NASA Chooses a Supplier to Build its Moonwalking Spacesuits

Axiom will provide the next generation astronaut spacesuits to NASA to support the Artemis lunar missions. Credit: Axiom

NASA announced they have chosen Axiom Space to build the spacesuits for the next astronauts to walk on the Moon. The spacesuits will be used on the Artemis III mission, which is planned to land the first woman and the first person of color on the lunar surface.

Axiom Space says the new spacesuits will provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration while providing NASA commercially developed human systems needed to access, live, and work in microgravity as well as on and around the Moon.

Continue reading “NASA Chooses a Supplier to Build its Moonwalking Spacesuits”

What is ISRU, and How Will it Help Human Space Exploration?

As Artemis 1 prepares for its maiden launch with the goal of putting astronauts back on the Moon’s surface within the next few years, the next question is how will astronauts live and survive its surface? Will we constantly ferry all the necessary supplies such as water and food from Earth, or could astronauts learn to survive on their own? These are questions that a discipline known as ISRU hopes to answer both now and in the years to come. But what is ISRU, and how will it help advance human space exploration as we begin to slowly venture farther away from the only home we’ve ever known?

Continue reading “What is ISRU, and How Will it Help Human Space Exploration?”

NASA Will Try Again on September 3 For First Launch of Artemis

n this black and white infrared image, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop the mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky.

After reviewing the data from Monday’s scrubbed launch attempt for the Space Launch System/Artemis- 1 test flight, NASA’s Mission Management Team feels the rocket and the launch team will be ready for another try at the program’s maiden launch on Saturday, September 3. The two-hour launch window starts at 2:17 pm EDT (18:17 UTC).

Continue reading “NASA Will Try Again on September 3 For First Launch of Artemis”

U.S. Space Force CHPS to Patrol Around the Moon

CHPS
An artist's conception of CHPS, in cis-lunar orbit. Credit: USSF/CHPS

An innovative new network CHPS may control space traffic around the Moon.

As human activity extends outward into the solar system, we’ll need a way to keep track of space junk, and the growing number of missions around the Moon and beyond.

Recently, the newly-formed U.S. Space Force announced plans to create CHPS, the Cis-lunar Highway Patrol System. Despite an acronym harking back to a certain cheesy TV series in the 1970s, CHPS will provide a serious look at space traffic further out in orbit around the Earth-Moon system. Such a network is vital, as private companies and space agencies are set to return to the Moon in a big way in the coming decade.

Continue reading “U.S. Space Force CHPS to Patrol Around the Moon”

NASA Releases Details on how Starship Will be Part of its Return to the Moon

The path back to the moon is long and fraught with danger, both in the real, physical sense and also in the contractual, legal sense.  NASA, the agency sponsoring the largest government-backed lunar program, Artemis, has already been feeling the pain on the contractual end.  Legal battles have delayed the development of a critical component of the Artemis program – the Human Landing System (HLS).  But now, the ball has started rolling again, and a NASA manager recently reported the progress and future vision of this vital part of the mission to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers at a conference.

Continue reading “NASA Releases Details on how Starship Will be Part of its Return to the Moon”

LEGO Releases the new Rocket Launch Center set, Recreating the Artemis Moon Missions

One way to inspire kids to get interested in STEM is to introduce them to it at an early age.  Lego is one of the best gateways to that interest, and the company has been busy churning out space-themed toys for most of its existence.  Now another entry has joined that long, distinguished line of interlocking brick system designs – the Rocket Launch Center, #60351.

Continue reading “LEGO Releases the new Rocket Launch Center set, Recreating the Artemis Moon Missions”

Fungi Were Able to Absorb Radiation on the ISS. Could Astronauts Grow Their own Radiation Shields in Space?

A lack of effective radiation shielding is one of the biggest challenges still to be overcome if humans are to embark on long-term voyages into deep space. On Earth, the planet’s powerful magnetosphere protects us from the deadliest forms of radiation – those produced by solar flares, and galactic cosmic rays arriving from afar – that stream through the Solar System. Astronauts on the International Space Station, some 408km above the Earth, receive elevated levels of radiation, but are close enough to Earth that they still receive some shielding, and can stay on orbit for up to a year. The same can’t be said for astronauts traveling further out, to the Moon, for example, or, someday, to Mars. Future deep space voyagers will need to bring their own shielding with them – or, as a new paper suggests – grow it along the way.

Continue reading “Fungi Were Able to Absorb Radiation on the ISS. Could Astronauts Grow Their own Radiation Shields in Space?”

Lunar Landers Could Spray Instant Landing Pads as They Arrive at the Moon

Space exploration requires all kinds of interesting solutions to complex problems.  There is a branch of NASA designed to support the innovators trying to solve those problems – the Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC).  They occasionally hand out grant funding to worthy projects trying to tackle some of these challenges.  The results from one of those grants are now in, and they are intriguing.  A team from Masten Space Systems, supported by Honeybee Robotics, Texas A&M, and the University of Central Florida, came up with a way a lunar lander could deposit its own landing pad on the way down.

Continue reading “Lunar Landers Could Spray Instant Landing Pads as They Arrive at the Moon”

NASA’s Human Space Exploration Division is Being Split in Two

Large government organizations require lots of people to run them.  NASA is no exception.  America’s space agency has long been under pressure to organizationally support its ongoing Artemis program to return to the moon. Now, it has taken a step in that direction by announcing that its Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate will split into two new ones: the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate and the Space Operations Missions Directorate.

Continue reading “NASA’s Human Space Exploration Division is Being Split in Two”