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Jason Davis' blogs from 2016

‘Apollo on steroids’: The rise and fall of NASA’s Constellation moon program

Jason Davis • August 01, 2016

In part 2 of our series on the evolution of NASA's Journey to Mars, Michael Griffin gives the Constellation moon program a new look in an attempt to shorten America's International Space Station access gap after the space shuttles retire. But by 2009, the program is behind schedule and over budget.

With retry scheduled tomorrow, NASA and Bigelow say BEAM will work—it's just a question of when

Jason Davis • May 27, 2016

NASA will try again tomorrow to expand BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. During a press teleconference this afternoon, officials said they were confident the module was going to expand—it's just a question of when.

What's the matter with Russia's rockets?

Jason Davis • December 02, 2016

Fifteen Russian rockets have failed in the past 6 years. Of those mishaps, all but two involved upper stages. So what's going on? The problem may actually lie far beyond the country's aerospace industry.

Watch a test of the world's largest solid rocket booster tomorrow on NASA TV

Jason Davis • June 27, 2016

Tomorrow morning at 10:05 a.m. EDT (14:05 UTC), NASA and Orbital ATK are test-firing the world's largest solid rocket booster in northern Utah. You can follow along live on NASA TV.

Virgin Galactic Unveils New SpaceShipTwo

Jason Davis • February 19, 2016

Nearly 16 months after Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was destroyed in a fatal accident, the company is getting ready to fly again.

Videos and updates: LightSail 2 shows off magnetic personality

Jason Davis • July 13, 2016

It's been a few weeks since LightSail 2 passed its day-in-the-life test at Cal Poly. Here's a roundup of updates that were made in response to the test results, and a look at the project's next steps.

Veteran space shuttle engine to be test-fired for SLS in Mississippi

Jason Davis • March 09, 2016

An veteran engine from the space shuttle program will be test-fired tomorrow at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, kicking off the next round of Space Launch System flight preparations.

Upgraded LightSail Software Completes First Round of Flight Testing

Jason Davis • January 26, 2016

LightSail has completed its first round of flight testing. The spacecraft is now armed with new software that will transmit almost three times as much health and status data back to Earth than it did during last year's test flight.

Two Astronauts to Make Friday Trek to Edge of Space Station

Jason Davis • January 13, 2016

This Friday, astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake will perform a spacewalk to replace a failed power regulator on one of the outermost sections of the International Space Station.

Tugboat hauling shuttle tank to California rescues passengers of sunk fishing vessel

Jason Davis • May 13, 2016

The crew of the tugboat hauling the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank to California reports they have rescued four passengers from a fishing boat that sunk off the coast of Mexico.

Tonight's Cygnus launch kicks off three ISS cargo runs in three weeks

Jason Davis • March 22, 2016

Just days after receiving three new crew members, the ISS is about to become a veritable shipping hub, as three cargo ships launch to the orbital laboratory in as little as three weeks.

Tomorrow morning, watch a new space module inflate—er, expand

Jason Davis • May 25, 2016

NASA is set to fill a new space station module called BEAM with air Thursday morning. But does BEAM inflate, or expand?

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

Jason Davis • October 13, 2016

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.

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

Jason Davis • October 03, 2016

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.

Three-peat! SpaceX sticks another drone ship landing

Jason Davis • May 27, 2016

SpaceX continued its impressive string of first stage recoveries today, sticking a Falcon 9 drone ship landing during the successful launch of THAICOM 8, a communications satellite.

The flexible path to Mars: SLS, Orion and NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

Jason Davis • November 02, 2016

Since 2011, a once-in-a-generation transformation has been sweeping through NASA's human spaceflight centers in preparation for the era of SLS and Orion. How have the programs fared, and what first steps is NASA taking as it prepares for the journey to Mars?

The diverse ‘village’ behind Peggy Whitson, NASA's barrier-breaking astronaut

Jason Davis • November 16, 2016

During the run-up to her third mission, veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson has shifted the focus from herself to the team of trainers and technicians at Johnson Space Center.

