The loss of Israel’s Beresheet lander during its descent to the lunar surface was unfortunate, but the mission was still largely a success — and has certainly created an interesting cultural artifact on the moon where it impacted. Perhaps more interesting than we could have known: It turns out David Copperfield stashed the secrets to his illusions onboard, and they may have survived the crash.
SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch vehicle undertook its first commercial mission today, taking a communications satellite to orbit and proving the viability of its heavy-lift rocket platform. And as a piece de resistance, all three rocket cores autonomously landed themselves back on Earth and will soon be ready to fly again.
The human body “remains robust and resilient” after almost a year in space, according to a long-term, multi-institutional study of twins, one of whom lived aboard the International Space Station for 340 days while the other remained on Earth. These heartening results remove a potential barrier to crewed interplanetary missions — and just in time for us to start planning them.
Israel’s SpaceIL almost made history today as its Beresheet spacecraft came within an ace of landing on the surface of the Moon, but suffered a last minute failure during descent. Israel missed out on the chance to be the fourth country to make a controlled lunar landing, but getting 99 percent of the way there is still an extraordinary achievement for private spaceflight.
DARPA wants to be able to launch anywhere, any time, and several times in a row. Is that too much to ask? Not for Vector Space, Virgin Orbit, and an unnamed startup that just qualified to take place in the agency’s Launch Challenge, which will push their responsive and mobile launch capabilities to the limit.
It’s finally launch day for the Falcon Heavy’s first mission, and SpaceX’s heavy-duty rocket platform is due to take off at 3:35 Pacific time. The launch will take a major communications satellite into orbit, and as an encore all three of the first stages will attempt to return to Earth and make soft landings. Success means the inauguration of a new era in spaceflight.
Say hello to the black hole deep inside the Messier 87, a galaxy located in the Virgo cluster some 55 million light years away. It may seem underwhelming at first, but it’s one of four images of the supermassive spacetime deforming structure — marking the first time such an object has been photographed. The shots […]
Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Corporate biotech venture funding rises again 2019 US VC funds take a more boutique approach Venture investment in space technology is hitting stratospheric heights in recent quarters. But investors in the sector are betting it will rocket higher still. The latest example of high-velocity funding is satellite […]
The Falcon Heavy has flown before, but now it’s got a payload that matters and competitors nipping at its heels. It’s the first of a new generation of launch vehicles that can take huge payloads to space cheaply and frequently, opening up a new frontier in the space race. Watch it lift off Sunday (we’ll post a reminder).
It’s a big day for space: launches, tests, orbits, and now a distant probe is going to shoot an asteroid with its space gun and make a new crater to play in. It’s Hayabusa 2, Japan’s ambitious and so far highly successful sample return mission to an object called Ryugu.