Mary Beth Griggs
at 11:37 AM Oct 13 2017

Looks like we're going back to the moon. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence announced a new priority to put Americans on the lunar surface for the first time since 1972. If we do manage to return to our natural satellite—no budget or specific timeline was released during the announcement—then it will likely be for a longer period of time than the short Apollo missions, and will almost certainly involve longer moonwalks. That means more time for something to go wrong, and more of a need for plans and equipment ready in case of emergency.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 11:36 AM Oct 5 2017

It was 8:07 p.m. on a Friday night in Riverhead, Long Island, when the operators at an RCA Communications outpost picked up a signal that had never been heard before on Earth. A sharp, insistent beep sang out over short-wave radios, filling up our ears with the knowledge that humans had succeeded in sending something to the wispiest edge of our protective blanket of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 15:53 PM Sep 20 2017

It sent back data until the last possible moment, struggling against the atmospheric forces that would soon vaporize the spacecraft into dust. Then, it was gone. Cassini's perfectly executed dive last week shuttered one of our few windows to the solar system.

Mary Beth Griggs
at 12:34 PM Aug 18 2017

If you can send a spacecraft to the moon and loop around our natural satellite one time, or—even better—gently set a rover down on the lunar surface, there could be money in it for you. $4.75 million, to be precise.

Sarah Fecht
at 11:38 AM Jul 24 2017

If humans are ever really going to make it to Mars, we're going to need a bigger boat. Today's spaceships are built for short hauls to and from the International Space Station, a mere six or so hours away. These ships, like the Russian Soyuz, SpaceX's Dragon, NASA's upcoming Orion capsule, are small, cramped, and they don't have bathrooms or sleeping quarters.

Kelsey D. Atherton
at 11:38 AM Jul 24 2017

NASA is forever linked to space, a plucky government agency bravely hurtling people and robots into the great beyond. Yet the agency has always had as much of an earth-bound mission as an outer space one. The “Aeronautics” at NASA may get short shrift, but with 300 videos of archival aviation tests released online this week, there's plenty of airborne excitement waiting for viewers.

Sarah Fecht
at 09:31 AM Jul 17 2017

A lander like this will fly in Moon Express's first launch, slated for later this year. It can carry up to 66 pounds of equipment and scientific instruments to the lunar surface. Or it can stay in orbit or travel deeper into space.

 
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