NASA's Orion crew capsule, which was part of the cancelled Constellation program, has been revived as an escape pod for the International Space Station. A smaller version of the capsule could launch on an Atlas or Delta rocket and eliminate the need to buy a multimillion-dollar Russian Soyuz spacecraft for emergency crew escape, Florida Today reports.
Last year's "moon bombing" proved that water ice exists beneath the lunar south pole, but new findings from a NASA instrument aboard an Indian orbiter have determined that tons of water ice is hiding on the lunar surface in permanently shadowed craters at the north pole as well.
It must be fun to be NASA. In an attempt to make a lighter, stronger and safer crew vehicle for future manned space missions, they've been beating up on an all-composite version of the Orion flight crew module, the manned portion of NASA's Constellation program. So far the vehicle has passed the structural stress tests with flying colors.
Spaceflight continues to represent one of the more extreme and hazardous undertakings for humans, even if it's just about getting off the ground. But the men and women of NASA's astronaut corps say that the U.S. space agency can improve on the odds that faced the doomed shuttle crews of Challenger and Columbia.
I'm not quite ready to stop thinking about NASA's Ares I-X rocket test earlier this week--and neither is Boston.com's Big Picture blog, where a great collection of images today goes from the rocket's construction to its first launch.
Ares I-X roared off its launch pad at 11:30 EST at Cape Canaveral. This marks success for NASA's second launch attempt to get the Ares I-X rocket off the ground after weather delayed the launch on Tuesday.
A final report issued by a blue-ribbon commission on NASA's future enthusiastically embraces in-space refueling and commercial spaceflight to low-Earth orbit, but curiously leaves out NASA's Ares-I rocket in future scenarios.
NASA should extend space station operations beyond the planned 2016 retirement, according to a subcommittee of the presidential panel reviewing the human space program's future. But some members also warned that such a step could delay the return of astronauts to the moon.
This comes shortly after NASA had announced plans to de-orbit the International Space Station in 2016. Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada all support extending the $100-billion collaborative venture beyond 2015.
Former NASA administrator Mike Griffin once likened himself to Spock in his rational, emotionally-detached approach. Now Griffin's replacement, Charles Bolden, seems ready to inject new passion into a space agency that is struggling to reevaluate both long term goals and its vision for space exploration.