That new Soyuz smell: Next ISS trio launches tonight aboard upgraded crew craft

Jason Davis • July 06, 2016

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin begin a two-day trip to the International Space Station tonight aboard a newly upgraded Soyuz MS spacecraft.

Test stand glitch halts SLS engine firing in Mississippi

Jason Davis • July 14, 2016

A test stand problem cut short today's test-firing of a Space Launch System development engine at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

Take a look inside the station's new expandable module with astronaut Jeff Williams

Jason Davis • June 06, 2016

BEAM, the International Space Station's new expandable habitat module, is open for business. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka entered the module at 4:47 a.m. EDT (9:47 UTC) this morning.

Stressed about the election? Take a beautiful video tour of the International Space Station

Jason Davis • November 04, 2016

As the stressful election season draws to a close, a stunning new video tour of the International Space Station offers a reminder of what humans can do when we put aside our differences and work together.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket explosion: What we know and don't know

Jason Davis • September 01, 2016

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral this morning. Here's what we know and don't know.

SpaceX Successfully Launches Ocean Satellite but Breaks a Leg on Drone Ship

Jason Davis • January 17, 2016

The Jason-3 ocean monitoring satellite reached orbit today, but SpaceX's third attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship came up short.

SpaceX Set for Sunday Sea Satellite Launch, Booster Recovery Attempt

Jason Davis • January 12, 2016

SpaceX is set to launch a sea level-monitoring satellite from the California coast this Sunday, while attempting to land the rocket's spent first stage on a floating drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX drops satellite into high orbit but misses difficult booster landing

Jason Davis • March 04, 2016

SpaceX overcame high propellant temperatures, a boat too close to the launch pad, and pesky weather to launch a communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit this evening.

Spaceflight in 2017, part 1: Earth-centric edition

Jason Davis • December 29, 2016

Our preview of spaceflight in 2017 starts with highlights of missions and events happening on and around our home planet.

Space station module expansion called off after BEAM doesn't budge

Jason Davis • May 26, 2016

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace weren't able to get the space station's newest module up and running this morning. Another attempt could come as early as Friday.

Space in transition: How Obama's White House charted a new course for NASA

Jason Davis • August 22, 2016

Our Horizon Goal series on NASA's human spaceflight program continues with part 3, in which newly elected President Barack Obama and his transition team search for a NASA administrator, commission a review of the Constellation program and decide whether to extend the life of the ISS.

SLS Mockup Finds Path through Southern U.S.

Jason Davis • February 17, 2016

The SLS core stage pathfinder is a 65-meter-long, full-size mockup of the actual rocket's main section. Just like SLS, building, assembling and utilizing the pathfinder involves multiple contractors and NASA centers around the southern U.S.

SLS CubeSats to Set Sail for Deep Space

Jason Davis • February 10, 2016

When SLS launches Orion to the moon in 2018, a fleet of deep space CubeSats will come along for the ride, including a solar sailing spacecraft similar to LightSail.

Shuttle tank, meet canal: Engineering wonders cross paths in Panama

Jason Davis • April 28, 2016

Two modern engineering marvels crossed paths this week here in Central America, as the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank passed through the Panama Canal during a multi-week voyage from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Shuttle tank caps 41-day journey with trip through streets of Los Angeles

Jason Davis • May 22, 2016

After a 41-day journey marked by stormy seas, a trip through the Panama Canal and a rescue off the Baja California coast, the last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank has arrived at its new home here in Los Angeles.

Selfies, messages and names delivered for LightSail 2 flight

Jason Davis • March 29, 2016

A miniature DVD containing images of space fans and names of Planetary Society members and supporters is ready to fly in space.

