TAMPA, Fla. — Starfish Space said Nov. 9 it plans to perform the first satellite docking test using electric propulsion next fall, when its Otter Pup demonstrator will attempt to rendezvous with another spacecraft in low Earth orbit.
WASHINGTON — A payload hitching a ride on the launch of a weather satellite will demonstrate a technology that both NASA is considering for future Mars landings and a company is studying for rocket reusability.
WASHINGTON — NASA will continue a lunar smallsat mission for launch in mid-2023 despite exceeding its cost cap by 30%.
Mars is a planet of vast contrasts — huge volcanoes, deep canyons, and craters that may or may not host running water. It will be an amazing location for future tourists to explore, once we put the first Red Planet colonies into motion. The landing sites for these future missions will likely need to be flat plains for safety and practical reasons, but perhaps they could land within a few days’ drive of some more interesting geology. Here are some locations that future Martians could visit.
In late 2019, the star Betelgeuse dimmed by about 60%. While it’s impossible to say with certainty exactly what caused it, new research suggests that a wandering companion may have played a role. By swinging close to the giant star, the interloper may have raised a tidal bulge, causing the surface of Betelgeuse to dim. While this scenario can’t explain the full amount of dimming observed, it may have triggered other effects on the star that made the problem worse, researchers propose in a new paper.
AST SpaceMobile announced on Monday (Nov. 14) that its prototype BlueWalker 3 satellite had deployed its array. The milestone comes about two months after BlueWalker 3 launched to orbit atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, along with a set of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites.
TAMPA, Fla. — The United Kingdom gave SpaceX permission Nov. 10 to expand its Starlink satellite broadband network in the country, while also granting a license to Telesat for a competing constellation bound for non-geostationary orbit (NGSO).
TAMPA, Fla. — ClearSpace, the Swiss orbital debris removal startup, said Nov. 14 it is planning a mission to extend the life of an Intelsat satellite before it runs out of fuel around 2026-2028.
WASHINGTON — The X-37B space plane landed Nov. 12 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 5:22 a.m. Eastern, setting a new endurance record after spending 908 days on orbit. Its previous record was 780 days.
Exoplanets can come in a variety of sizes and masses. If you were to plot on a graph how many planets of each size astronomers have discovered, you’d find two peaks: one at 1.4 times Earth’s radius, and another at 2.4 times Earth’s radius. Between them is a dip or valley, at around 1.8 times the radius of Earth, signifying the relative scarcity of planets of that size.
WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency is requesting several hundred million euros at its upcoming ministerial council meeting for new satellite navigation technologies from low Earth orbit to the moon.
ORLANDO — A NASA-funded cubesat successfully completed a maneuver to enter orbit around the moon Nov. 13.
WASHINGTON — The head of a Venus mission delayed at least three years by NASA in response to problems with another mission says she will attempt to shorten that delay.
News Update! KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — After years of delays, NASA’s Space Launch System lifted off for the first time Nov. 16, sending an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a shakedown cruise around the moon.