Planetary Projects and Human Spaceflight
by Jason Davis
Latest Blog Posts
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/16 12:31 CDT
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.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/13 07:26 CDT
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.
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.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/06 06:04 CDT
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.
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.
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.
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.
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