Space


NASA lost its ability to launch humans from U.S. soil when the space shuttle retired. Now, companies and billionaire entrepreneurs are defining a new space age.


During their first news conference since arriving at the International Space Station, the astronauts who blasted off Sunday said their escape from Earth’s gravity was a thrilling ride atop a spacecraft that on the ground appeared restless, grunting and vibrating before being unleashed into the skies.

A NASA official asked a Boeing executive if Boeing was going to contest the bid loss. It didn't. Instead, it resubmitted the bid, a move so unusual that NASA officials told the agency's inspector general, who then referred the matter to the Justice Department.

Following a successful Sunday launch, Dragon Crew-1′s ‘Resilience’ capsule docks onto the International Space Station. It became the first privately owned and operated spacecraft to be certified by NASA for human spaceflight.

SpaceX has launched four astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is the first privately owned and operated spacecraft to be certified by NASA for human spaceflight, a certification SpaceX received only days ago.

The SpaceX launch, now scheduled for Saturday evening, would be another coup for NASA, which has been on a roll recently, providing dashes of good news in a year that has seen very little.

There is nothing routine about space travel, something made clear Friday when the mission was thrown into doubt after Elon Musk tweeted that he had tested positive for the coronavirus twice and negative twice.

Speaking at a news conference, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday morning it was unclear whether Musk's positive test would have any affect on the launch. Musk also tested negative and another test was expected.

The space station is old. It leaks from time to time, requiring patches like the ones the astronauts installed last month. The toilet breaks. But astronauts have somehow managed to live aboard the outpost continuously for 20 years.

As NASA moves towards the SLS’s first flight, putting the Orion spacecraft in orbit around the moon, there are concerns not with the rocket’s engines but rather with the computer software embedded in all its systems.

SpaceX decided to make the change after the abort of a mission for the U.S. Space Force prompted SpaceX to inspect its fleet of rockets and led to the discovery of a problem in two of the engines of the rocket scheduled to take three NASA astronauts and one from Japan to the space station Nov. 14.

Some of the sample the spacecraft collected on Tuesday has kept a lid from closing properly, allowing the material to leak.

For the first time, NASA will attempt to collect a sample from an asteroid with the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

If it happens, the collision would likely produce thousands of pieces of space debris, the most since an active communications satellite operated by Iridium and a dead Russian satellite crashed into each other in 2009.

For the first time in 10 months, Jeff Bezos’s secretive space company flew a rocket to the edge of space from its remote launch site in West Texas. It was Blue Origin’s 13th trip to space.

Seven nations have joined the United States in signing the Artemis Accords, a series of bilateral agreements that would establish rules for behavior on the surface of the moon.

The delay of the Oct. 31 launch of a crew to the International Space Station is intended to let SpaceX review the causes for a problem that was detected during a launch earlier this month.

Chris Ferguson, a onetime space shuttle astronaut and now a Boeing employee, announced on Wednesday that he was pulling himself from the first crewed mission of the company’s Starliner spacecraft.

Over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, down past Chincoteague toward the southern tip of the Eastern Shore, sits an isolated spit of shoreline, near a wildlife refuge, that is home to one of the most unusual, and little known, rocket launch sites in the country.

The heat shield showed more erosion than expected on the Dragon capsule that returned from the International Space Station in August.

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