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Jason's Blog

Planetary Projects and Human Spaceflight

by Jason Davis

Latest Blog Posts

First Look: Newest LightSail Spacecraft Unfurls Solar Sails

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/29 05:31 CST | 3 comments

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.

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NASA Stays on Course for Asteroid Redirect Target

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/28 05:55 CST | 1 comment

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.

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Upgraded LightSail Software Completes First Round of Flight Testing

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/26 05:04 CST | 2 comments

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.

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NASA Could Choose Mars Human Landing Site during next Presidential Administration

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/22 05:03 CST

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.

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Planetary Deep Drill Successfully Chews through Field Test

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/20 10:42 CST | 1 comment

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.

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

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/17 04:40 CST

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.

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NASA Adds Dream Chaser Spacecraft to ISS Cargo Roster

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/15 12:27 CST | 4 comments

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

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Two Astronauts to Make Friday Trek to Edge of Space Station

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/13 01:32 CST

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.

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SpaceX Set for Sunday Sea Satellite Launch, Booster Recovery Attempt

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/12 12:42 CST | 2 comments

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.

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New Budget Bolsters NASA's Journey to Mars Plans

Posted by Jason Davis on 2016/01/08 06:04 CST | 16 comments

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.

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