ESOcast 38: Faraway Eris is Pluto’s twin

This ESOcast describes how astronomers have accurately measured the diameter of the faraway dwarf planet Eris for the first time by catching it as it passed in front of a faint star. This event was seen at the end of 2010 by telescopes in Chile, including the TRAPPIST telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory. […]

Newt Gingrich calls Space Launch System “disgraceful” pork

by Space Frontier Foundation on October 21, 2011 · 0 Comments

Dallas, TX — Oct. 21, 2010 — Responding to a question about the Congressionally-mandated Space Launch System, Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, “I think it is disgraceful the way getting into space has been turned into a political pork-barrel. It’s an abuse of the […]

ESOcast 37: Full-size Mock-up of World’s Largest Telescope Mirror Built at ESO’s Open House Day

On Saturday 15 October 2011 ESO opened the doors of its headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, to the public. Throughout the day, thousands of visitors had the chance to help build a full-size mock-up mirror of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) — the largest planned telescope in the world — and to […]

Interview: NASA’s New Rules for Manned Private Spaceflight

By Joe Pappalardo

Our report on NASA’s new contract detailing the rules for crew-carrying spacecraft features the insights of Philip McAlister, director of NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Development. Here, we offer the full transcript of our Oct. 12 interview with McAlister, in which he details how NASA is trying to change the way it does business. (Light […]

Is This NASA Document Saving or Killing Manned Private Spaceflight?

Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft.

By Joe Pappalardo

NASA, which wants to send its astronauts aboard privately built spacecraft, recently released the first draft of a document detailing how it would ensure those ships are safe. The contract is a tome of legalese, but buried inside the hundreds of pages are provisions that have […]

Rokot carrier rocket launches to resume soon

MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti)

Rokot carrier rocket © European Space Agency

Launches of Rokot carrier rockets may resume in the near future, Commander of Russian Space Forces Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said on Tuesday.

“Work on resuming the launches is in the final stage and we are working closely with Russian federal space agency Roskosmos. […]

Astronomers Debate Where 1st Interstellar Starship Should Go Exploring

by Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer

The next 50 years of spaceflight will carry many challenges and surprises for explorers hoping to extend their reach into the cosmos. But it will also likely hold untapped riches for space science and spinoff technology that could, one day, catapult human and robotic explores beyond our own […]


Analysis by Irene Klotz

There are many problems to solve before we can send a spaceship to another star system. About the only thing most folks agree on is that at some point we must make the journey or eventually humans will join the dinosaurs on the species extinction list.

We don’t know when that day […]

Delta 2 among potential customers

By Janene Scully / Associate Editor /

NASA/Contributed Workers stack the Delta 2 rocket at Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in July for what once was expected to be the final blastoff for that rocket.

NASA has agreed to consider awarding future missions to the Delta 2 rocket, possibly extending […]

Science and human exploration: together at last

by Jack Burns and Scott D. Norris Monday, October 3, 2011

The Orion MPCV could be used with robotic spacecraft to study the lunar farside. (credit: Lockheed MArtin)


NASA Chief Scientist Waleed Abdalati recently visited our lunar simulation laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where students are investigating next-generation materials to […]