Articles about nasa

Musk: I want to retrieve rockets with big Falcon party balloons

While waiting for TESS to get off the launchpad on Monday, chief exec Elon Musk joked on Twitter about how SpaceX might set about recovering the second stage of the booster. SpaceX will try to bring rocket upper stage back from orbital velocity using a giant party balloon — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2018 The idea is …
Richard Speed, 19 Apr 2018
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock

OMG! OIG to audit SLS: NASA probed over big rocket project's big budgets, big delays

The management of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is to be audited by the agency's watchdog. The probe was announced in a tweet by NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG), and is sure not to have ruined the morning coffee of Uncle Sam's army of scientists. The SLS mega-rocket is supposed to take space adventurers to the …
Richard Speed, 18 Apr 2018
TESS delayed while Mars Express reboots (pic: ESA and SpaceX)

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

A Guidance and Navigation Control (GNC) issue scuppered last night's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9. Conversely, the European Space Agency (ESA) celebrated a successful restart of the Mars Express orbiter following a software update. TESS is less Scheduled for launch yesterday, the …
Richard Speed, 17 Apr 2018

Is there alien life out there? Let's turn to AI, problem solver du jour

A team of astroboffins have built artificial neural networks that estimate the probability of exoplanets harboring alien life. The research was presented during a talk on Wednesday at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The neural network works by classifying planets into five …

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA

Vid Supersonic air travel over land has been stymied since the 1960s due to the rather annoying sonic booms generated by speedy airplanes. Now, NASA, having given it some thought, has ordered a new airframe that could reduce the noise levels down to those of standard street traffic. If successful, Uncle Sam's boffins want to …
Iain Thomson, 3 Apr 2018

Elon Musk's mighty erection fires sperm at orbiting space station

NASA will study the feasibility of human reproduction in space, it announced on Monday. We know what you’re thinking. And no, it doesn’t involve astronauts having cosmic-nookie in zero-g conditions. NASA doesn’t appear to have an official policy about getting it on in the heavens; it’s not strictly forbidden, but there have …
falcon heavy

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

NASA has categorically stated it will not dump the troubled Space Launch System (SLS) in favor of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy any time soon. The SLS is competing with the James Webb Space Telescope for the mission most delayed and over-budget. Answering a question from Shuttle Mission Control veteran Wayne Hale, NASA’s Human …
Richard Speed, 29 Mar 2018

NASA stalls $8bn James Webb Space Telescope again – this time to 2020

The launch date for the James Webb Space Telescope has been kicked back a year to 2020, NASA confirmed during a press conference on Tuesday. The instrument – a 6,200kg (13,668lb) telescope designed to look at stars formed soon after the Big Bang as well as closer objects – was scheduled to launch into the heavens in October …
Iain Thomson, 27 Mar 2018
Space: 1999's nuclear explosion on the Moon

India: Yeah, we would like to 3D-print igloos on the Moon

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to build igloos on the Moon with a view to creating an Antarctica-like outpost. Dr Jitendra Singh of the Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Space gave the response to a question (PDF) asked in the Indian Parliament by Shri Suman Balka last week, a member of …
Richard Speed, 26 Mar 2018

NASA fungus problem puts theory of 'Martian mushrooms' on toast

Festering fungus has become a problem way down in the bowels of NASA, and could lead to false identification of extraterrestrial material. Research (PDF) presented at the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference revealed that, in one clean room at least, NASA has a bit of an issue with earthly fungi. Scientists at the NASA …
Richard Speed, 26 Mar 2018
after-party mess

Good news: The only thing standing between NASA and $20bn is...

Updated US Congress has approved a $1.3tr budget [PDF] that would see, among other science boosts, NASA's funding surpass $20bn. That $20.7bn check is $1.6bn more than expected. The spending bill will avoid a government shutdown and provide funding through September 30, provided President Donald Trump signs it off. Earlier today, he …
Richard Speed, 23 Mar 2018
NASA's SLS on the mobile launcher

Leaning tower of NASA receives last big arm

NASA's monster rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), took another tentative step towards lift-off yesterday as engineers fitted the last big umbilical arm to its launch tower. The arm was attached at the 240 feet (73m) level and will provide propellant, pneumatics and electrical connections to the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion …
Richard Speed, 22 Mar 2018
Juling Crater on Ceres (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/ASI/INAF)

Veteran NASA probe Dawn: Winter is coming on Ceres (sort of)

There is icy activity on the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, according to researchers studying observations from NASA’s probe, Dawn. In news that will intrigue scientists and leave fans of science fiction series The Expanse* positively giddy with excitement, there is a sort-of weather system on Ceres resulting in ongoing …
Richard Speed, 15 Mar 2018

Kepler krunch koming: Super space 'scope's fuel tank almost empty

NASA has announced the Kepler Space Telescope has almost exhausted its fuel supply. News of the observatory's decline is expected: it was launched in 2009 and expected to last three-and-a-half years. It's still working today, even though the second of two “reaction wheels” used to aim the telescope broke in 2013. In its K2 …

Doctor finds physical changes to astronaut's eyes after ISS stint

An ophthalmologist studying astronauts in the International Space Station has found long-term structural changes in their eyes. Nimesh Patel, an assistant professor at the University of Houston, examined data taken from the optic nerve head, the circular area at the back of the eyeballs where the optic nerve is connected to …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Mar 2018
SpaceX explosion

NASA on SpaceX's 2015 big boom: Bargain bin steel liberated your pressure vessel

NASA has fingered design failings by SpaceX in a much-delayed report (PDF) on the 2015 explosion of a Falcon 9 on its way to the ISS. The 28 June 2015 launch followed six successful flights to the orbiting outpost (two on the original Falcon 9 v1.0 and four on the v1.1 incarnation). Unlucky number seven began normally enough …
Richard Speed, 13 Mar 2018

16 exoplanets found huddled around 12 lightweight stars

A team of astronomers have spotted 16 exoplanets, including a ‘super-Earth’ that might hold liquid water, hovering around 12 low mass stars hundreds of light years away from the Solar System. One of the most luminous red dwarf stars, codenamed K2-155, in the dozen is of particular interest. Located about 200 light years away, …
Katyanna Quach, 12 Mar 2018

Jupiter has the craziest storms seen yet, say boffins

Jupiter has the strangest storm behavior observed to date, with formation patterns that have never been seen elsewhere. The latest pictures taken from NASA’s Juno spacecraft reveal the hidden cyclones at its poles. At the north pole, eight swirling storms circled another storm at the center, and at the south pole, another five …

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