NASA, ULA Launch Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission to Red Planet

The agency’s Mars 2020 mission is on its way. It will land at Jezero Crater in about seven months, on Feb. 18, 2021. NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is on its way to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth. Humanity’s most sophisticated…

Celestron Inspire 80AZ telescope: Full review

The Celestron Inspire 80AZ is the improved member of Celestron’s original lineup of telescopes in the Inspire range. The manufacturer promises superior optics and developed accessories over its predecessor, assuring astronomers that terrestrial and celestial views are a simple set up away.  The assembly of this telescope is a fantastically straightforward aspect. You simply open…

NASA’s ECOSTRESS Monitors California’s Record-Breaking Heat Wave

From cities to deserts, the intense heat gripping California is being closely monitored by an Earth-observing mission aboard the International Space Station. As record temperatures and large wildfires scorch California, NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS) has been tracking the heat wave from low Earth orbit. While ECOSTRESS’s primary mission is…

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Will Carry First Spacesuit Materials to Mars

In a Q&A, spacesuit designer Amy Ross explains how five samples, including a piece of helmet visor, will be tested aboard the rover, which is targeting a July 30 launch. NASA is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon, part of a larger strategy to send the first astronauts to…

A New Video Captures the Science of NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover

With a targeted launch date of July 30, the next robotic scientist NASA is sending to the to the Red Planet has big ambitions. Scheduled to launch this Thursday, on July 30, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is the agency’s most sophisticated yet. As if landing on the Red Planet and surviving on the surface…

Citizen Scientists Discover Dozens of New Cosmic Neighbors in NASA Data

Using a NASA-designed software program, members of the public helped identify a cache of brown dwarfs – sometimes called failed stars – lurking in our cosmic neighborhood. We’ve never met some of the Sun’s closest neighbors until now. In a new study, astronomers report the discovery of 95 objects known as brown dwarfs, many within…

New NASA Research Projects Probe COVID-19 Impacts

The new projects look at food- and water-supply stability and how changes in human activity are affecting the environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has touched most aspects of human life. In recent months, NASA has initiated research projects focused on how the human response to the pandemic has affected our environment, like how air quality has…

NASA Invites Public to Share Excitement of Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Launch

A Mars photo booth, augmented-reality filters, and a virtual launch packet are just some of the ways to celebrate the July 30 launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission. NASA is inviting the public to take part in virtual activities and events ahead of the launch of the agency’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, which is…

SpaceNet launches new challenge with Planet dataset

SAN FRANCISCO – After four years and six competitions, SpaceNet, the nonprofit focused on geospatial applications for artificial intelligence, is conducting its first temporal challenge with new partner Planet. Competitors in SpaceNet 7 the Multi-Temporal Urban Development Challenge will have two months starting August 31st to devise change-detection algorithms to track building construction over time.…

NASA Mission Will Study the Cosmos With a Stratospheric Balloon

Carried by a balloon the size of a football stadium, ASTHROS will use a cutting-edge telescope to observe wavelengths of light that aren’t visible from the ground. Work has begun on an ambitious new mission that will carry a cutting-edge 8.4-foot (2.5-meter) telescope high into the stratosphere on a balloon. Tentatively planned to launch in…

NASA Juno Takes First Images of Jovian Moon Ganymede’s North Pole

Infrared images from Juno provide the first glimpse of Ganymede’s icy north pole. Editor’s note: Text in the first sentence regarding Ganymede’s size relative to Mercury has been corrected. On its way inbound for a Dec. 26, 2019, flyby of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew in the proximity of the north pole of the ninth-largest…

SpaceX pressing on with protest against U.S. Air Force despite launch contract win

WASHINGTON — SpaceX in a court document filed Aug. 19 says it is pressing on with a legal complaint against the U.S. Air Force over contracts awarded in October 2018 to United Launch Alliance, Northrop Grumman and Blue Origin. In a “joint notice” document that also includes the Air Force’s response, SpaceX reiterates its claim…

NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Passes Flight Readiness Review

The agency’s Mars 2020 mission has one more big prelaunch review – the Launch Readiness Review, on July 27. NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission cleared its Flight Readiness Review Wednesday, an important milestone on its way to the launch pad. The meeting was an opportunity for the Mars 2020 team and launch vehicle provider…

NASA’s planetary science program shifts priority to asteroid missions

WASHINGTON — With a flagship Mars rover mission launched, NASA’s planetary science division is turning its attention to a pair of asteroid missions set to launch next year. During an Aug. 17 meeting of NASA’s Planetary Science Advisory Committee, Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary science division, noted that once the pandemic began earlier this…

NASA to Broadcast Mars 2020 Perseverance Launch, Prelaunch Activities

Starting July 27, news activities will cover everything from mission engineering and science to returning samples from Mars to, of course, the launch itself. NASA is targeting 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50 a.m. PDT) Thursday, July 30, for the launch of its Mars 2020 Perseverance rover on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space…

Asia-Pacific satellite operators to LEO megaconstellation players: we have questions

WASHINGTON — Satellite operators in the Asia-Pacific say they are having discussions with companies planning large constellations of broadband satellites, but lack clarity on how such systems will work in their markets. The Asia-Pacific, like the rest of the world, has a growing demand for broadband that satellite operators are eager to tap. SpaceX, OneWeb,…

Space Force technology roadmap to emphasize partnerships with private sector

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force is putting together a technology wish list and will need help from the private sector to make it a reality, said Maj. Gen. Kimberly Crider, the acting chief technology and innovation officer for the Space Force. “We’ll be publishing soon our 2020 science and technology challenges,” Crider said Aug.…

NASA Scientist Over the Moon With Homegrown Radish Research

How two video meetings, two online purchases, and a kitchen counter led to what could be “one small step” for future astronauts to grow food on the Moon. While others have perfected sourdough starter or whipped up chocolate chip cookies during the pandemic, NASA scientist Max Coleman has been toiling in his kitchen over containers…

Japan's Hayabusa2 asteroid sample-return capsule cleared for landing in Australia

Japan’s asteroid-sampling mission is officially clear to return its precious cargo to Australia in December, according to statements from both countries’ governments. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft is trekking back to Earth with a sample capsule full of material snagged from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which runs the mission, has…

OneWeb Satellites seeks simpler import regulations • Viasat cubesat launching in 2021

To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES Satellite operators believe direct-to-home television broadcasting will continue to be a strong business globally despite weakness in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe. Emerging markets are driving demand for satellite capacity to broadcast television channels,…