International experiments selected to fly on Chinese space Station

June 13, 2019

HELSINKI — Six experiments have been granted a place aboard to the future Chinese Space Station through a joint international cooperation initiative, with three more receiving conditional acceptance. The results of the selection process were announced jointly Wednesday by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA)…

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This Month in Space History | June 2019

June 11, 2019

Very few people have experienced the thrill and anticipation of being launched into space. In an interview in 1998, Sally Ride described the experience. “When you’re getting ready to launch into space, you’re sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen. So most astronauts getting ready to lift off are excited and very anxious and…

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Capella Space gets ready for primetime as constellation operator

June 3, 2019

SAN ANTONIO – Capella Space is expanding its staff and placing bulk orders as it begins making the transition from research and development startup to satellite constellation operator. San Francisco-based Capella launched the first small U.S. radar satellite in December 2018. Capella has not published any imagery from that satellite, a technology demonstration called Denali.…

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Engineer charged with falsifying inspections of SpaceX hardware

May 28, 2019

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors have charged a man with falsifying inspection records for hardware his company produced for SpaceX, highlighting an issue about the overall aerospace industry supply chain. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York filed charges May 22 against James Smalley, a former employee of PMI Industries, a Rochester,…

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This NASA Experiment Shows Promise for Farm-Fresh Foods in Space

May 23, 2019

On long space voyages, food variety will be key. A new NASA experiment called Veg-PONDS 02, which astronauts just ran on the International Space Station, offers a chance to attain that variety. While the experiment used a food already grown in space — romaine lettuce — future crops could include tomatoes or other plants, NASA officials said…

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NASA seeks additional $1.6 billion for 2024 Moon plan

May 14, 2019

WASHINGTON — The White House and NASA announced May 13 that they will seek an additional $1.6 billion in funding for the agency in fiscal year 2020, a “down payment” on efforts to achieve a human lunar landing by 2024. In a tweet late in the day, President Trump announced the additional funding to support…

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Smart App That Trains You to Become an Astronaut

May 8, 2019

Just because you don’t work for NASA doesn’t mean you’ll never make it as an astronaut. In the world of private space tourism, a little training could be all you need. And there’s an app for that. Space Nation, a Finnish space tourism startup, recently launched Space Nation Navigator, which the company touts as the…

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SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft suffers anomaly during ground tests

April 22, 2019

“Earlier today, SpaceX conducted a series of engine tests on a Crew Dragon test vehicle on our test stand at Landing Zone 1 in Cape Canaveral, Florida,” the spokesperson said in a statement to SpaceNews. “The initial tests completed successfully but the final test resulted in an anomaly on the test stand.” “Ensuring that our…

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Falcon Heavy center core toppled after landing

April 16, 2019

WASHINGTON — The center core of the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched a communications satellite April 11 fell over after landing in rough seas, but SpaceX said the mishap won’t affect upcoming launches. In an April 15 statement, SpaceX said that the booster core, one of three on the Falcon Heavy rocket, was unable to…

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Almost Ready: SpaceX has work to do before Dragon is ready to carry crew

March 25, 2019

This article originally appeared in the March 11, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. Among the thousands of spectators who watched the Falcon 9 launch of the first Crew Dragon spacecraft from the Kennedy Space Center in the early morning hours of March 2, few had greater interest in the mission than Bob Behnken and Doug…

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Space Council seeks urgency in NASA exploration plans

March 22, 2019

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The National Space Council will likely press NASA at its upcoming meeting to speed up its plans to return humans to the moon as the agency continues to study alternative approaches for the next flight of its Orion spacecraft. Scott Pace, executive secretary of the National Space Council, said March 21…

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Solar farms in space could be renewable energy’s next frontier

March 11, 2019

As the green energy revolution accelerates, solar farms have become a familiar sight across the nation and around the world. But China is taking solar power to a whole new level. The nation has announced plans to put a solar power station in orbit by 2050, a feat that would make it the first nation to harness…

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Space Force proposal shifts satellite communications procurement to Air Force Secretary

February 26, 2019

One of the consequences of creating a Space Force is the breakup of Air Force Space Command. The procurement of commercial satellite communications services that is now under AFSC would be reassigned to the Secretary of the Air Force. JACKSONVILLE, FL — The Air Force Space Command in December assumed responsibility for the procurement of commercial satellite…

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NASA minimizes threat of JWST delay from shutdown

February 13, 2019

JACKSONVILLE — As NASA marks the latest milestone in the ongoing testing of the James Webb Space Telescope, agency officials are downplaying any additional delay to the troubled mission caused by the recent government shutdown. NASA announced Feb. 8 that prime contractor Northrop Grumman recently completed a series of acoustic and vibration tests of the…

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Triage reveals urgent military space jobs

February 5, 2019

ORLANDO – U.S. combatant commanders are eager to employ space systems to improve Earth observation, missile warning, space situational awareness and position, navigation and timing, said Chuck Finley, former technical director of the Pentagon’s Operational Responsive Space office and its successor Air Force Space Rapid Capabilities office. “We recently did a triage and I will…

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