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When Good Rockets Go Bad: Orion's Launch Abort System

Jason Davis • October 20, 2014

One of the tricky parts of launching humans into space is deciding what to do if something goes wrong. And that's where Orion's Launch Abort System comes in.

How Richard Nixon Changed NASA

Jason Callahan • October 04, 2014

The end of the Moon race raised the question: what, if anything, was next for NASA? The decisions made by President Nixon in the aftermath of Apollo still impact the space program today.

In Pictures: A Busy Week at the International Space Station

Jason Davis • September 26, 2014

This week, the International Space Station received a new crew and a welcomed a SpaceX Dragon cargo vehicle. Here are a few photo highlights.

NASA Kicks Off a Private Space Race Between Boeing and SpaceX

Jason Davis and Casey Dreier • September 17, 2014

Boeing and SpaceX have won multi-billion dollar contracts to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

Expedition 40 Crew Returns Safely to Earth

Jason Davis • September 11, 2014

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev are safely back on Earth following a five-and-a-half month stay aboard the International Space Station.

NASA’s Big Rocket a Step Closer to Reality

Jason Davis and Casey Dreier • August 28, 2014

NASA's Space Launch System passed a critical milestone yesterday, but buried within the announcement was news that the first launch could slip by nearly a year.

International Postcards from Space

Jason Davis • August 27, 2014

A collection of pretty pictures by cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who currently serves as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station.

Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight By Jay Barbree

Mat Kaplan • July 27, 2014

Mat Kaplan reviews a wonderful new biography on Neil Armstrong, written with the support of Armstrong and many of the other pioneering astronauts.

45 Years after Apollo 11, NASA Prepares for Another Big Splashdown

Jason Davis • July 17, 2014

A new version of Apollo 11's splashdown will play out when the first astronauts aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft return to Earth.

Our Pathway to Exploration Should Start with the Asteroid Redirect Mission

Louis D. Friedman and Tom Jones • June 30, 2014

Despite its rejection by the NRC Committee, we argue that the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is an affordable and logical first step in such a sequence. ARM is not only consistent with the NRC Committee’s own principles, but is also the only near- term initiative that can shape their recommendations into a sustainable human space exploration program. ARM would launch U.S. explorers into deep space beyond the Moon, and fits logically into an exploration program aimed at Mars.

The latest on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

Jason Davis • June 23, 2014

During televised updates on June 18 and 19, NASA showcased its progress on Orion and ARM. Here's the latest news.

The Senate's Flawed NASA Bill Hits a Bump in the Road

Casey Dreier • June 19, 2014

For the second day in a row, the Senate failed to vote on a bill that would fund NASA and other agencies in 2015. Without passage, no progress can be made addressing the flaws contained within.

The Planetary Society Supports NASA's Asteroid Initiative

Casey Dreier • May 27, 2014

The Planetary Society strongly supports NASA's asteroid initiative, including the goal of redirecting an asteroid to the vicinity of the Moon. But an independent cost estimate is needed, and needed soon.

No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station

Casey Dreier • May 20, 2014

A top Russian official announced a ban on Russian engines in U.S. military launches and questioned Russia's long-term commitment to the International Space Station. We cut through the hype and try to understand what was actually said and the immediate consequences facing NASA.

Commander Dave Scott's Masursky Lecture from LPSC 2014

Emily Lakdawalla • April 04, 2014

A video of Apollo astronaut David Scott's lecture to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. His talk was an absolute treat: funny, educational, engaging, full of joy at his adventure, though at the end, a little angry that we've not sent more humans back. It's well worth 45 minutes of your time.

The Future of Human Spaceflight – A Public Forum

Louis D. Friedman • March 31, 2014

A panel of three former astronauts will discuss the future of human spaceflight at a public event at the California Institute of Technology's Beckman Auditorium, Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 8 pm.

A Report from the First Hearing on the 2015 NASA Budget

Casey Dreier • March 27, 2014

An animated NASA Administrator defended the commercial crew program as the fastest way to return to American access to low-Earth orbit in a hearing before the House Space Subcommittee today.

Bringing Orion Home: How the U.S. Navy will pluck our future astronauts from the sea

Jason Davis • February 14, 2014

When our future astronauts splash down into the Pacific Ocean aboard an Orion capsule, Mike Generale, NASA, and the U.S. Navy will be waiting for them.

What is NASA for?

Craig Hardgrove • February 12, 2014

Planetary scientist Craig Hardgrove takes a look at what NASA really does for humanity.

Slate's Misleading Hit Piece on the Future of NASA

Casey Dreier • February 06, 2014

A response to Slate's recent piece on the future of NASA, correcting many of its myths and misconceptions about how NASA works.

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