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Jason's Blog

Human spaceflight, LightSail and other space stories

by Jason Davis

Latest Blog Posts

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/11/16 05:10 CST

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.

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A week in the solar system

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/11/10 05:45 CST | 1 comment

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

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/11/04 11:02 CDT | 3 comments

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/11/02 06:01 CDT | 6 comments

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?

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/10/28 06:04 CDT

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.

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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 | 2 comments

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 | 4 comments

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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