Cost overruns on a major rover mission and proposals for both sample return missions and a new orbiter are straining NASA’s Mars exploration program and threatening the future of two ongoing missions.
In his Feb. 3 SpaceNews opinion piece, Louis Friedman argues that the NASA authorization bill that recently cleared a House space subcommittee is best direction for America in space. The bill, H.R. 5666, would require the United States to abandon the moon after a flags and footprints lunar landing (while effectively preventing commercial firms from participating). We could not disagree more.
The first flight model of a rocket designed to launch modules for a Chinese space station is set to arrive at Wenchang spaceport for a crucial test mission.
Virgin Orbit, while preparing for the first flight of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket, is in the process of choosing an engine for a three-stage variant that would be capable of sending payloads to other planets.
A probe on NASA’s InSight Mars lander that has been stuck for months is moving deeper into the surface again thanks to an assist from the lander’s robotic arm.
A former NASA chief technologist will be joining the leadership of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the center seeks to restructure its management of planetary missions.
Members of the InSight mission team are using a break in spacecraft operations to study new ways to get one of the spacecraft’s key instruments to resume burrowing into the Martian surface.
As NASA gears up a decade-long effort to return samples from Mars, some scientists are worried that the campaign may not leave any funding available for other robotic missions to the planet.
History is now repeating itself. President Trump has declared he wants to send astronauts to the moon by 2024 and then Mars by 2033. But, in other words, NASA is saying to Trump the same thing it said to Bush: “You can’t do your program until you do my program.”
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said July 15 that, as NASA presses ahead with plans to return humans to the moon by 2024, he will not rule out a first human mission to Mars as soon as 2033.
Development of a European-Russian Mars lander hit a setback when the spacecraft’s parachutes malfunctioned in a recent test, but project officials said they still have time to correct the problem before its launch in a year.