Technical and other challenges in designing the SLS

On Monday NASA issued a brief release stating that it will hold a briefing Tuesday afternoon “discuss an agency decision that will define the next transportation system to carry humans into deep space”. That’s led to some speculation that NASA has reached a decision on the architecture of the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift vehicle. […]

Congressional support for NASA?s MPCV decision

The “key decision” that NASA announced Tuesday regarding the agency’s space exploration plans was not too surprising, and perhaps a bit underwhelming: NASA is transitioning its existing work on the Orion spacecraft to the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). In the NASA statement and media teleconference later that day, NASA indicated there would be effectively no […]

A brief export control debate on the House floor

The House is debating this evening amendments to HR 1540, the fiscal year 2012 defense authorization act. Tucked away in the list of over 150 amendments under consideration is one submitted by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) to provide for export control reform for satellites. The amendment, similar to standalone legislation introduced earlier this month by […]

Did three astronauts miss the point?

Yesterday, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech calling for a human mission to the Moon by the end of the 1960s, was an opportunity for a variety of retrospectives, not to mention comparisons to the current era of human spaceflight. One particular example of the latter was an op-ed in USA Today […]

Commercial cargo hearing today

The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is holding a hearing this morning on NASA’s commercial ISS cargo program. The hearing will feature executives from Orbital Sciences and SpaceX, the two companies developing cargo vehicles to transport cargo to and from the station, as well as a Government Accountability Office (GAO) […]

Soyuz lands in Kazakhstan

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying three ISS crewmembers landed safely in Kazakhstan early Tuesday, several hours…

NASA to transition Orion contract to MPCV

NASA announced Tuesday that it will transition existing contracts for the Orion crew exploration vehicle…

NASA ends efforts to contact Spirit rover

NASA will end efforts this month to restore communications with the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit,…

Astronauts perform third STS-134 spacewalk

Two astronauts spent nearly seven hours outside the International Space Station on Wednesday completing a…

NASA selects asteroid sample return mission

NASA announced Wednesday that it will launch a robotic mission in 2016 to fly to…