Japanese billionaire, Russian actress to fly to ISS

WASHINGTON — A Japanese billionaire best known for buying a SpaceX Starship flight around the moon will go to space first on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station, two months after a Russian actress and director visit the station. Space tourism company Space Adventures and the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced May…

Shareholders approve extension of Momentus deal

WASHINGTON — Shareholders in the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) seeking to merge with in-space transportation company Momentus have narrowly approved a three-month extension of a deadline to complete the deal. Stable Road Acquisition Corporation said May 13 a little more than 65% of the company’s shareholders had voted in favor of extending the deadline…

Starlink teams up with Google for ground infrastructure

TAMPA, Fla. — SpaceX will install ground stations within Google’s data centers for its Starlink broadband satellites under a new cloud partnership. The alliance aims to expand the reach of Google Cloud customers to their data, services and applications without the need for nearby cell towers.  After connecting to a Starlink constellation that is becoming…

OneWeb agrees SoftBank alliance to get Japanese regulatory approvals

TAMPA, Fla. — Japanese internet giant SoftBank has agreed an alliance with OneWeb to expand its low Earth orbit (LEO) broadband services in Japan and worldwide. The collaboration with SoftBank, which has invested in OneWeb, is an important step toward getting regulatory approvals and setting up ground stations in Japan for the startup’s growing constellation.…

NASA partners with deep-ocean explorers to develop tech for Europa mission

A new deep-sea exploration technology that could one day search for life in subsurface oceans on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn will be put to test during a two-week demonstration expedition aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship. The new underwater vehicle, called Orpheus, relies on autonomous navigation software developed by NASA’s…

Beam up our breakdown of the 'Star Trek: Discovery' season 4 and 'Lower Decks' season 2 teaser trailers

The Paramount+ streaming platform’s First Contact Day last month was a non-stop, thrill-a-minute “Star Trek” spectacle, a veritable piñata packed with news and nostalgia that certainly gave us a lot to absorb and unpack. In addition to season two of “Star Trek: Picard,” we got tantalizing glimpses of season 4 of “Star Trek: Discovery” and…

NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars has found some mysterious rocks (photos)

NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance is starting to take the measure of its new Red Planet home. For the past five weeks, Perseverance has been focused primarily on supporting and documenting the pioneering flights of its little cousin, NASA’s 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) Mars helicopter Ingenuity. But the car-sized rover has been doing science work of its…

See the 1st teaser for 'The Tomorrow War,' a new sci-fi thriller coming to Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime has dropped the first teaser trailer for its new, original sci-fi action-thriller, “The Tomorrow War” starring Chris Pratt and we’re now officially very excited about it. According to the official blurb, the world is stunned when a group of time travelers arrive from the year 2051 to deliver an urgent message, that 30…

Ariane 5 issue could delay JWST

WASHINGTON — Ongoing work to address a problem seen on two previous Ariane 5 launches has kept that launch vehicle grounded for months and could delay the high-profile launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope later this year. The Ariane 5, one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles, last launched in August 2020, placing…

Senate bill would direct NASA to select a second HLS company

WASHINGTON — An amendment to a Senate bill would require NASA to select a second company for its Human Lander System program, a provision some fear could upend the overall effort to return humans to the moon as soon as 2024. The Senate Commerce Committee approved in a markup session May 12 a NASA authorization…

China's Yutu 2 rover about to 'wake up' on the far side of the moon

China’s plucky Yutu 2 rover is about to wake up and continue to explore the far side of the moon as the nation works to land a rover on Mars this May.  The rover, which launched with the Chang’e 4 mission, landed on the far side of the moon in January 2019 and recently completed…

Space Force looking to deploy radar satellites to track moving targets on the ground

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force wants to use small radar satellites to track moving objects on the ground and the Space Force will help to make it happen, chief of space operations Gen. John Raymond said May 12. A project to look at the use of radar satellites for GMTI — short for ground…

SpaceX will launch a moon mission funded by Dogecoin in 2022

SpaceX books a mission to the moon funded entirely by Dogecoin just days after SpaceX founder Elon Musk joked on Saturday Night Live about his role in spreading memes about the cryptocurrency. Geometric Energy Corp. has planned a rideshare mission to the moon aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which usually costs about $62 million…

The commander pulls an April Fools' Day prank on the crew – Commander's Report: lunar day 2

Dr. Michaela Musilova is the director of Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) program, which conducts analog missions to the moon and Mars for scientific research at a habitat on the volcano Mauna Loa. Currently, she is in command of the two-week Selene V lunar mission and contributed this report to Space.com’s Expert Voices:…

The bright 'evening star' Venus returns to the night sky this month

Of the five bright naked-eye planets, by far the easiest and brightest to see is Venus. There never seems to be a problem in locating this dazzling world, whether it is in the morning or evening sky. Still, there are occasions when Venus is not very well placed for viewing.  And 2021 is going to…

China launches more classified Yaogan satellites into orbit

China conducted two launches of classified Yaogan satellites in the last week while much of the world waited to see where and when the Long March 5B would fall. A Long March 2C rocket lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 2:11 p.m. EDT Thursday (1811 GMT, May 6, or…

Rocket Lab to recover Electron booster from ocean after Saturday launch

Rocket Lab will fish another booster out of the sea this weekend, if all goes according to plan. The California-based company aims to recover the first stage of the Electron rocket that launches its next mission, which is currently targeted to lift off no earlier than Saturday (May 15) from New Zealand. That flight will…

Arqit raising $400 million with a SPAC to launch quantum encryption satellites in 2023

TAMPA, Fla. — British quantum technology encryption startup Arqit is raising $400 million in the space industry’s latest SPAC deal, supporting the launch and construction of two satellites in 2023 to protect against growing hacking threats. The fundraising comes as the FBI investigates a ransomware attack that closed a U.S. pipeline providing a significant portion…

Never-ending detonations could blast hypersonic craft into space

A never-ending detonation could be the key to hypersonic flight and space planes that can seamlessly fly from Earth into orbit. And now, researchers have recreated the explosive phenomenon in the lab that could make it possible. Detonations are a particularly powerful kind of explosion that move outward faster than the speed of sound. The…

A longstanding Venus mystery has been cracked by a NASA sun probe

As the sun’s activity waxes and wanes, so too does the ionosphere of Venus, a key layer in the upper atmosphere, according to new observations that cinch a decades-old suspicion. The new observations come from NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that launched in 2018 on a daring path to inch ever closer to the…