The engineers who developed the computers that enabled the Apollo 11 lunar landing had little doubt the mission could be a success, and half a century later have advice for how NASA should return to the moon.
NASA has picked nine companies, ranging from startups to aerospace giants, to be eligible for future contracts to deliver payloads to the surface of the moon, but with no guarantee of business for any of them.
The organization that helped NASA’s Apollo spacecraft land on the moon a half-century ago is now working with an industry team that includes a Japanese lunar lander company to propose a commercial return to the lunar surface.
On the International Space Station, a surprising amount of astronauts’ work is done manually, with little computerized assistance. Draper Laboratory and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute aim to change that with new software providing astronauts with automated alerts to guide their work.
Draper Laboratory is getting a fresh $250,000 from NASA to test gravity-imitating spacesuit technology on a commercial parabolic research flight perhaps as soon as this fall.