Biden picks former senator who flew in space to lead NASA
President Joe Biden has chosen Nelson, a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle to lead NASA. Scott Applewhite, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – President Joe Biden has chosen a former senator from Florida who flew on the space shuttle right before the Challenger accident to lead NASA. Biden on Friday announced his intent to nominate Bill Nelson as the space agency's administrator. “There has been no greater champion, not just for Florida’s space industry, but for the space program as a whole than Bill,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said in a statement. Plenty of qualified candidates,” retired space shuttle director and program manager Wayne Hale tweeted earlier this month.
Halted rocket test could stall NASA moon shot, redo possible
In this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 photo made available by NASA, the core stage for the first flight of NASA's Space Launch System rocket undergoes a hot fire test at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, NASA blamed the automatic shutdown on the strict test limits. All four engines fired for barely a minute, rather than the intended eight minutes, on the test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA said it can adjust the test limits if a second test is deemed necessary, to prevent another premature shutdown. The Artemis program is working to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, a deadline set by the Trump administration.
First woman, next man on moon will come from these NASA 18
The first woman and next man on the moon will come from this elite group. Vice President Mike Pence introduced the astronauts Wednesday at the close of his final meeting as chairman of the National Space Council. The space agency is aiming for a moon landing by 2024, although the chances of that happening are growing increasingly dim. Half of the NASA astronauts have spaceflight experience. “The history is awesome, but we’re here to look toward the future,” Acaba told reporters after the announcement.
Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97
Gen. Charles Yeager talks to members of the media following a re-enactment flight commemorating his breaking of the sound barrier 65 years earlier, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, at age 97. Yeager died Monday, his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. ___This version corrects that Yeager flew an F-15, not an X-15, when he was 79.
WATCH: SpaceX launches 4 astronauts to space station, kicking off regular crew flights from the US
It is due to reach the space station late Monday and remain there until spring. NASA policy at Kennedy Space Center requires anyone testing positive for coronavirus to quarantine and remain isolated. Even the two astronauts on the first SpaceX crew flight stayed behind at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The four astronauts will be joining two Russians and one American who flew to the space station last month from Kazakhstan. NASA turned to private companies to haul cargo and crew to the space station, after the shuttle fleet retired in 2011.
SpaceX crew flight delayed, pushing launch to Sunday
(AP) – SpaceX delayed its second astronaut flight by a day because of high wind and weather conditions that could jeopardize the recovery and recycling of the rocket booster, pushing the launch to Sunday. “So ‘Elon Musk Tests Negative for Covid’ is an equally correct title,” he tweeted. The upcoming crew flight comes just three months after the end of the test flight with Hurley and Bob Behnken, both NASA astronauts. NASA and SpaceX are especially eager to retrieve this first-stage booster; it will be used for the next crew launch. NASA turned over space station ferry trips to SpaceX and Boeing, which has yet to launch anyone, following the retirement of the shuttle fleet in 2011.
NASA's new moonshot rules: No fighting or littering, please
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA’s new moonshot rules: No fighting and littering. The space agency released a set of guidelines Tuesday for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements. Founding members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said. ___The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
NASA moon-landing tech hitches ride to space on Bezos rocket
The sensors and computer — tested during the booster’s descent and touchdown — will hitch another suborbital ride with Blue Origin. Led by Amazon founder Bezos, Washington state-based Blue Origin is leading a team of companies to develop a lunar lander for astronauts. Tuesday’s launch was the first in nearly a year for Blue Origin: The pandemic stalled operations. Blue Origin said its staff is maintaining social distancing and taking other safety measures. Blue Origin said it needs a couple more flights before launching people — tourists, scientists and professional astronauts — on short hops.
NASA places ad for moon rocks
HOUSTON – NASA wants to buy moon rocks, but it’s mainly aimed at encouraging commercial companies to develop space exploration technology. According to the request for bids, the space agency will pay for between 50 and 500 grams of lunar regolith material from a contractor. The contractor must also provide imagery that identifies the material and information about where it was collected on the lunar surface. Once purchased, the material becomes the sole property of NASA, according to the bid. The goal is for the material to be retrieved and transferred to NASA before 2024, which is when the agency aims to land the next humans on the moon.
NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance to look for signs of ancient life
The mission will send a Mars rover to the Red Planet to search for signs of life, explore the planet's geology and much more. NASAs Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the worlds third and final Mars launch of the summer. The Perseverance rover carries seven instruments to conduct its science and exploration technology investigations. This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the red planet's surface near the Perseverance rover, left. NASA Mars rover launch NASA is sending the "Perseverance" rover to Mars.
Tropical storm may delay 1st SpaceX crew's return to Earth
On Wednesday, July 29, 2020, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. (NASA via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Tropical weather barreling toward Florida could delay this weekends planned return of the first SpaceX crew. On Wednesday, SpaceX and NASA cleared the Dragon crew capsule to depart the International Space Station and head home after a two-month flight. SpaceX is already preparing to launch a second crew to the space station at the end of September. NASA wants six weeks between the splashdown and the launch of the next Dragon crew, for capsule inspections and reviews.
