National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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NASA’s deep space missions may get new jolt of fuel

The Los Angeles Times published the following article: NASA’s deep space missions may get new jolt of fuel The Energy Department has requested $30 million to relaunch a program to make radioactive plutonium-238, a supply of which is running low. The Energy Department plans to restart its program of making radioactive fuel for NASA’s deep […]

NASA and ESA Prioritize Outer Planet Missions

The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory published the following article: NASA and ESA Prioritize Outer Planet Missions At a meeting in Washington last week, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and European Space Agency officials decided to continue pursuing studies of a mission to Jupiter and its four largest moons, and to plan for another potential mission […]

Aerospace Power Featured in December 2008 Issue of Propulsion and Power

Aerospace power was featured in the December 2008 issue of Propulsion and Power: High-efficiency photovoltaics continued their upward performance march using the inverted metamorphic (IMM) crystalline solar cell first patented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). IMM development, undertaken by Emcore and Spectrolab under contract with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has resulted in […]

Nuclear Moon Bases: NASA weighs its options for lighting up moon bases

The PopSci website featured the following article: Nuclear Moon Bases: NASA weighs its options for lighting up moon bases When lunar astronauts flick on their televisions after a long day of prospecting, they’ll have a trashcan-size nuclear reactor to thank for their nightly dose of prime time. NASA, looking past the already daunting task of […]

MESSENGER Reveals Mercury as Never Seen Before

Featured in MESSENGER Mission News: MESSENGER Reveals Mercury as Never Seen Before When Mariner 10 flew past Mercury three times in 1974 and 1975, the probe imaged less than half the planet. In January, during MESSENGER’s first flyby, its cameras returned images of about 20 percent of the planet’s surface missed by Mariner 10. Yesterday, […]

MESSENGER Flyby of Mercury

Featured in MESSENGER Mission News: On October 6, 2008, the MESSENGER spacecraft passed a mere 200 kilometers (124 miles) above Mercury’s surface for the mission’s second flyby of its target planet. The flyby’s primary purpose was to use Mercury for a gravity assist, a crucial encounter needed to enable MESSENGER, in 2011, to become the […]

MESSENGER Instruments Take Aim at Mercury

SpaceRef.com featured the following article: MESSENGER Instruments Take Aim at Mercury MESSENGER’s engineering and operations teams convened at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Md., this afternoon to confirm the health and readiness of the spacecraft. “All spacecraft sub-systems and instruments reported nominal operations indicating that MESSENGER is ready for its […]

NASA Eyes Nuclear Power for Moon Base

Space.com published the following article: NASA Eyes Nuclear Power for Moon Base Nuclear power could make a comeback beyond Earth if NASA goes forward with a proposed a fission reactor in its future moon base. A fission-powered system could generate up to 40 kilowatts and give any lunar outpost enough power to supply eight houses on Earth. […]

NASA Developing Fission Surface Power Technology

CLEVELAND — NASA astronauts will need power sources when they return to the moon and establish a lunar outpost. NASA engineers are exploring the possibility of nuclear fission to provide the necessary power and taking initial steps toward a non-nuclear technology demonstration of this type of system. A fission surface power system on the moon […]

Planets Align for the 4th of July

NASA Science published the following article: Planets Align for the 4th of July July 1, 2008: News Flash: On 4th of July weekend, NASA forecasts lights in the sky. No, not those lights. Look beyond the fireworks. Almost halfway up the western sky, just above the twilight glow of sunset, a trio of worlds is gathering: Saturn, Mars […]