In a major announcement that will end the reliance on the Russians to launch Americans into space and could also determine which private company launches the first manned mission to mars, NASA on Tuesday afternoon awarded the human spaceflight contract worth $6.8 billion to both SpaceX and Boeing.
NASA is a giant step closer to launching Americans again from U.S. soil, and one of the likely contenders is SpaceX, the private rocket company formed by PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk.
For the first time in 17 years, NASA Ames Research Center will open its normally well-secured gates to the public, allowing behind the scenes tours of the wind tunnels, laboratories, and even a simulated Martian landscape.
Officials say initial phase of the heavy-lift rocket project, known as the Space Launch System Program, will now move from formulation to development, something no other exploration class vehicle has done since the creation of the space shuttle. The first generation rocket will be the most powerful ever built, with 130 metric tons of lift, enough to carry an Orion spacecraft beyond low earth orbit.
A Marin County woman’s claims that a meteorite plunked down on the roof of her home have been validated by a team of planetary scientists, who tracked the space rock’s origin to the formation of the moon 4.47 billion years ago.
Best Meteor Shower Of The Year Peaks Tuesday, 100 Shooting Stars Per Hour Predicted In Perseid Shower
If you thought July 4th’s fireworks were exciting, wait until you see a ball of fire explode overhead in the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, set to peak Tuesday night with 100 shooting stars each hour, and continue for several days afterward.
Lightning-fueled fires on the Oregon-California border earlier this month sent huge smoke clouds into the atmosphere above the Western United States, clouds that NASA captured on camera both from jets and via satellite.
The future of space exploration may involve soaring above moons in a mothership and deploying drone-like explorer to probe the surface.
Watch the sky for the next Supermoon as it shines this Sunday…
Space pioneer and Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. is looking toward the next giant leap, a manned mission to the planet Mars.