NASA recently tasked a company to open production on the spacecraft that will bring astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis program. Lockheed Martin -- the builder of the Orion spacecraft for moon missions -- received a contract promising at least six spacecraft orders from NASA.
Space is hard. That was the takeaway on Sept. 7, when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) lost contact with its Vikram lunar lander during an attempt to touch down at the moon's south pole. Of the 30 soft-landing attempts made by space agencies and companies around the world, more than one-third have ended in failure...
For six months, NASA has been chasing big plans to land humans near the south pole of the moon in 2024. That deadline came from Vice President Mike Pence in March and represented a significant increase in speed from the human moon landing's previous timeline, targeting 2028. The project has since been dubbed the Artemis program, a nod to the fact that NASA plans to include a female astronaut in the moon landing for the first time.
A top NASA manager cast doubt Wednesday on the space agency's ability to land astronauts on the moon by 2024. Kenneth Bowersox, acting associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told a Congressional subcommittee that NASA is doing its best to meet the White House-imposed deadline. But he noted: "I wouldn't bet my oldest child's upcoming birthday present or anything like that."
Since the dawn of the space era more than six decades ago, there’s been just one way to get to the moon and back: rockets. But a pair of graduate students say we should now be able to ferry humans and cargo between Earth and our natural satellite via a sort of high-tech elevator.
Concrete made in space could one day help humans build habitats on the moon and Mars , new research shows. As part of a recent investigation aboard the International Space Station, astronauts made cement in microgravity for the first time, showing that it can harden and develop in space.
When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled a mockup of Blue Origin’s Blue Moon lunar lander in May, he also unveiled a more down-to-earth enterprise: the Club for the Future, a nonprofit effort aimed at promoting science education through fun space-oriented projects. Its first project? A campaign to solicit postcards that would be flown into space aboard Blue Origin’s suborbital New Shepard rocket, and then sent back to the kids who submitted them.
A half-century after the first Moonwalks, talk of travel beyond low-Earth orbit has become so fanciful that it’s almost as if we were back on a quest for the Holy Grail. It shouldn’t be. Let’s don’t over-romanticize space travel. If we’re ever truly going to move off-world, a trip from Earth to the Moon needs to become as mundane as a commercial flight from New York to Paris.
The Moon is a hot destination right now -- especially for NASA, which wants to send people back to the lunar surface, but also for the private space industry. The most ambitious private lunar exploits are still many years off, but already, three companies claim they’ll be putting small robotic landers on the Moon in the next two years, amping up a small space race.
All is not what it seems in the world of lunar samples. If you put a moon rock alongside one from Earth, they usually don't have a lot in common. So when Curtin University planetary scientist Professor Alexander Nemchin looked closely at a moon rock in his laboratory, he realized something wasn't right.