Scientists play with fire aboard trash-filled cargo spacecraft

Jason Davis • June 14, 2016

This afternoon, NASA started a fire aboard a trash-filled cargo spacecraft, but it was all in the name of science. Engineers at the agency's Glenn Research Center are studying how large-scale fires spread in space.

Russia may lower its ISS crew complement from three to two

Jason Davis • August 15, 2016

A Russian newspaper report, confirmed today by NASA, says Roscosmos may lower its ISS cosmonaut complement from three to two.

Rulers in space! LightSail 2 equipped with boom fiducials

Jason Davis • March 14, 2016

How will we tell if LightSail 2's booms are fully deployed? With fiducials—visual reference guides that feature our signature Planetary Society logo.

Rocket Road Trip: Watch a new video series on NASA's human spaceflight program

Jason Davis • November 28, 2016

The Planetary Society debuts a new, five-part video series on NASA's human spaceflight program. We went on a 10-day, 450-mile journey throughout the southern U.S. to see how the agency is preparing to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972.

Review: ‘Rogue One’ is Star Wars comfort food

Jason Davis • December 22, 2016

In a review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jason Davis says you're more likely to enjoy the film if you embrace it as comfort food—a story line that fits into a larger sequence of Star Wars events you already know.

Review: New book brings artistry of Apollo photos to your living room

Jason Davis • December 05, 2016

Jason Davis reviews a new photo book showcasing a stunning collection of images taken by NASA's Apollo astronauts from 1968 through 1972.

Review: Arrival’s surprising message of happiness and hope for humanity

Jason Davis • November 30, 2016

In a review of the new sci-fi film Arrival, Jason Davis says there's a lot to like about the movie's surprising message of happiness and hope for humanity.

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

Jason Davis • October 21, 2016

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.

Recovered Falcon Booster in Good Shape, Ready for Testing

Jason Davis • January 04, 2016

The used rocket booster SpaceX flown back to Cape Canaveral for an upright landing is undamaged and ready to be test fired, said company CEO Elon Musk.

Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly alert: SpaceX doesn't expect to stick upcoming rocket landing

Jason Davis • February 23, 2016

SpaceX is launching the SES-9 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. But the company says a successful first stage drone ship landing is "not expected."

Quick multimedia roundup: China's new rocket blasts off on inaugural mission

Jason Davis • June 25, 2016

China's new Long March 7 rocket successfully blasted off on its inaugural mission today at 8:00 p.m. Beijing time (12:00 UTC, 7:00 a.m. EDT).

Planetary Society solar sails paved way for Alpha Centauri starshot

Jason Davis • April 22, 2016

A new initiative to send a fleet of tiny spacecraft to Alpha Centauri is connected to The Planetary Society through its founders and efforts to advance solar sailing technology.

Planetary Deep Drill Successfully Chews through Field Test

Jason Davis • January 20, 2016

Late last year, a small team from Honeybee Robotics went to a gypsum quarry to test Planetary Deep Drill, a technology prototype designed to chew tens—and eventually, hundreds—of meters beneath icy planetary surfaces.

Pictures and video: After dramatic sea rescue, shuttle tank berths safely in San Diego

Jason Davis • May 16, 2016

Two-and-a-half days after a dramatic sea rescue, the tugboat crew hauling a space shuttle fuel tank to California bid farewell to some unexpected passengers last night in San Diego.

Picture-perfect landing for Soyuz crew on sunny Kazakh steppe

Jason Davis • June 18, 2016

Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are back on Earth this morning following a picture-perfect landing on the sunny Kazakhstan steppe.

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

Jason Davis • September 08, 2016

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

One-year ISS mission draws to a close

Jason Davis • February 25, 2016

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are set to return to Earth next week after their record-breaking, year-long mission aboard the International Space Station.

One-year crew all smiles after safe landing in Kazakhstan

Jason Davis • March 01, 2016

Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko are safely back on Earth today after 340 days in space. The one-year crew duo, along with Sergey Volkov, touched down in Kazahkstan Wednesday morning.

