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Jason's Blog

Planetary Projects and Human Spaceflight

by Jason Davis

Latest Blog Posts

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/25 01:03 CDT | 2 comments

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

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/24 02:41 CDT | 7 comments

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/22 01:51 CDT | 1 comment

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/20 06:32 CDT | 1 comment

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/05/09 06:00 CDT | 21 comments

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.

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New lunar mosaics emerge as Surveyor digitization project continues

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/04/28 06:02 CDT | 4 comments

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.

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Planetary Society solar sails paved way for Alpha Centauri starshot

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/04/22 06:01 CDT | 4 comments

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.

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