Aerospace

SpaceX will attempt to land a rocket on a gigantic floating lander pad this Friday

One massive problem with current space travel methods is that the vast majority of rockets and other spacecraft aren’t designed to be reusable. Millions of dollars go into constructing and launching them into orbit, yet most are left to float through space or crash back down to Earth rather than being recovered. This is part of why space travel remains so expensive. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40 is scheduled for 1:22 p.m. ET.

Making commercial and recreational drones safe

The Potential for unmanned aircraft — also known as drones — to make life easier is tantalizing, eliciting images of tiny package-delivery devices zipping around town so UPS trucks wouldn’t have to. On the other hand, as The Post’s Craig Whitlock reported, the Federal Aviation Administration has received 25 reports of drones nearly striking manned aircraft in the past six months, often near airport runways. So should the government crack down or loosen up? In fact, it should do both.

Scientific advancement takes time to develop

Science is full of trial and error, and sometimes I focus too much on what has yet to come, which isn’t always a bad thing. I fail to remember that right now we are making progress. Right now we have achieved plenty and we should focus on that progress and not be bogged down by the things we wait in vain for.

2015 spending bill includes $18 billion for NASA

That's $364 million more than the space agency got for the current fiscal year -- which ends on Sept. 30 -- and some $500 million more than it requested. Most of that increase is due to lawmakers increasing funding for the Space Launch System and Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle designed to eventually take astronauts to Mars, a key congressional priority.

Another four US companies granted approval for commercial drone use

In attempting to balance the safety of US airspace with the largely untapped potential of unmanned aerial vehicles, the FAA was ordered by Congress to write new laws for commercial drones by September 2015. A congressional hearing this week revealed that this deadline is unlikely to be met, with the FAA claiming it needs until at least 2017 to safely integrate commercial drones with national airspace.

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is awake and cruising toward Pluto

The spacecraft is currently 2.9 billion miles from our planet, so even though the signal was traveling at the speed of light, it took 4 hours and 26 minutes for it to reach NASA's Deep Space Network in Canberra, Australia. Mission operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory confirmed that New Horizons was indeed in "active mode" at 6:53 p.m. PST.

The first Iranian in space discusses women in STEM and the power of business

Business took Ansari to the stars, and she believes it will be the key for more space innovation. “Private enterprise brings a lot of competition,” she said. "If you compare how much technology has changed over the past 50 years compared to how much space innovation there is, there’s a huge gap."

Nasa launches Orion spacecraft in Mars test flight

Nasa successfully launched its new Orion spacecraft on a mission that the US space agency hopes will foreshadow the first human expedition to Mars. At 7.05am ET (12.05pm GMT) on Friday a dense bloom of fire and smoke shrouded the launchpad in Cape Canaveral, Florida, as the unmanned Orion capsule rose into clear skies on the Delta IV heavy rocket. Watch video.

Orion Launch Delayed 24 Hours

The unmanned vehicle is awaiting its first test in Earth orbit. But after multiple delays for high winds and a stuck liquid-oxygen drain valve on one or more of the Delta IV Heavy rocket's booster engines, NASA didn't have time to get the rocket off the pad. They will try again Friday morning at 7:05 a.m. EST.

SpaceX Expects U.S. Air Force Certification by Year’s End

Rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp. expects to earn certification from the U.S. Air Force to launch national security missions by the end of the year, but will not meet an ambitious Dec. 1 deadline suggested by the service’s top space officer, a company spokesman said.

Firefly Space Systems charges full-speed toward low Earth orbit

We’re entering the "new space" era where small agile companies stand on the shoulders of the slow-moving giants and send not just billion-dollar government payloads and multi-PhD-equipped astronauts into orbit, but cheap small payloads and possibly even tourists.

NASA Homing in on Mission Design for Asteroid Relocation Excursion

As NASA’s deep-space Orion capsule gears up for its debut test flight, a parallel effort to develop a robotic asteroid relocation mission reaches a key decision point Dec. 16.

Boeing Completes First Milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Transportation Systems

The Certification Baseline Review is the first of many more milestones, including flight tests from Florida’s Space Coast that will establish the basis for certifying Boeing’s human space transportation system to carry NASA astronauts to the space station.

NASA's Orion capsule set for critical test flight

Threatened with cancellation four years ago, NASA's Orion capsule survived the political heat. This week, NASA will see if the spacecraft it is designing to one day fly astronauts to Mars can handle a searing, 20,000-mph reentry through Earth's atmosphere during its first test flight.

Girls Inc. to witness historic test launch of Orion spacecraft

Girls Inc. and Lockheed Martin recently announced a one-year expansion of their STEM education partnership, which will reach 500 girls ages 9-12 at ten sites nationwide. Throughout the yearlong grant period, Girls Inc. will work with the ten affiliates to offer multiple sessions of Girls Inc.’s Science, Math and Relevant Technology (SMART) Partners program.

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