NASA is taking the next small step in the development of a proposed Deep Space Gateway in cislunar space by requesting information about one of its core modules.
The director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said his center is pressing ahead with work on current and proposed missions to Mars and Europa despite ongoing debates on Capitol Hill about funding some of those missions.
Moon Express, a company developing commercial lunar landers, said July 12 its first mission is still on schedule to launch by the end of this year in a bid to win the Google Lunar X Prize.
With time running out to start work on a 2022 Mars orbiter, a NASA official said July 10 the agency plans to have a “coherent Mars architecture” for future robotic Mars missions ready for presentation an at August committee meeting.
Chinese engineers are wrapping up work on the Chang’e-5 lunar mission for a targeted November launch atop a Long March 5 booster. It will depart from the newly completed Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan Province. If successful, this robotic mooncraft would carry the first lunar samples returned to Earth in over 40 years.
After almost 20 years of development, the European Space Agency has finally unveiled the BepiColombo Mercury orbiters and confirmed the mission is on track for an October 2018 launch.
The Mexican government will decide this year whether to replace the Centenario satellite it lost to a 2015 Proton rocket failure with a new satellite or replacement capacity on another operator’s satellite, according to the Mexican Space Agency.
The mismatch between Australia’s military space and ground infrastructure is limiting the country’s ability to fully use its satellite telecommunications infrastructure, to the frustration of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Bulgarian communications satellite June 23, a mission that marked the second time the company reused the rocket’s first stage.
Advocates of small satellites argue that such systems could offer a much-need “layer of resiliency” for national security space applications for as little as one percent of current spending on such programs.
“We are heavily dependent on space, and our adversaries know it. In any future conflict, space will be contested,” Heather Wilson, who was sworn in last month as the 24th secretary of the U.S. Air Force, told a Capitol Hill audience June 16.
The European Space Agency has formally selected an ambitious space-based gravitational-wave observatory as its next large space science mission, scheduled for launch by 2034.
The B612 Foundation, which once sought to privately develop a large space observatory to search for potentially hazardous near Earth objects (NEOs), is now studying an alternative approach that uses much smaller spacecraft.