Archive | NASA RSS feed for this section

Spacewalk disconnects cables on mating adaptor ready for its move

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) conducted a spacewalk outside the International Space Station on March 24. The main job was to disconnect cables and electrical connections on …

Continue Reading

Trump’s plans: NASA avoids major cuts but ARM is broken and global warming mission is curtailed

While Russia is somewhat unrealistically advertising for candidate cosmonauts to go to the Moon (Roscosmos does not currently have a heavy lift rocket to get them there), the prospects for NASA astronauts getting there are increasing. This is after the …

Continue Reading

Dragon CRS-10 cargo craft is unhooked from ISS to re-enter and splash down in the Pacific

Having been unloaded in late February, the SpaceX Dragon CRS-10 (CRS1-10) spacecraft was unberthed from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2145 GMT on 18 March after its NASA delivery mission. At 0911 GMT on 19 March DRAGON CRS-10 …

Continue Reading

Review: The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum and its ”real McCoy” Space Shuttle

While most people visiting Washington DC will be aware of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, some will not know that there are actually two museums. For there is a second – one that lies at Chantilly, Virginia, near …

Continue Reading

SpaceX to launch manned mission around the Moon next year with two paying tourists aboard

SpaceX has agreed to carry two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year, probably with a SpaceX pilot astronaut accompanying them. The unnamed pair have already paid a significant deposit do this moon mission which will …

Continue Reading

Bookmaker was right: Orion will be next US crewed capsule if first SLS launch carries humans…and Musk does not do it first

A couple of years ago a UK/Irish bookmaker (Paddy Power) was offering odds on which US spacecraft would carry the next humans into space. Its wisdom is now becoming apparent. For instead of choosing commercial crew contractees, Boeing or SpaceX, …

Continue Reading

Review: Hidden Figures fires fitting NASA rocket at white supremacists

As an astronautics student, your correspondent and his mainly white European post-grad classmates were well and truly trounced in the exam results for the highly mathematical science of spacecraft dynamics and control (Euler can go hang!) by the black kid …

Continue Reading

NASA’s Michoud “SLS factory” survives tornado

NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) near New Orleans had a lucky escape after a glancing blow by a tornado on 10 February 2017. Michoud, which was previously famous as the manufacturing center for the Space Shuttle external tank, is now …

Continue Reading

Boeing and Nanoracks team up to build commercial cubesat deploying airlock for ISS

Having got permission via Space Act Agreement with NASA in May 2016, cubesat deployment firm, NanoRacks, has joined up with Boeing to build and install the first commercial airlock module on the International Space Station. The airlock is expected to …

Continue Reading

Recent re-entries: Progress MS-03 de-orbits in visible burn-up with HTV-6 following afterwards

Progress MS-03/ISS-64P was undocked from the International Space Station’s (ISS) Pirs module at 1425 GMT on 31 January 2017. Bright lights from the External Television Camera Groups (ETVCGs) were left on to see if this made in-orbit remote control manoeuvres …

Continue Reading

On a lighter note: President Trump fires himself up but it could get him fired

In between starting the “Mexican wall” and having to deny a government clamp down on NASA, NOAA and other Federal agency press announcements (the US Agricultural Research Service made an ARS of itself when it applied a gagging order on …

Continue Reading

Boeing might sell Soyuz seats to NASA

Boeing might be embarrassed by delays to its CST-100 “Starliner” – in turn delaying the fulfilment of its commercial crew launch contracts with NASA until likely 2019 at the earliest – but at least it is showing some creative thinking …

Continue Reading

President Obama – The Verdict: Better than his predecessor but weak on Syria and Space

It is, of course, posterity that gets the final say on whether a U.S. President was any good or not, but as he leaves office we can, at least, make a preliminary comparison of President Barack Obama’s record against that …

Continue Reading

Astronauts make second battery change out spacewalk

While the previous spacewalk put in three new lithium ion batteries, a new spacewalk was needed to continue the battery replacement task and the new adapters that carry them. On 13 January 2017, during their 5 hour 58 minute EVA …

Continue Reading

Boeing and SpaceX get four more crew delivery missions each

While neither has yet had their manned capsule designs fly, and while both have had their test flight programmes delayed, both Boeing and SpaceX have been awarded contracts by NASA for four more manned commercial flights each to add to …

Continue Reading

Lucy and Psyche get the nod for NASA Discovery missions

The Lucy mission, to be launched in 2021, was one of two missions to be selected for Discovery mission funding out of five contenders. The other winning contender was the Psyche mission which will be launched in 2023. Both missions …

Continue Reading

GRACE Follow-on mission signed to Falcon 9 Iridium launch

While the Iridium low Earth orbit communications satellites have had their deployment plans put into disarray by the on-pad failure-induced delays to the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch programme, NASA has not been put off. While the start of the Iridium …

Continue Reading

Drill in-out mechanism is a major concern for Mars Opportunity Rover controllers

A robot arm drill used on the Mars Opportunity Rover to bore out powder samples from rocks for analysis is reported to be suffering from a serious fault. The fault apparently involves loss of drill in and out feed movement …

Continue Reading

After faulty release system and satellite software induced delays Pegasus XL finally launches NASA CYGNSS eight-sat mission

After a long hiatus, and two more recent delays, a Pegasus XL winged-launch vehicle successfully achieved orbit after being air dropped from a converted Lockheed L-1011 Tristar passenger jet. The launch took place at 1337 GMT on 15 December 2016 …

Continue Reading

NOAA scientists rush to protect environmental data from Trump Administration tampering

Certain dictatorships and pseudo-democracies around the world are infamous for their control of public news and data, while also firing those employees that do not toe “the party line” on such information. For example, Turkey’s own military space programme has …

Continue Reading