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Blog Archive

 

We choose to go to the Moon and do the other things

Casey Dreier and Jason Davis • October 05, 2017

Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the National Space Council's first meeting today by declaring Americans will return to the Moon. Casey Dreier and Jason Davis analyze this new direction for NASA's human spaceflight program.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk updates Mars colonization plans

Jason Davis • September 29, 2017

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk presented an updated version of his Mars colonization plans today, during a widely anticipated talk at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.

Is Mars habitable? With the right technologies, yes

Max Fagin • September 28, 2017

Making Mars habitable will require us to master the conversion of raw Martian materials into resources we can use to survive. Fortunately, Mars has a wealth of usable materials, making it one of the most human-habitable places in the solar system, other than Earth itself.

NASA, international partners consider solar sail for Deep Space Gateway

Anatoly Zak • September 25, 2017

A Canadian Space Agency proposal would install a solar sail on the outside of the Deep Space Gateway, a miniature space station in lunar orbit.

Meet two astronaut candidates who can help NASA do science on other worlds

Jason Davis • September 21, 2017

Two of NASA's new astronaut candidates are particularly suited to conduct scientific research on other worlds: Zena Cardman, a geobiologist, and Jessica Watkins, a geologist.

Function over form: NASA's Space Launch System gets a new paint job

Jason Davis • August 11, 2017

Last week, NASA revealed an updated design for the Space Launch System, featuring black-and-white checkerboards streaking down each of the vehicle's solid rocket boosters.

Cubes in Space

Julie Seven Sage • July 27, 2017

Aspiring astrophysicist Julie Seven Sage reports from the launch of student-designed CubeSat payloads at NASA's Wallops Flight Center.

HERA team completes 45-day mission to explore asteroid, from Texas

Tim Evans • July 25, 2017

What's it like spending 45 days confined to a habitat at Johnson Space Center simulating a crewed NASA mission to an asteroid? Tim Evans sends us this report.

Space station partners weigh in on NASA’s Deep Space Gateway plans

Anatoly Zak • June 08, 2017

In March, NASA officials revealed updated plans for a small space station near the Moon called the Deep Space Gateway. Anatoly Zak reports the plans threw a monkey wrench into years-long planning efforts by NASA’s international partners.

Announcing a New Paper on NASA's Mars Exploration Program

Casey Dreier • June 06, 2017

NASA’s robotic Mars Exploration Program is on a troubling path of decline—and decisions must be made now in order to stop it. A new report by the Society explains why.

The anatomy of a delay: Here's a timeline of twists and turns for NASA's SLS and Orion programs

Jason Davis • May 15, 2017

The Space Launch System and Orion won't fly until 2019, and NASA is sticking with its original plan not to include astronauts for the maiden mission. Here is a timeline of some of the programs' major twists and turns over the years.

HERA crewmember shares thoughts ahead of simulated 45-day asteroid mission

Tim Evans • May 05, 2017

Tonight, a four-person crew will seal themselves inside a three-story habitat at NASA's Johnson Space Center, kicking off a simulated 45-day mission to an asteroid. One crewmember shares his thoughts before entering.

The first Space Launch System flight will probably be delayed

Jason Davis • April 26, 2017

NASA's new heavy lift rocket is currently scheduled to launch the Orion spacecraft on a test flight next year. But all signs are pointing to a probable delay.

Postcard from the Space Symposium: Planetary Society outreach coordinator finds her place in space

Harriet Brettle • April 14, 2017

The annual Space Symposium brings together space leaders from around the world to discuss, address and plan for the future of space.

Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew

Jason Davis • April 10, 2017

I believe Expedition 50 had a fun and good ISS crew. I base this declaration solely on the moments they shared on social media. This logic is completely bulletproof and there's no point trying to prove otherwise.

NASA unveiled new plans for getting humans to Mars, and hardly anyone noticed

Jason Davis • April 07, 2017

NASA revealed its most concrete plan yet for sending humans back into deep space, centered around a small lunar space station and a reusable transport ship to carry astronauts to Mars and back.

A repeat of the space shuttle's bold test flight? NASA considers crew aboard first SLS mission

Jason Davis • March 23, 2017

NASA has only flown astronauts aboard a rocket's first flight once, when John Young and Bob Crippen took space shuttle Columbia on the boldest test flight in history. What are the risks of repeating the feat for SLS?

NASA, ISS partners quietly completing design of possible Moon-orbiting space station

Anatoly Zak • March 09, 2017

Could NASA and its international partners construct a space station in orbit around the Moon? Possible designs are being finalized, but the Trump administration has yet to weigh in on the agency's human spaceflight program.

Everything you need to know about tomorrow's historic SpaceX launch

Jason Davis • February 17, 2017

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasts off from a former space shuttle launch pad tomorrow morning. Here's a rundown of everything you need to know about the historic event.

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight

Jason Davis • January 26, 2017

NASA's current human spaceflight goal is Mars, but the Trump administration could change that to the Moon. Is that a good idea? Here's an in-depth look at the differences in science gain, the arguments for and against a potential commercial market, and whether or not the technological and operational challenges required to reach the Moon apply to Mars.

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