On LightSail 1 launch anniversary, team prepares successor craft for day-in-the-life test

Jason Davis • May 20, 2016

One year ago today, LightSail 1 rode an Atlas V rocket into space. Now, the program stands on the brink of another major milestone, as engineers prepare for a full systems test of LightSail 2, a successor CubeSat that will attempt the first controlled solar sail flight in low-Earth orbit.

Night owl? Early bird? Watch a Soyuz crew plunge back to Earth Saturday morning

Jason Davis • June 17, 2016

Tomorrow morning, Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are coming home from the International Space Station. But if you live in the United States or Europe, you're going to have to get up pretty early—or stay up late—to see it happen.

New lunar mosaics emerge as Surveyor digitization project continues

Jason Davis • May 06, 2016

A team of scientists at the University of Arizona continue their efforts to extract data from more than 90,000 images captured during NASA's Surveyor program. In the meantime, new first-look images and an animation have been released.

New Budget Bolsters NASA's Journey to Mars Plans

Jason Davis • January 08, 2016

The recently passed omnibus spending bill directs NASA to work on a new upper stage for the Space Launch System, and begin development on deep space habitat modules.

NASA Stays on Course for Asteroid Redirect Target

Jason Davis • January 28, 2016

NASA still plans to pluck a boulder off the surface of asteroid 2008 EV5, return it to lunar orbit and send a crew of astronauts for a visit in about ten years.

NASA Could Choose Mars Human Landing Site during next Presidential Administration

Jason Davis • January 22, 2016

The place NASA intends to the land the first humans on Mars could be selected during the next presidential administration, according to the agency’s planetary science division director, Jim Green.

NASA Adds Dream Chaser Spacecraft to ISS Cargo Roster

Jason Davis • January 15, 2016

NASA is adding a miniature space shuttle to its fleet of commercial spacecraft capable of ferrying cargo to the International Space Station.

Multimedia roundup: Flawless ride to orbit for Expedition 48 crew

Jason Davis • July 06, 2016

Expedition 48 crewmembers Kate Rubins, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin are safely in orbit following an early morning launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Multimedia roundup: Falcon 9 makes dual-satellite delivery run

Jason Davis • June 15, 2016

SpaceX placed two communications satellites into orbit today, but the company's attempt to go four-in-a-row on first stage drone ship recoveries fell short.

Multimedia roundup: Blue Origin completes two-parachute test flight

Jason Davis • June 20, 2016

Yesterday in West Texas, Blue Origin launched its New Shepard spacecraft on its sixth suborbital test flight. The capsule normally descends using three parachutes, but on Sunday, just two were used to show the spacecraft could still land safely in the event of a parachute mishap.

Multimedia recap: Two launches, a landing, a docking, and a berthing

Jason Davis • July 20, 2016

Four days of cargo craft mania came to a close at the International Space Station this morning, as astronauts Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams snagged an approaching SpaceX Dragon vehicle and berthed it to the laboratory's Harmony module.

Mostly smooth sailing in San Luis Obispo: LightSail 2 completes day-in-the-life test

Jason Davis • May 24, 2016

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft breezed through a major systems test today, demonstrating the CubeSat can successfully deploy its antenna and solar panels, communicate with the ground, and unfurl its 32-square-meter solar sails in space.

Meet LightSail 2, The Planetary Society's new solar sailing CubeSat

Jason Davis • February 29, 2016

The Planetary Society's solar sailing CubeSat has a new designation: LightSail 2. To celebrate the name change, we're releasing a new video showing footage from a late January sail deployment at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Mars 2020 rover rolls into final design and fabrication phase

Jason Davis • July 15, 2016

NASA's next Mars rover is rolling off the drawing board and into its final design and fabrication phase, the agency announced today, during a televised event at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that highlighted some of the mission's technology.

