While NASA has had a long and storied history of building and testing experimental aircraft – called X-planes — it has been almost a decade the space agency has developed any new aircraft. But an initiative announced earlier this year as part of the new budget has NASA back designing, building and flying a new series of X-planes, with the goal of creating more “green” aviation technologies that can then be utilized by the aeronautics industry.
Missions to Mars, Jupiter and asteroids are on tap in 2016. Back here on Earth, we may just see the first direct detection of gravitational waves, and some serious exoplanet and SETI hunts get underway… and could 2016 become the year of the heavy lift rocket? Here’s the big space stories we’re watching in 2016.
Author’s note: In the wake of the November 13th terrorist attacks, the French Space Agency CNES canceled the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the launch of Asterix. This post commemorates the launch of France’s first satellite 50 years ago this week, and pays a small tribute to the noblest of human endeavors, namely the […]