Honeybee Robotics Secures Six Phase I SBIR/STTR Awards From NASA For Spacecraft, Drilling, And Sampling System Development

Honeybee Robotics today announced it has received four NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I awards and two NASA Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I award to develop new spacecraft systems and enabling technologies. The awards will allow Honeybee to analyze concepts for advanced future planetary exploration, sampling, in-situ resource utilization, and on-orbit …Read More

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NASA Moves Up Launch Of Psyche Mission To A Metal Asteroid

Psyche, NASA’s Discovery Mission to a unique metal asteroid, has been moved up one year with launch in the summer of 2022, and with a planned arrival at the main belt asteroid in 2026 — four years earlier than the original timeline. “We challenged the mission design team to explore if an earlier launch date …Read More

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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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Three New Minerals Discovered In A Unique Meteorite

Researchers led by mineralogist Chi Ma have identified three new minerals in a tiny sample of the Khatyrka meteorite. The meteorite, recovered in pieces from the Koryak Mountains in eastern Russia in 1979 and 2011, made news in recent years for containing the first three natural quasicrystals ever found. (A quasicrystal is a phase of …Read More

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New Evidence For A Water-Rich History On Mars

Mars may have been a wetter place than previously thought, according to research on simulated Martian meteorites conducted, in part, at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). In a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, researchers found evidence that a mineral found in Martian meteorites—which had been considered as …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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