Space

WASHINGTON — While the administration continues to work on a revised budget request for carrying out the new goal of landing humans on the moon in 2024, the technical plan for doing so is starting to take shape. In a presentation at a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering
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Extraterrestrial life, that familiar science-fiction trope, that kitschy fantasy, that CGI nightmare, has become a matter of serious discussion, a “risk factor”, a “scenario”. How has ET gone from sci-fi fairytale to a serious scientific endeavour modelled by macroeconomists, funded by fiscal conservatives and discussed by theologians? Because, following a string of remarkable discoveries over
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WASHINGTON — A power problem on the International Space Station has postponed the launch of a SpaceX cargo spacecraft by at least two days, pending an effort to fix the issue. NASA announced April 30 it had asked SpaceX to delay the launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket that had
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In the bewildering quagmire that is the gas between the stars, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified evidence of ionised buckminsterfullerene, the carbon molecule known colloquially as “buckyballs”. Containing 60 carbon atoms arranged in a soccer ball shape, buckminsterfullerene (C60) occurs naturally here on Earth – in soot. But in 2010, it was also detected in
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Vice commander of Air Force Space Command Lt. Gen. Thompson: “We have to understand we’re on the cusp of an explosion in commercial space.” WASHINGTON — In the contentious Space Force debate, many of the questions have been about its cost and whether a separate military branch would do a better job than the Air
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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith is said to be unsatisfied with the Air Force’s response to his concerns about the Launch Service Procurement competition. WASHINGTON — A war of words between the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the Air Force over a multibillion-dollar national security launch services competition appears to
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In February of 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) announced the first-ever detection of gravitational waves (GWs). Since then, multiple events have been detected, providing insight into a cosmic phenomena that was predicted over a century ago by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. A little over a year ago, LIGO was taken
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You can be thankful that we orbit a placid, main sequence, yellow dwarf star. Astronomers recently spied a massive superflare on a diminutive star, a powerful, radiation spewing event that you wouldn’t want to witness up close. The ‘star’ was ULAS J224940.13-011236.9, an L-type sub-stellar brown dwarf near the Aquarius-Pisces border. The cumbersome, phone number-style
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WASHINGTON — NASA will establish an independent committee to review its planetary protection policies to reflect new developments in human space exploration and commercial spaceflight. In an April 23 statement, the agency said it will create an independent Planetary Protection Review Board to recommend any updates to existing regulations intended to prevent contamination of potentially
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HELSINKI — Two Chinese launch startups have successfully carried out tests of technology demonstration rockets as part of quests to develop reusable launch vehicles. New Chinese launch firm Space Transportation carried out a test April 22 in northwest China in cooperation with Xiamen University, launching a 3,700-kilogram technology demonstrator named Jiageng-1. Launch took place at
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WASHINGTON — NASA has updated a planned call for proposals for lunar landers to enable a human mission in 2024, broadening the scope to include integrated lander concepts. In a procurement filing issued late April 26, NASA updated an earlier notice published April 8 that announced plans to solicit proposals for an ascent stage for
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WASHINGTON — U.S. telecom regulators approved a request from SpaceX to lower the orbit of nearly 1,600 of its proposed broadband satellites. The Federal Communications Commission said April 26 it was ok with SpaceX changing its plans to orbit those satellites at 550 kilometers instead of 1,150 kilometers. SpaceX says the adjustment, requested six months ago, will make a
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LONDON — The nonprofit International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) issued a new report in March calling for the establishment of an independent Space Safety Institute to speed development of commercial space flight safety standards and certification processes.  The 60-page report, which the Noordwijk, Netherlands-based IAASS and its Houston-based sister nonprofit the
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WASHINGTON — As NASA studies ways to accelerate development of the Space Launch System, an independent safety panel called on the agency to retain a major upcoming test of the vehicle. NASA had been contemplating eliminating the so-called “green run” of the SLS core stage as a way to cut several months of schedule. In
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This article was first published in the SN Military.Space newsletter. If you would like to get our news and insights for national security space professionals every Tuesday, sign up here for your free subscription. The Air Force 45th Space Wing is gearing up for three high-profile space launches at Cape Canaveral over the coming months. If all goes
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We are surrounded by alien worlds. In neighbouring star systems, Earth-like planets abound, with unusual names like Proxima b, TRAPPIST–1e, Ross–128b, and LHS–1140b. Are these strange places habitable? Are they homes for life-forms we can’t yet imagine? The jury is out. While these exoplanets all orbit within the so-called habitable aka Goldilocks zones of their
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