Exclusive: Inside Nickelodeon's 'The Astronauts' space adventure with showrunner Daniel Knauf

Award-winning writer/producer Daniel Knauf is best known for creating an eclectic body of work that leans into darker, adult material like HBO’s acclaimed supernatural saga, “Carnivàle,” NBC’s “Dracula” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Starz’ “Spartacus: Blood and Sand,” and NBC’s Emmy-winning police procedural “The Blacklist.” Now he’s taking his sterling reputation and talents into outer space…

A vintage NASA moon rocket body is officially back in Earth orbit … for now

A relic of the early days of spaceflight has likely come back to pay a brief visit to its planet of origin, according to months of observations of a near-Earth object dubbed 2020 SO. 2020 SO entered what scientists call Earth’s Hill sphere, where Earth’s gravity governs how objects behave, on Nov. 8, according to…

Nickelodeon's 'The Astronauts' got tips on space from real NASA astronaut

The cast of Nickelodeon’s “The Astronauts” needed to learn how to act while in space. Fortunately, unlike the characters they play — a group of kids who sneak onto a rocket and accidentally initiate the launch sequence — they had a real astronaut to help them get ready. “We got to talk to him about…

The Right Stuff' recap: What it takes to stand on the edge ('Ziggurat')

The seventh episode of “The Right Stuff” borrows its title from a tower that journalist Tom Wolfe used to define who had “the right stuff.” In Wolfe’s 1979 book about NASA’s first astronauts — which serves as the basis and namesake for the National Geographic series now streaming on Disney Plus — he wrote there…

NASA urges COVID caution for spectators of SpaceX Crew-1 astronaut launch

SpaceX is gearing up for its first operational astronaut launch from Florida this weekend, and NASA is once again asking spectators to take extra safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Four astronauts are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station Saturday (Nov. 14) on a…

SpaceX's Starship SN8 prototype fires engines for 3rd time, encounters problem

SpaceX fired the engines on its latest Starship prototype for the third time Thursday night (Nov. 12), but the test was a bumpy one. The Starship SN8 vehicle performed its third brief “static fire” — a test in which engines are ignited while a rocket remains tethered to the ground — at SpaceX’s South Texas facility…

Virgin Galactic executive to lead Australian Space Agency

WASHINGTON — A longtime Virgin Galactic executive will return to Australia to take over the country’s young space agency, the Australian government announced Nov. 13. In a statement, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Enrico Palermo, chief operating officer of Virgin Galactic, will take over as head of the Australian Space Agency in January.…

Senate report criticizes Space Force plan to acquire secure, nuclear-survivable satcom 

WASHINGTON — The Senate Appropriations Committee questioned why it will take the U.S. Space Force 12 years to acquire new jam-resistant communications satellites to replace the existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) spacecraft made by Lockheed Martin. The program in question is the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications system known as ESS. The Space and Missile…

Asteroid Ryugu: The twirling space rock visited by Hayabusa2

Asteroid 162173 Ryugu is a diamond-shaped space rock visited by the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa2, which took a sample from the asteroid’s surface to return to Earth. This material will help scientists better understand the origins of the solar system and, possibly, life on our planet.  Ryugu was discovered in 1999 by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid…

Earth May Have Recaptured a 1960s-Era Rocket Booster

In 1966, NASA launched Surveyor 2 to the Moon. Now its rocket booster has apparently returned to near-Earth space. Earth has captured a tiny object from its orbit around the Sun and will keep it as a temporary satellite for a few months before it escapes back to a solar orbit. But the object is…

'Star Trek: Discovery' season 3, episode 5: Starfleet tries to break up the band

Warning: Locking spoilers on target… It seems like the big mystery of this season is going to be what exactly brought about “the burn.” We’re four episodes in already, and we still have no new clues on what caused the dilithium mines to dry up and every warp-capable starship powered by dilithium crystals to unexpectedly…

Exclusive First Look: New 'Firefly' graphic novel 'Watch How I Soar' reveals Wash's tale

Browncoats are fully united with news of Boom! Studios’ latest venture into Joss Whedon’s The ‘Verse with a brand new “Firefly” graphic novel anthology starring one of the space western franchise’s most endearing characters, Alan Tudyk’s ace star pilot Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburn. “Firefly: Watch How I Soar” arrives on Dec. 1 and comes from celebrated…

SpaceX's Crew-1 launch for NASA is carrying rock-eating microbes (and more weird science)

The first operational commercial crew mission will not only bring astronauts to the International Space Station but also a suite of unique science experiments for the crew to work on. The Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission for NASA is expected to lift off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on…

Spaceflight announces Sherpa tug with electric propulsion

WASHINGTON — Rideshare launch service provider Spaceflight Inc. announced a new version of its Sherpa tug Nov. 12 equipped with electric propulsion that can send smallsats to high orbits or cislunar space. Spaceflight announced the first flight of its Sherpa-LTE orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) will take place in mid-2021. The vehicle is based on the…

NASA’s Curiosity Takes Selfie With ‘Mary Anning’ on the Red Planet

The Mars rover has drilled three samples of rock in this clay-enriched region since first arriving in July. NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has a new selfie. This latest is from a location named “Mary Anning,” after a 19th-century English paleontologist whose discovery of marine-reptile fossils were ignored for generations because of her gender and class.…

Scientists spot a 'kilonova' flash so bright they can barely explain it

Scientists may have caught the blinding flash of two dense neutron stars colliding to form a strange magnetic star. The first sign of the massive event was a gamma-ray beacon that appeared in telescope data on May 22, prompting astronomers to assemble their best instruments. That response was important: Scientists believe gamma-ray bursts usually stem…

Physicists search for imprints left by dark matter halos as they swoosh through galactic gas

The search for dark matter – an unknown and invisible substance thought to make up the vast majority of matter in the universe – is at a crossroads. Although it was proposed nearly 70 years ago and has been searched for intensely – with large particle colliders, detectors deep underground and even instruments in space – it is still…

Independent panel recommends delaying Mars Sample Return missions

WASHINGTON — An independent review panel created by NASA to examine its plans to return samples from Mars endorsed the overall campaign, but recommended that the agency delay two upcoming missions to provide a more realistic development schedule. NASA established the Independent Review Board (IRB) in August to provide an outside assessment of its overall…

Supernova explosions may have helped shape Earth's climate history

Star explosions may have played a greater role in Earth’s climate history than scientists thought. Nearby supernovas have left a series of possible fingerprints in the tree-ring record here on Earth over the past 40,000 years, potentially disrupting our planet’s climate multiple times over this span, a new study reports. “These are extreme events, and…

NASA's next Mars rover will land in less than 100 days

NASA’s newest Mars car will touch down on the Red Planet less than 100 days from now. The life-hunting Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, which launched on July 30, is scheduled to land inside the 28-mile-wide (45 kilometers) Jezero Crater on the afternoon of Feb. 18, 2021 — just 99 days from today (Nov. 11). The…