Op-ed | Assessing new launch vehicles on the market

Launch service providers and integrators exist at the intersection of two highly specialized fields: launch vehicle development and satellite development. These fields overlap, but generally contain different specialties, with both groups speaking fundamentally different languages. For example, launch vehicle providers work on short time scales, while satellite developers consider operations over years. Spacecraft need to…

Earth is trapping twice as much heat as it did in 2005

Planet Earth is now trapping twice as much heat as it did 14 years ago, according to findings of a new study, which raise concerns about the possible acceleration of climate change.  For the study, researchers looked at data from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument, which flies on several NASA…

NASA spacecraft spots China's Mars rover Zhurong heading south on Red Planet (photo)

China’s first-ever Mars rover was on the move earlier this month, imagery by a NASA spacecraft shows. The rover, named Zhurong, is part of Tianwen-1, China’s first fully homegrown Red Planet mission, which arrived in orbit around Mars in February. Zhurong separated from the Tianwen-1 orbiter on May 14 and touched down on the vast…

Balloon-lofted instruments detect earthquake, testing possible Venus technology

Researchers have detected an earthquake using instruments flying in a balloon above California, and the technology could one day detect quakes on Venus. Temblors on Earth and beyond are a valuable tool for understanding how planets are built and what their interiors are doing, and scientists have measured both moonquakes and marsquakes. But venusquakes are…

The full Strawberry Moon, the last supermoon of 2021, rises tonight! Here’s what to expect

The first full moon of summer 2021, also known as the Strawberry Moon, rises tonight (June 24), marking the last supermoon of the year.  June’s full moon arrives Thursday (June 24) at 2:40 p.m. EDT (1940 GMT). Technically, the moon will officially be full before it appears above the horizon, as the full moon rises…

Report: Space Force has to prepare for operations beyond Earth’s orbit

WASHINGTON — A new report published by the Air Force Research Laboratory suggests the U.S. Space Force has to prepare for a day when the moon and the volume of space around it could become the next military frontier.  “A Primer on Cislunar Space” was released June 23 by AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate. Its intended…

Masten delays first lunar lander mission

WASHINGTON — Masten Space Systems is pushing back the launch of its first lunar lander mission by nearly a year, the latest in a series of delays by companies with NASA contracts to transport payloads to the moon. Masten said June 23 that its Masten Mission 1 lander, which had been scheduled to launch in…

Army, Navy satellite operations to consolidate under Space Force

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force later this year will begin to take over the operation of 11 Navy narrowband communications satellites. It also will absorb Army units that currently operate military communications payloads, a Space Force official said June 23. The transition, scheduled to begin in October, will create a more integrated U.S. military…

Get a galactic deal on these awesome 'Star Wars' bed sheets from Walmart

Amazon Prime Day may be over but the Force is still strong with these “Star Wars” bedding deals from Walmart.  With up to 24% off “Star Wars” comforters and sheets, these deals will help you drift off to a galaxy far, far away! You will have to act quickly if you want the savings as…

Space Perspective starts selling seats for balloon rides to stratosphere

You can now book a seat on a balloon ride to the stratosphere — if you’ve got pretty deep pockets. Florida-based company Space Perspective has started accepting seat reservations for its “Spaceship Neptune,” a balloon-borne pressurized capsule designed to carry eight passengers and one pilot to an altitude of 100,000 feet (30,000 meters). The price:…

More than 22,000 apply to join European Space Agency's astronaut corps, a new record

The European Space Agency (ESA) received a record number of applications for its recently closed call for new astronauts, with more than 22,000 people applying — nearly three times as many applicants as in the previous astronaut recruitment round in 2008. In addition to that, ESA representatives said in a press briefing Wednesday (June 23)…

The space race takes on a bizarre twist in Image Comics' new sci-fi series 'Primordial'

Ask most space aficionados and they’ll easily tell you that the first humans to be launched into orbit were the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin, soon followed by the United States’ Alan Shepard. But ask what living creatures were the first to leave the bonds of Earth’s gravity and many might not guess that it was…

Nelson says Artemis plans pending decision on GAO protest

WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told a House committee June 23 that NASA is awaiting a decision from the Government Accountability Office on protests of the agency’s lunar lander contract before releasing more details on plans to return humans to the moon. Testifying before the House Science Committee, Nelson said those plans will depend…

Astrocast mulls going public to expand to 100 satellites

TAMPA, Fla. — Swiss startup Astrocast is considering becoming a public company to expand its constellation for connecting internet of things (IoT) devices. The venture has hired European investment bank Bryan, Garnier & Co to explore selling a 30-40% stake on the Euronext Growth stock exchange. It said this would be the first listing of…

ULA delays further use of enhanced upper-stage engine pending studies

WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance will not be using an upgraded upper-stage engine in upcoming Atlas 5 missions as the company investigates the source of vibrations seen during a May 18 flight. The engine issue was identified during the launch of the U.S. Space Force’s SBIRS-5 missile warning satellite, which was successfully deployed. The Aerojet…

Lockheed Martin wins $4.9 billion contract to build advanced missile-warning satellites

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $4.9 billion contract to build a triad of missile-warning satellites for the U.S. Space Force.  The satellites will monitor Earth from the geosynchronous orbit, an orbit at the altitude of 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers), where satellites appear suspended above a certain spot on Earth. There, they will provide an…

Fortnite launches a 'Cosmic Summer' update with aliens and space-themed fun

Fortnite’s current UFO-themed season has launched an “extraterrestrial celebration” for the summer and it should be a cosmic blast, according to developer Epic Games. Until July 5, players of the battle royale game can compete for Cosmic Summer rewards (including some that are aviation or space-themed), participate in creative limited-time modes (LTMs), pick up summer…

How to calculate the odds that an alien spaceship has been spotted

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Anders Sandberg, James Martin Research Fellow, Future of Humanity Institute & Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford The U.S. military has released previously classified photos and films related to unidentified flying object (UFO) sightings, which mostly show something blurry moving…

Aliens could have spotted Earth cross the sun from more than 1,700 star systems

In the past 5,000 years, more than 1,700 nearby stars could have seen Earth and potentially detected life here, and four of those stars are known to possess rocky planets of their own, a new study finds. When astronomers hunt for exoplanets, the most productive strategy to date is to look for worlds that “transit,”…

China's Tiangong space station: What it is, what it's for, and how to see it

This article was originally published at The Conversation. The publication contributed the article to Space.com’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. Paulo de Souza, Professor, Griffith University China’s space program is making impressive progress. The country only launched its first crewed flight in 2003, more than 40 years after the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. China’s first successful…