2020s final Mars mission poised for blastoff from Florida
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will launch to Mars arrives at Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Tuesday, July 28, 2020, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rocket scheduled to launch on Thursday will land on Mars in February 2021 and the Mars 2020 rover, named Perseverance, will study Martian geology. (AP Photo/John Raoux)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The summers third and final mission to Mars featuring NASA's most elaborate life-hunting rover is on the verge of liftoff. The rover Perseverance will follow Chinas rover-orbiter combo and a United Arab Emirates orbiter, both launched last week. First things first, though: Good flying weather is forecast for United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket.
Look out, Mars: Here we come with a fleet of spacecraft
Three countries the United States, China and the United Arab Emirates are sending unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in quick succession beginning in July 2020. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Mars is about to be invaded by planet Earth big time. Each spacecraft will travel more than 300 million miles (483 million kilometers) before reaching Mars next February. Only the U.S. has successfully put a spacecraft on Mars, doing it eight times, beginning with the twin Vikings in 1976. The United Arab Emirates and China are looking to join the elite club.
NASA naming headquarters for 'Hidden Figures' engineer
WASHINGTON NASA is naming its Washington headquarters after Mary Jackson, the space agencys first African American female engineer whose story was portrayed in the popular film Hidden Figures.Jackson started her NASA career in 1951 as part of a segregated unit of female mathematicians at what is now Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson was later promoted to engineer and retired from NASA in 1985. Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement Wednesday. Part of the street in front of NASA headquarters is called Hidden Figures Way" and a computer research facility at Langley is named for Katherine Johnson, another of the Hidden Figures mathematicians, who died in February. A NASA facility is also named for her in West Virginia, her home state.
Get to know Kathy Lueders, NASAs new leader for NASAs human spaceflight efforts
Since 2014, Lueders has directed NASAs plans to send astronauts into space on a commercially-built spacecraft as part of NASAs Commercial Crew Program. From Commercial Cargo and now Commercial Crew, she has safely and successfully helped push to expand our nations industrial base. She spent more than a decade at the Johnson Space Center and has a daughter and grandchild in Houston. She went to Kennedy as acting Commercial Crew Program Manager in 2013 and was selected as the head of the office in 2014. Steve Stich is named Commercial Crew Program Manager, and Ken Bowersox returns to his role as HEO deputy associate administrator.
NASA's next Mars rover honors medical teams fighting virus
(NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. NASAs next Mars rover is honoring all the medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus battle around the world. With just another month until liftoff, the space agency on Wednesday revealed a commemorative plate attached to the rover, aptly named Perseverance. The rover team calls it the COVID-19 Perseverance plate, designed in the last couple months. If the rover isn't launched by mid-August, it would need to wait until 2022 when Earth and Mars are back in proper alignment. The United Arab Emirates and China also are preparing spacecraft for launch to the red planet by mid-August.
SpaceX opens era of amateur astronauts, cosmic movie sets
Amateur astronauts, private space stations, flying factories, out-of-this-world movie sets this is the future the space agency is striving to shape as it eases out of low-Earth orbit and aims for the moon and Mars. But the future is incredibly exciting, NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren said the day before SpaceXs historic liftoff. The ticket price which includes 15 weeks of training and more than a week at the space station is about $55 million. Beginning in 2024, Axiom plans to build its own addition to the 260-mile-high (420-kilometer-high) outpost to accommodate its private astronauts. SpaceX still has to get NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken safely back to Earth this summer in its Dragon capsule.
SpaceX's historic encore: Astronauts arrive at space station
The two astronauts will fly on a SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station. Once on board the space station, Hurley said the capsule, newly named Endeavour after the retired shuttle, handled extremely well. He was the pilot on the last U.S. spaceship to visit the space station the last shuttle flight, by Atlantis, in July 2011. Until Saturday, SpaceX had launched only space station supplies or satellites. Even so, getting the two astronauts safely to orbit and then the space station had everyone breathing huge sighs of relief.
Astronauts successfully liftoff in historic SpaceX Demo 2 launch
pic.twitter.com/96Nd3vsrT2 — SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 30, 20202:22 p.m. -- We have successfully launchedAstronauts have successfully lifted off in historic SpaceX and NASA launch. #LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/OBDpSryEDh — NASA (@NASA) May 30, 20202:07 p.m. -- Liquid oxygen begins loading into rocketLiquid oxygen has begun loading into the rocket. pic.twitter.com/9sPnFsLl30 — NASA (@NASA) May 30, 202011:37 a.m. -- Crew ingress beginsThe crew is boarding the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. Crew ingress = how we refer to the crew boarding the @SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. 10:26 a.m. -- First NASA astronauts to fly aboard Crew Dragon don their SpaceX spacesuitsWatch as astronauts to fly aboard Crew Dragon try on their SpaceX spacesuits.
Forecast for Wednesday’s historic launch improving, NASA officials say
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – NASA officials said Tuesday that the forecast is improving ahead of a mission aimed at returning Americans to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nine years. It will be the first time Americans have blasted off from American soil since the last shuttle launch in 2011. The weather has been a concern as the launch approaches, but officials have given the green light to the mission. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday that the forecast is looking better for Wednesday’s launch window, with a 60% chance of favorable weather. The Demo 2 mission is the final step in proving that commercial companies can launch human passengers into orbit.