“We’re struggling with C-axis – oh. It’s gone.” – End of mission for Saturn probe

Within a minute of the time Cassini's final transmission was expected, the probe burnt up in Saturn's hydrogen-dense atmosphere. Thus ended the nearly 20 year Cassini-Huygens mission, one likely to have a significant impact on future exploration to those far reaches of our solar system. Indeed, the very reason NASA decided to destroy the probe, launched in 1997, touches on the significant gains in knowledge gained from the mission, one

What the past tells us about Scott Pace & the future of the NSC

Last month, US president Donald Trump named Scott Pace as executive secretary of the newly formed National Space Council. Pace is director of the Space Policy Institute and a professor of the Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He’s a longtime veteran of both the public and academic sides of the space sector. In the 1990s, Pace worked for the White House Office

Commercial space could play a bigger role in new space council

In a much-anticipated signing ceremony, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 30 June reauthorizing the National Space Council, an advisory body that, though a driving force behind many of that country’s most significant forays in space exploration, has been defunct for 24 years. The council will work closely with several federal agencies to foster cooperation “in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the

VP Mike Pence announces re-formed National Space Council in speech to new astronauts

In a speech to the graduating class of astronauts and NASA, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the National Space Council would be re-formed by the Trump administration, and that he himself would serve as chair. The self-described “lifelong NASA fan” said he was especially privileged to de delivering the speech on his birthday. While in Congress, Pence requested to serve on the subcommittee that oversees the U.S. space program,

ISDC 2017: Experts debate government’s future role in the industrialization of space

Speakers at the National Space Society’s annual International Space Development Conference deliberated on strategies for moving forward on building a sustainable space-based economy. The annual conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri this year, attracted visionaries from nearly every generation of American space exploration. Developing market opportunities in space will help spur investment and development in space architectures and infrastructure -- the benefits of which terrestrial companies will soon be able

Better than new? SpaceX’s reused Dragon launch a huge milestone in private space development

When the Dragon spacecraft from 2012's SpaceX 4 mission successfully berthed with the ISS's Harmony module, the cargo capsule's place in space-faring history was cemented, marking the first time a privately owned spacecraft berthed with the space station, vindicating long-held hopes that the commercial space industry could develop the ability to conduct complex operations in Earth's orbit. Now the SpaceX/CRS-11 mission (originally slated for launch Thursday, 1 June 2017, and rescheduled for 3 June 5:07 ET), is
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Plata o plomo: Trump’s carrot-or-stick to Musk seems to have worked

When the CEOs of several major American companies met with the new leader of the free world two days ago, the conversation revolved around manufacturing restrictions and outsourcing -- both in the crosshairs of President Trump’s agenda. The new president, four days into his term on the day of the meeting, which included CEO Marilyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, suggested that companies amenable to tethering