Lunar orbit beckons: NASA’s next four years of human spaceflight

Jason Davis • December 14, 2016

Our six-part Horizon Goal series concludes with a look at the future of NASA's human spaceflight program. As NASA prepares to set up shop beyond low-Earth orbit for the first time since 1972, are changes coming for the agency's Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule?

Live mice, cabbage, and a drone ship: Your SpaceX Dragon launch preview

Jason Davis • April 07, 2016

Tomorrow afternoon, SpaceX plans to launch its Dragon cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station for the first time since a catastrophic accident last June.

LightSail 2 will transmit Morse code from space, and you can make the sound your ringtone

Jason Davis • June 10, 2016

The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 (.-.. / ... / ..---) spacecraft will identify itself from orbit using Morse code, and you can make the sound your ringtone.

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

Jason Davis • October 07, 2016

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.

LightSail 2 engineers continue to test for success

Jason Davis • April 18, 2016

It's been a busy two months of system testing for The Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft. More trials are on the horizon, including a trip to a special magnetic cage at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory.

Last unflown space shuttle tank heads seaward for new mission

Jason Davis • April 11, 2016

The last unflown space shuttle external fuel tank was loaded onto a barge at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility Sunday in New Orleans. It will ship to the California Science Center in Los Angeles to be joined with space shuttle Endeavour.

Kate Rubins, NASA's DNA sequencing scientist, returning to Earth

Jason Davis • October 28, 2016

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is returning to Earth from the International Space Station. During her mission, she became the first person to sequence DNA in space.

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

Jason Davis • September 02, 2016

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.

ISS-bound Progress spacecraft fails to reach orbit, breaks apart over southern Siberia

Jason Davis • December 01, 2016

This morning's launch of an uncrewed Russian Progress cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station went awry. Following a third-stage failure, the vehicle reentered Earth's atmosphere and broke apart over southern Siberia in Russia.

In pictures: Russian cargo ship shuffle underway

Jason Davis • March 31, 2016

Russian ISS controllers are in the process of swapping out a trash-filled cargo ship for a new one bearing fresh supplies, following the successful launch of a Progress spacecraft from Kazakhstan today.

In Pictures: Orion Assembled and Shipped to Kennedy Space Center

Jason Davis • February 05, 2016

The shell of NASA's next Orion spacecraft has been welded together and shipped to Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Here's a photo recap of the assembly and transport process.

In Pictures: Cygnus Takes out the Trash

Jason Davis • February 19, 2016

Early this morning, Scott Kelly and Tim Kopra released a trash-filled Cygnus cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station. Orbital ATK flight controllers will send Cygnus into Earth's atmosphere for a controlled reentry Saturday morning.

In pictures: Beautiful night launch sends Cygnus on its way

Jason Davis • March 23, 2016

Here's a photo roundup from last night's Atlas V launch, which sent a Cygnus cargo craft on its way to the International Space Station.

How should America feel about China's space ambitions?

Jason Davis • October 14, 2016

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?

Horizon Goal: A new reporting series on NASA’s Journey to Mars

Jason Davis • July 18, 2016

We're embarking on a multi-part series with the Huffington Post about the world's largest human spaceflight program. In part 1, we look at how the Columbia accident prompted NASA and the George W. Bush administration to create a new vision for space exploration.

Ground finale? Deployment test moves LightSail 2 closer to handoff

Jason Davis • December 06, 2016

LightSail 2 successfully demonstrated all of its critical functions during what may have been the CubeSat's final end-to-end systems test at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Future fear, loathing and predjudice: Star Trek VI turns 25

Jason Davis • December 16, 2016

On the 25th anniversary of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Jason Davis says the societal topics the film explores are still relevant today.

Full-circle ceremony sends last shuttle tank to sea

Jason Davis • April 13, 2016

The last unflown space shuttle fuel tank is underway to California, following a full-circle ceremony in view of hardware built for the shuttle's heavy lift successor, the Space Launch System.

