The space agency is currently conducting a two-week ground test on Bigelow Aerospace's B330 habitat here at the company's headquarters. Eight NASA astronauts have participated in the trial so far, and four were on the scene Thursday (Sept. 12) to assess various aspects of the big, expandable module.
The US aerospace and defense industry continued building its sales for the eighth-straight year in 2018, growing 4.2 percent from the previous year and topping out at $929 billion, the Aerospace Industries Association announced Sept. 9. Aerospace accounted for $374 billion of US gross domestic product, or 1.8 percent of overall GDP.
The U.S. has reached a new "Sputnik moment" in which the military must act to keep the nation's competitive advantage in space against adversaries such as Russia, China, and to a lesser extent, Iran and North Korea, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.
This second and final test flight represents the most significant trial yet of the company's Raptor engine. While the trial frustrated residents in Boca Chica, many of whom evacuated their homes for safety concerns, it encouraged aerospace enthusiasts with its demonstration of a new type of rocket that runs on methane--an essential feature for a space program targeting the moon and beyond.
The twin Voyager spacecraft took off in 1977, carrying scientific instruments and golden records stuffed with information. Millions of miles away, they still communicate with Earth. They still collect data. But they are aging. The spacecraft, traveling in slightly different directions, weaken every year. Their thrusters, which keep them steady, are degrading. Their power generators produce about 40 percent less electricity than they did at launch.
Humanity's next giant leap could be enabled by next-gen nuclear tech, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. During the sixth meeting of the National Space Council (NSC) today (Aug. 20), the NASA chief lauded the potential of nuclear thermal propulsion, which would harness the heat thrown off by fission reactions to accelerate propellants such as hydrogen to tremendous speeds.
Starman and his deep-space ride have completed their first lap around the sun. The spacesuit-clad mannequin, who sits behind the wheel of SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster, launched on Feb. 6, 2018, on the inaugural flight of the huge Falcon Heavy rocket. The duo wrapped up their first solar orbit over the weekend, according to the tracking site whereisroadster.com.
Last week’s mysterious nuclear accident in Russia became even more mysterious as the government admitted that a small nuclear reactor had exploded, killing seven people. Evidence is piling up that the incident is somehow related to Russia’s development of a nuclear-powered cruise missile, and President Donald Trump took to Twitter to state that the U.S. has a similar system.
If a parade of space parachutes popping open is your thing, SpaceX has you covered. The company -- which is developing a Crew Dragon spacecraft to bring astronauts to the International Space Station --- recently released a YouTube video showing a series of successful parachute tests for its spacecraft.
Private companies are helping NASA get back to the moon -- but they may be the agency's biggest competition. With private companies setting their sights on sending humans to the moon in the near future, it's possible that one could touch down on the lunar surface before NASA astronauts do.