Deep Space Industries Secures NASA Aerobrake Funding

Deep Space Industries and the University of Tennessee have been awarded NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program funding for developing technology to slow spacecraft carrying asteroid resources as they return to Earth’s orbit. The purpose of asteroid mining is to collect fuel and building materials harvested from near Earth asteroids and provide them to commercial …Read More

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NASA Seeks Additional Information For Lunar Missions

NASA has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas from industry for the agency to possibly participate in existing or future uncrewed commercial missions to the moon. NASA is interested in assessing the availability of a commercial launch from Earth to the lunar surface to provide landing services as early as Fiscal Year 2018, …Read More

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ExoTerra To Become First Privately Owned Space Company To Fly To An Asteroid

NASA has awarded ExoTerra Corporation a $2.5M contract to demonstrate a novel solar electric propulsion system for CubeSats that will enable the shoebox-sized spacecraft to triple their available power and produce over 2.5 km/s of propulsion. Under the “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies” award, ExoTerra will use the mission-enabling capability to fly …Read More

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Mars Rover Tests Driving, Drilling And Detecting Life In The Desert

Due to its extreme dryness, the Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the most important environments on Earth for researchers who need to approximate the conditions of Mars. Working in 90-plus-degree heat in arguably the driest place on Earth, the team behind NASA’s Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies, or ARADS, project just completed its …Read More

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Mechanism Underlying Size-Sorting Of Rubble On Asteroid Itokawa Revealed

In 2005, the Hayabusa spacecraft developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) landed on Itokawa, a small near-Earth asteroid named after the famous Japanese rocket scientist Hideo Itokawa. The aim of the unmanned mission was to study the asteroid and collect a sample of material to be returned to Earth for analysis. Contrary to …Read More

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NASA Study Hints At Possible Change In Water ‘Fingerprint’ of Comet

A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet – an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new NASA study suggests. Astronomers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, observed the Oort cloud comet C/2014 Q2, also called Lovejoy, when it passed …Read More

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Asteroid Sleuths Go Back To The Future

Careful sleuthing through decade-old images has enabled ESA’s asteroid team to decide that a newly discovered space rock poses little threat of hitting Earth any time soon. Spotting a previously unknown asteroid for the first time always raises the big question: is there a risk it will impact Earth? Yet, upon discovery, analysts often have …Read More

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NASA Selects Two Asteroid Discovery Missions

NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed …Read More

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Unexpected Discoveries On A Metal World

Astronomers have discovered possible evidence for water on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system. Named 16 Psyche, the object is one of the most massive in the asteroid belt, measuring 186 miles across and consisting of almost pure nickel-iron metal. It is thought to be the remnant core of a …Read More

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JPL Seeks Robotic Spacecraft Development For Asteroid Redirect Mission

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking design, development and build of the robotic spacecraft that will capture a multi-ton asteroid boulder from deep space during the first segment of the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The RFP is open to the four industry partners that previously …Read More

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