Follow along: SpaceX CRS-8 launch and landing

Jason Davis • April 08, 2016

Follow along with The Planetary Society as SpaceX launches a Dragon spacecraft to the ISS and attempts to land a used booster rocket on a drone ship in the ocean. Liftoff is scheduled for 4:43 p.m. EDT (20:43 UTC).

Follow along: Expedition 47 crew launches to International Space Station

Jason Davis • March 18, 2016

Follow along with The Planetary Society as the crew of Expedition 47 launches to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled for 5:26 p.m. EDT (21:26 UTC); docking and hatch opening starts six hours later.

Follow a space shuttle tank through LA with this timelapse video

Jason Davis • June 03, 2016

This timelapse video follows some of the space shuttle external tank's 19-hour journey from Marina del Rey to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Five years after Atlantis' last launch, five favorite stories about the shuttle program

Jason Davis • July 08, 2016

On the five-year anniversary of the final space shuttle launch, Jason Davis shares five of his favorite stories about the program.

Five things we learned from our #RocketRoadTrip

Jason Davis • September 21, 2016

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.

First SLS flight engine test goes the distance in Mississippi

Jason Davis • March 10, 2016

A rocket engine that once blasted space shuttles into orbit was test-fired today in Mississippi, in preparation for its upcoming duty launching an astronaut crew to the moon.

First Look: Newest LightSail Spacecraft Unfurls Solar Sails

Jason Davis • January 29, 2016

The Planetary Society's LightSail spacecraft successfully deployed its solar sails Thursday, wrapping up an initial round of system-level tests to prepare the CubeSat for flight.

Expedition 47 preview: Astronaut Jeff Williams' career spans history of ISS

Jason Davis • March 17, 2016

NASA astronaut Jeff Williams embarks on his fourth trip to the ISS tomorrow. He launches aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur with cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka at 5:26 p.m. EDT (21:26 UTC).

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

Jason Davis • September 07, 2016

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.

Cargo craft mania! A quick guide to four days of Dragon and Progress at the ISS

Jason Davis • July 15, 2016

Two cargo spacecraft are heading to the International Space Station as part of a choreographed, four-day dance that begins this weekend. Here's a quick guide.

Big booster blasts Utah hillside, and NASA discusses Journey to Mars

Jason Davis • June 28, 2016

NASA and Orbital ATK successfully completed a qualification motor firing of a five-segment solid rocket booster that will fly on the Space Launch System in 2018.

BEAM expanded and pressurized: Your news, commentary and tweet roundup

Jason Davis • May 28, 2016

BEAM is expanded and pressurized! The International Space Station's newest module, which will serve as a technology demonstrator for in-space expandable habitats, was fully filled with air this afternoon.

Back to school: LightSail 2 and Prox-1 provide unique experience for university students

Jason Davis • August 08, 2016

From Cal Poly to Georgia Tech, university students working on SmallSat projects gain critical real-world spaceflight experience, preparing them for promising careers in the space industry.

All the way to orbit: After 35 years, is the RS-25 still the Ferrari of rocket engines?

Jason Davis • May 09, 2016

The RS-25 powered the space shuttle for three decades, and will soon be used on the Space Launch System. Is it still the Ferrari of rocket engines? A deep dive on performance, reliability and the politics of rocket science.

All about China's new rocket and spaceport, which may see action this Saturday

Jason Davis • June 23, 2016

Sometime between Saturday and Wednesday, China plans to launch a brand new rocket from a brand new launch site, and conduct a small-scale test of its next-generation crew capsule.

All about BEAM, the space station's new inflatable module launching Friday

Jason Davis • April 05, 2016

This Friday, SpaceX plans to launch a Dragon cargo spacecraft to the ISS. Packed inside Dragon's trunk is a new inflatable station module called BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

A week in the solar system

Jason Davis • November 10, 2016

A roundup of pretty pictures and news from our robotic ambassadors around the solar system, from November 4 through 8.

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