Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
“human exploration”
NSS Issues Call to Action for American Space Leadership

The National Space Society calls for the United States to make civil space a high national priority in order to ensure American leadership in scientific discovery, technology development, and the creation of new industries and new applications that will benefit all humanity. Five actions are necessary to achieve this objective:

Formulate a Strategy to Achieve the Ultimate Goal. Congress and the Administration shall institute, by no later than February 28, 2013, a comprehensive civil space strategy to achieve the long-range goal of the human settlement of space, including the use of space to better life on Earth.


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  • September 26, 2011
Amber Waves of Grain…on Mars?


Space Wheat Could Feed Astronauts on Mars
Live Science

Does a sandwich on Mars taste different?

The answer could be no, according to new research that found long-term spaceflight exposure doesn’t change later generations of wheat seeds.


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  • July 26, 2009
ESA Needs Help Designing Its First Lunar Lander


ESA’s Directorate of Human Spaceflight is inviting industrial, technology and scientific communities to provide inputs for experiments and payload elements for accommodation on its first lunar lander.

This Request for Information follows last year’s ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, where funding was approved for ESA to work towards launching a lunar lander in the 2017–20 timeframe within the European Transportation and Human Exploration Preparatory Activities programme and the Global Exploration Strategy (GES).


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  • March 2, 2009
Back to the Moon – with Company

The moon beckons again – for U.S., 8 other nations Mike Swift San Jose Mercury News In hopes of discovering clues to the origin of life on Earth, the United States and eight other nations signed a landmark agreement at NASA’s Ames Research Center this week that scientists hope will lay the groundwork for a new generation of lunar exploration and science. Unlike the all-American Apollo program, the new agreement […]

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  • July 26, 2008
Scientists Meet at Ames to Plan Out Lunar Trips

Scientists and engineers are meeting this week at NASA Ames Research Center in California to plan out humanity’s return to the moon. NASA plans GPS-like system for return to the moon Scientific American NASA has coughed up $1.2 million for a navigation system that will help astronauts find their way around the lunar surface when they return in 2020. The Lunar Astronaut Spatial Orientation and Information System (LASOIS) is designed […]

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  • July 23, 2008
Mars on My Mind

Andrei Kislyakov looks at the problems of human missions to the Red Planet in his commentary, Will we reach Mars? And what is the main obstacle to sending people to Mars? People. “Hardly anything can prevent mankind from launching piloted flights to other planets. But alongside technicalities, it will have to resolve the problem of preserving the life and health of a man who will be the most precious and […]

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  • July 19, 2008
To the Moon, Alice! To the Moon!

Writing in the WaPo Sunday Outlook section, Micheal Benson suggests sending the International Space Station to infinity and beyond. Or at least the moon and Mars: “The only problem with this $156 billion manifestation of human genius — a project as large as a football field that has been called the single most expensive thing ever built — is that it’s still going nowhere at a very high rate of […]

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  • July 13, 2008
Space Shuttle to Remain Forever 29; Successor Program Going Great…or Not

NASA has released the schedule for its remaining ten space shuttle missions. The plan includes nine flights to the International Space Station and a Hubble servicing mission in October. Endeavour is set to close out the shuttle era beginning on May 31, 2010 – about 10 months short of the 30th anniversary of the program’s inaugural mission on April 12, 1981.

Meanwhile, NASA has ramped work on the shuttle’s successor, Constellation. In lieu of actual test flights (which won’t begin until next year), the space agency has created a really snazzy video showing how Constellation will place us on a path back to the moon beginning in 2013….or 2015.

And how is work going on the Ares rockets and Orion capsule? Officially, everything’s coming up Milhouse. In fact, you can read about how well things are going on NASA’s official Constellation website. Or read this story about Ares in the Houston Chronicle.

Others aren’t so sure.


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  • July 8, 2008
Lunar Musings: Salvaging the Vision

Charles E. Miller and Jeff Foust have put forth Part II of their plan to save George Bush’s Vision for Space Exploration. (If you missed it, here’s the link to Part I.) It’s a little complicated, but their plan basically amounts to pursuing cheap and reliable access to space, whose acronym – CRATS – may well remind you of a domesticated pet, a Broadway musical, or a bodily function. In […]

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  • May 5, 2008
VSE Update: Cislunar Architecture, Propellant Loss, and Commercial Communications

Some updates on plans for sending humans back to the moon, courtesy of Rob Coppinger over at Flight Global…. ESA considers cislunar space station for lunar exploration “The European Space Agency, Russia and Japan are all considering a cislunar orbital complex that could consist of a habitation section and a resource module that would provide power and fuel and possibly be a safe haven for Orion crew exploration vehicle crews.” […]

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  • April 23, 2008