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Jason's Blog

Planetary Projects and Human Spaceflight

by Jason Davis

Latest Blog Posts

Remembering Ewen Whitaker, the "careful and caring" scientist who found Surveyors 1 and 3

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/21 06:02 CDT | 1 comment

Ewen Whitaker was one of the founding members of the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, one of the world's first research institutions dedicated to studying the moon and planets.

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How should America feel about China's space ambitions?

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/14 06:00 CDT | 16 comments

China is sending two astronauts on a month-long mission to the country's new space station. What are China's long-term space goals? Does the narrative of a space race between the U.S. and China fit? If so, what happens if America loses?

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To the moon, via the space station? A Q&A with Orbital ATK

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/13 06:00 CDT | 4 comments

Two years after a devastating explosion, Orbital ATK is set to return its Antares rocket to flight. The commercial spaceflight company discusses its upgraded launcher, Cygnus supply spacecraft, and future ambitions, which include cislunar space.

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LightSail 2 update roundup: Testing, delivery and a new animation in the works

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/07 06:01 CDT | 1 comment

LightSail 2 and Prox-1 are expected to meet for integration by the end of the year. Here's an update roundup, including a sneak peek of new animations and the abstract from a recently accepted paper on the spacecraft's attitude control system.

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To Mars, with a monster rocket: How politicians and engineers created NASA's Space Launch System

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/03 06:00 CDT | 10 comments

NASA is building a giant rocket called the Space Launch System to send humans to Mars. In part 4 of our Horizon Goal series, we recap the messy tangle of politics and engineering that led to the vehicle's creation in 2011.

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A million people in 40 to 100 years: SpaceX unveils plan to colonize Mars

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/09/27 10:46 CDT | 12 comments

After much anticipation, Elon Musk revealed his plans to colonize Mars. Here are the details, some questions yet to be answered, and a few thoughts on how this could change the way we think about human spaceflight.

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Five things we learned from our #RocketRoadTrip

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/09/21 06:02 CDT | 3 comments

We're back from our #RocketRoadTrip through four states with NASA field centers involved in the agency's Journey to Mars program. We'll be sorting through our material for quite some time, but meanwhile, here are five key things we learned.

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OSIRIS-REx blazes into evening sky, starting journey to asteroid Bennu

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/09/08 08:56 CDT | 5 comments

NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is safely en route to asteroid Bennu following an evening liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Carrying names of 440,000 well-wishers, OSIRIS-REx ready for journey to Bennu and back

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/09/07 12:24 CDT | 7 comments

OSIRIS-REx is ready to begin its journey to Bennu and back. The asteroid was named by a Planetary Society contest winner, and the spacecraft bears the names of 440,000 well-wishers.

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Join The Planetary Society on social media for an epic #RocketRoadTrip

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/09/02 06:02 CDT

From September 6-16, The Planetary Society is visiting four NASA centers focused predominantly on the agency’s Journey to Mars program. Follow us on social media with the hashtag #RocketRoadTrip.

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