destination, including a repeat of the famous "7 minutes of terror" sequence that brought NASA's Curiosity rover to the planet's surface in 2012. (The Mars 2020 rover and Curiosity have similar body frames, although they carry...