Space

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Future astronauts may count on inflatable heat shields

Article | Jul 23, 2012

A NASA test July 23 proved that an inflatable heat shield can stand up to the searing heat of atmospheric reentry, proving in the real world a concept with promise to facilitate travel to other planets--and a lightweight alternative to heavy heat shields protecting capsules returning to Earth.

NASA reporting progress on return to manned spaceflight

Article | Jul 19, 2012

A nation of space enthusiasts still smarting from the end of the space shuttle program may look forward to 2014, when NASA plans the first orbital test of the Orion space capsule, designed to carry astronauts to asteroids, Mars, and elsewhere in the solar system.

Mars rover may have trouble closing flight plan

Article | Jul 17, 2012

While there is no pay phone on Mars, Curiosity might end up needing one, at least for a little while. With less than three weeks left in a journey of 352 million miles from Earth to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory rover is lined up for an always-risky landing, one that predecessors have failed more often than not.

Spaceport launches new look, plans expanded tours

Article | Jul 11, 2012

The gateway to civilian space travel is quickly taking shape in the New Mexico desert, and Spaceport America celebrated landing a certificate of occupancy for its operations center with a new website, logo, and a promise of expanded tours for the curious this summer.

Conference focuses on space station science

Article | Jul 02, 2012

Engineers and scientists from a broad range of disciplines gathered in Colorado June 26 through 28 to reflect on past and future achievements, and be formally introduced to a new nonprofit organization chosen by NASA to manage the science taking place in the U.S. National Laboratory aboard the International Space Station.

GA pilot lands Emerging Explorer support

Article | Jun 12, 2012

The National Geographic Society has chosen Barrington Irving, the youngest pilot to circumnavigate the world in history, among 2012's Emerging Explorers. Irving's next mission will be flying around the world at 45,000 feet in an Embraer while beaming live lessons to students.

Curiosity takes closer aim at Mars landing

Article | Jun 11, 2012

A combination of in-flight calibration and improved simulations have allowed NASA and its partners to plan a more precise landing on Mars by Curiosity, mankind's first rover with tools to drill into rock - including one in particular that researchers are "quite fond of."

Passenger space pioneer cleared for supersonic tests

Article | Jun 04, 2012

Scaled Composites has secured FAA permission to light the rocket motor on SpaceShipTwo in flight, clearing the way for continued tests of a vehicle designed to carry Virgin Galactic passengers to space.