NASA

Trump Targets Pell Grant Money For NASA's Budget Boost

May 14, 2019

The Trump administration wants to shift money for Pell Grants for college education to fund new spending, including a $1.6 billion bump for NASA to return American astronauts to the moon by 2024. 

The asteroid is in a horrible orbit and has a 1% chance of striking Earth in just eight years. And — thank goodness — it doesn't really exist.

It's a fictitious asteroid that's the focus of a realistic exercise devised for scientists and engineers from around the world who are attending the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference being held this week outside Washington, D.C.

A real asteroid of this size, should it ever hit the planet, could wipe out an entire city.

If you have ever wanted to get paid to lie in bed, then this job is for you: NASA, the European Space Agency and the German Aerospace Center are offering $18,500 for people to lie in bed for two months.

The job is based in Cologne, Germany, and it's part of a study designed to better understand how the body adapts to weightlessness. The agencies are currently looking for people who are female, between the ages of 24 and 55 and who speak German. The official name of the study is Artificial Gravity Bed Rest Study.

But there's a catch.

House.gov

Congress is asking NASA to provide an updated budget request for the next fiscal year. The ask comes after Vice President Mike Pence charged the agency with landing humans on the moon in 2024 — four years sooner than planned.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says the agency has what it needs to put humans on the moon. That includes a new rocket, crew capsule, launch pad and plans for a space-station around the moon.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

That is not one small step for women.

History was supposed to be made Friday when, for the first time, two female astronauts were scheduled to do a spacewalk together outside the International Space Station. However, one of the astronauts was switched out this week because of a lack of "spacesuit availability."

NASA's Space Launch System Beset By Delays

Mar 20, 2019
NASA / WMFE

NASA’s next-generation rocket, the SLS, is over-budget and behind schedule. The rocket, which is taller than the Statue of liberty, was scheduled to launch the agency’s Orion capsule on a test-mission around the moon back in 2017 but has since been delayed multiple times.

The most recent launch target is 2020 ], but that is likely to slip, too.

Speaking to a Senate committee last week, NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine floated a new idea for the Orion mission: launch it on a commercial rocket.

Opportunity lost.

NASA has officially declared an end to the mission of the six-wheeled rover on Mars. Opportunity lost power in a dust storm last June, and all efforts to make contact have failed.

"Our beloved Opportunity remained silent," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "With a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude," he added, "I declare the Opportunity mission as complete."

As a partial government shutdown continues into its third week, NASA announced the delay of a test flight of SpaceX’s Commercial Crew capsule. The private company is assessing any impacts the partial government shutdown might have on upcoming launches.

It's known as Ultima Thule — "beyond the known world" — but on Tuesday a minor planet got a little less mysterious.

NASA's New Horizons probe successfully conducted the farthest-ever fly-by of an object in space when it sped past Ultima Thule in the first minutes of 2019.

Senator Bill Nelson’s more than three-decades-long political career has come to an end. After a contentious election and chaotic recount, Governor Rick Scott will take over as Florida’s Senator next month.

Updated Nov. 26 at 3:12 p.m. ET

NASA's InSight probe landed successfully on Mars Monday shortly before 3 p.m. ET.

Two tiny spacecraft that flew with the lander to Mars were able to relay telemetry from the probe as it descended to the surface. As a result, mission managers knew immediately that the landing had worked. Unsurprisingly, the control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., erupted in cheers.

AP via WMFE

NASA has ordered a safety review of SpaceX and Boeing as the two companies prepare to launch humans to the International Space Station. The move comes after company founder Elon Musk was seen smoking pot.

According to the Washington Post, officials were rankled by SpaceX founder Elon Musk smoking marijuana and drinking whisky in a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast. The video streamed on YouTube.

When looking up at the stars, it's hard not to wonder what else — or even who else — could be out there. The resilience of franchises like Star Trek in pop culture prove we've always believed in the possibility of life beyond our own solar system. But it wasn't until about a decade ago that we were able to locate and identify those distant planets of our dreams.

NASA

NASA’s mobile launch pad is on the move. Engineers are testing the pad ahead of the first mission of the SLS rocket.

The 11 million pound mobile launcher was moved from Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building to pad 39B where ground system engineers are testing the fit.

NASA’s Space Launch System, or SLS, will be assembled in the VAB on top of the mobile launcher. Then, a massive vehicle called the Crawler-Transporter 2 will move the pad and the rocket to the launch site at a speed of about .7 miles per hour.

A NASA spacecraft is on its way to the sun after launching from Cape Canaveral on a Delta IV Heavy Rocket. It will be the closest object to ever whiz by the sun and stands to become the fastest human made object, clocking in at around 480,000 miles per hour.

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