DAPPER Concept
NASA Astrophysics Eyes Big Science with Small Satellites

Sept. 12, 2018

From NASA: NASA has selected nine proposals to study using small satellites, or SmallSats, for advanced astronomical space-based observations. The proposed SmallSat studies are a fraction of the size, weight, and cost of a typical space-bound astrophysics mission. They cover a mass range from 12 kg to 180 kg. Formation...

Gateway graphic thumbnail
Gateway Gets Good Reviews from NAC Committees

Aug. 28, 2018

From Space Policy Online: Members of two NASA Advisory Council (NAC) committees representing the science and human exploration communities seem upbeat about the potential of NASA’s concept for a lunar orbiting Gateway. At a joint meeting today, they heard from engineers about the design and scientists about how it can...

Parker Solar Probe sits in the clean room
Touching the Sun to protect the Earth: A Q&A with Justin Kasper on going where no probe has gone before

Aug. 13, 2018

From the The Michigan Engineer News Center: Justin Kasper, professor of climate and space sciences and engineering at the University of Michigan, is a mission principal investigator on the Parker Solar Probe, which is scheduled for launch Aug. 11 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. “The Parker Solar Probe will help us...

Artist illustration of Parker Solar Probe
NASA's Parker Solar Probe Is Headed to the Sun. So, What's Next?

Aug. 13, 2018

From Space.com: After decades of scientific brainstorming and years of construction, NASA's Parker Solar Probe is safely on its way to flying seven times closer to the sun than any mission has before. Now that the spacecraft is finally off the ground, it won't be long before scientists can start...

NASA Lunar Module Eagle
Seeking our Cosmic Origins on the Far Side of the Moon

July 10, 2018

From the Denver Post: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared his vision in late May of creating permanent colonies on the Moon. He isn’t alone: a new space race is taking shape as diverse companies and governments, including our own, have set their sights on putting boots on the Moon for...

Chinese Relay Satellite illustration by Cena Lau
Is China beating the US to the far side of the Moon?

May 21, 2018

From Science: China says it has launched a key satellite that will be crucial to the success of an unprecedented mission to the far side of the Moon later this year. The relay satellite, called the Queqiao, was launched at 5:28 am local time on Monday, atop a Long March-4C...

The lunar far side, always in shadow from Earth, can protect radio astronomy instruments from noise.
China’s Moon Mission will Probe Cosmic Dark Ages

May 16, 2018

From Science: On 21 May, China plans to launch a satellite with a vital but unglamorous mission. From a vantage point beyond the moon, Queqiao, as the satellite is called, will relay data from Chang'e 4, a lander and rover that is supposed to touch down on the lunar far...

What would happen if the moon suddenly disappeared?

May 7, 2018

From Popular Science: The moon is more than just a pretty face to gaze upon at night. It helps direct our ocean currents and tides, the movement of Earth’s atmosphere and climate, and even the tilt of our planet’s axis. So what would happen to Earth, and us, if it...

Owens Valley Radio Observatory in California hosts the LEDA experiment
Physicists in Earth’s Remotest Corners Race to Reproduce ‘Cosmic Dawn’ Signal

May 2, 2018

From Nature: Researchers are heading to some of the most remote spots on Earth — from the Tibetan Plateau to an island in the sub-Antarctic ocean — to try to capture an enigmatic radio signal from the early Universe. This grand search, which could even involve a mission to the...

Concept image of a MX-1 lander on the lunar surface.
Private Companies Took Over Rocket Launches. Can They Do the Same For Moon Landers?

May 1, 2018

From Popular Mechanics: NASA's support of private spaceflight has helped spur competition between companies like SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Blue Origin, and that rocket race has driven launch costs to historic lows. The next step will give industry a chance to take the reins a little farther from home...