space

Boeing Is Ready to Launch Starliner, a Rival to SpaceX's Dragon

Boeing Is Ready to Launch Starliner, a Rival to SpaceX’s Dragon

The first passenger to fly aboard Boeing’s Starliner will be Rosie the Rocketeer, a mannequin set to blast off to the International Space Station aboard the capsule on Thursday evening. If she makes the trip safely, NASA astronauts will be cleared for future flights on the new spacecraft. A successful uncrewed demonstration will make Boeing …

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With Dusty Solar Panels, InSight's Days on Mars Are Numbered

With Dusty Solar Panels, InSight’s Days on Mars Are Numbered

While InSight’s pair of solar panels, each one shaped like a decagonal (10-sided) pie, efficiently provide solar power to the lander, dust has always been its Achilles’ heel. While dust storms come by frequently—though not as intensely as portrayed in The Martian—they emerge more often during the summer, says Raymond Arvidson, a planetary scientist at …

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Delegates at the United Nations Have Begun Forging New Rules for Space

Delegates at the United Nations Have Begun Forging New Rules for Space

International humanitarian law—rules that apply during a conflict between nations—state that one can’t attack civilians or civilian infrastructure. That could matter in space too. “You cannot target a civilian object. You can only target military objectives, and then you have to identify what those things are. A hospital or a school is always protected, but …

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NASA's Psyche Spacecraft Heads to Cape Canaveral

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft Heads to Cape Canaveral

In 2011, Lindy Elkins-Tanton and a couple of colleagues wrote a paper exploring ideas about how tiny would-be planets called planetesimals might have formed billions of years ago, and speculated about whether their remnants might still orbit in the asteroid belt. Afterwards, officials at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California approached her. “Would you …

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