Deep SpaceStartupsTechnology

AstroForge Announces Asteroid Mining Test Missions

Could this be the year of asteroid mining? AstroForge, a YC W22 alum based in Huntington Beach, CA, is trying to make it happen. The company announced that it has booked two missions this year to get its asteroid mining tech to orbit and tested as quickly as possible. Mining asteroids: About a decade ago, […]

CivilDeep SpaceMilitary

NASA and DARPA Partner on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

After a 50-year hiatus, the US is planning to test a nuclear fission-powered thermal propulsion system on a spacecraft. NASA said this week that it would team up with DARPA, the Pentagon’s R&D arm, to build, launch, and demonstrate a nuclear thermal engine. This early work is intended to pave the way for a crewed […]

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Space Agency Leaders Recap 2022

The world was busy in space this year. All together, there have been 174 successful orbital launches so far in 2022, and the world’s space agencies have pulled together over the course of the year to make major strides in science, technology, and exploration. Read on for our recap of the top events from space […]

CivilDeep Space

60 Years Since Mariner 2’s Venus Flyby

60 years ago today, Mariner 2 flew by Venus, making the probe the first successful interplanetary mission. The flyby spacecraft flew within 21,500 miles of the Morning and Evening Star, taking various measurements and making groundbreaking discoveries about our solar system. The lead-up The Mariner program was first introduced in the early 1960’s, when NASA’s […]

AnalysisDeep SpaceEOInternationalScienceTechnology

ESA Gets Nearly 17% Funding Boost

‘Twas a busy time in Paris last week. The European Space Agency announced a new cohort of astronauts and announced a budget of €16.9B for the next three years.  The sum falls short of the €18.5B requested by the agency, but still represents a 17% increase over the prior period. Lots of 17s last week:  […]

Deep SpaceScience

NASA and ESA Announce Mars Sample Return Changes

There’s been a changing of the robotic guard responsible for bringing samples of Mars rocks back to Earth. Perseverance and a pair of Ingenuity-esque helicopters will now play a greater role in ferrying the samples back home. Mars sample return: NASA and ESA have together hatched a plan to bring samples of Mars rock back […]

Deep SpaceQ&ARocketsStartups

Q+A with Tim Ellis on Relativity’s Mars Mission

Last week, Relativity Space and Impulse Space announced a partnership to launch the first private mission to Mars. To much fanfare, the two startups say they’ll try to launch a Red Planet lander as early as 2024.  Under the agreement, Relativity will launch Impulse’s Mars Cruise Vehicle and Mars Lander on the 3D-printed Terran R […]

BusinessDeep SpaceStartupsTechnology

Who’s Who: Lunar Landers and Rovers

As NASA prepares to send humans back to the moon through its long-awaited Artemis program, it’s taking big steps to encourage commercial lander development.  First order of business: CLPS. NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program is funding 14 separate lander concepts from Astrobotic, Deep Space Systems, Draper Labs, Firefly Aerospace, Intuitive Machines, Lockheed Martin, […]

Deep SpaceScience

White House Unveils First Sneak Peek JWST Image 

Standing alongside NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, President Biden and VP Harris unveiled the first image from the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723, taken by Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera. After enough of a delay to fill Space Twitter™️ with nervous laughter, the image revealed the deepest and highest-resolution infrared view of the […]

CivilDeep Space

CAPSTONE Isn’t Phoning Home

Following a successful launch on Rocket Lab’s Electron and deployment from its Lunar Photon, NASA’s moon-bound CAPSTONE satellite is not phoning home.  Timeline: On July 4, the satellite broke Earth’s orbit. On Tuesday, the US space agency said the spacecraft has experienced “communications issues” while in contact with the Deep Space Network, a series of […]

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Recapping the First Six Months of 2022 in Space

We’ve made it halfway through 2022. The year has flown by, but it’s been filled with big news and firsts for the space industry. Here’s our recap of the off-Earth goings-on during these last six months. Q1 The year started off with a bang as JWST unfolded successfully, reached its new home a million miles […]

Deep SpaceTechnology

Astrobotic Tests Lunar Wireless Charging System

If your phone dies on the Moon, Astrobotic has you covered.  Yesterday, the Pittsburgh-based company announced it has completed testing on a wireless charging system that can prep a variety of lunar surface infrastructure for the two-week lunar night. The lunar colony: Big plans are in the works for a lunar and cislunar economy in […]