“We’re struggling with C-axis – oh. It’s gone.” – End of mission for Saturn probe

Within a minute of the time Cassini's final transmission was expected, the probe burnt up in Saturn's hydrogen-dense atmosphere. Thus ended the nearly 20 year Cassini-Huygens mission, one likely to have a significant impact on future exploration to those far reaches of our solar system. Indeed, the very reason NASA decided to destroy the probe, launched in 1997, touches on the significant gains in knowledge gained from the mission, one

NASA unveils logo for Orbital Debris Program Office

One of NASA’s important but perhaps less “Hollywood” offices has gone in for something of a makeover. The Orbital Debris Program Office, which operates under NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science program, has approved its first logo, according to the program’s publication, the summer/fall issue of  2017 Orbital Debris Quarterly News, released on 1 August 2017. (The newsletter is required reading for anyone with an interest in the policies, science, or

Chinese Satellite Suggests Inconsistencies in Einstein’s Principle of Local Realism

A major breakthrough in physics and a potent weapon in the ever-widening battle for information supremacy, the quantum satellite Mozi, on orbit at around 500 kilometers, is a symbol of both scientific progress and a harbinger of a new era of ultra-secure communications. As we’ve reported before, the Mozi (sometimes anglicized as “Micius”) satellite is a warning to the world that classical encryption is not only a threatened species, but

VP Mike Pence announces re-formed National Space Council in speech to new astronauts

In a speech to the graduating class of astronauts and NASA, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the National Space Council would be re-formed by the Trump administration, and that he himself would serve as chair. The self-described “lifelong NASA fan” said he was especially privileged to de delivering the speech on his birthday. While in Congress, Pence requested to serve on the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. space program,

SpaceX’s First Reused Dragon Berthed with ISS

Astronauts aboard the ISS began the process of grappling the Dragon CRS-11 spacecraft this morning at 0830R (8:30 a.m. ET). Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer, of Expedition 52, are working to berth the spacecraft to the Harmony module of the ISS. (more…)

Better than new? SpaceX’s reused Dragon launch a huge milestone in private space development

When the Dragon spacecraft from 2012's SpaceX 4 mission successfully berthed with the ISS's Harmony module, the cargo capsule's place in space-faring history was cemented, marking the first time a privately owned spacecraft berthed with the space station, vindicating long-held hopes that the commercial space industry could develop the ability to conduct complex operations in Earth's orbit. Now the SpaceX/CRS-11 mission (originally slated for launch Thursday, 1 June 2017, and rescheduled for 3 June 5:07 ET), is